Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)—a fundamental process in embryogenesis and wound healing—promotes tumor metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy. While studies have identified signaling components and transcriptional factors responsible in the TGF-β-dependent EMT, whether and how intracellular metabolism is integrated with EMT remains to be fully elucidated. Here, we showed that TGF-β induces reprogramming of intracellular amino acid metabolism, which is necessary to promote EMT in non-small cell lung cancer cells. Combined metabolome and transcriptome analysis identified prolyl 4-hydroxylase α3 (P4HA3), an enzyme implicated in cancer metabolism, to be upregulated during TGF-β stimulation. Further, knockdown of P4HA3 diminished TGF-β-dependent changes in amino acids, EMT, and tumor metastasis. Conversely, manipulation of extracellular amino acids induced EMT-like responses without TGF-β stimulation. These results suggest a previously unappreciated requirement for the reprogramming of amino acid metabolism via P4HA3 for TGF-β-dependent EMT and implicate a P4HA3 inhibitor as a potential therapeutic agent for cancer.
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