Hotspot gene mutations in splicing factor 3b subunit 1 (SF3B1) are observed in many types of cancer and create abundant aberrant mRNA splicing, which is profoundly implicated in tumorigenesis. Here, we identified that the SF3B1 K700E (SF3B1 ) mutation is strongly associated with tumor growth in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Knockdown of SF3B1 significantly retarded cell proliferation and tumor growth in a cell line (Panc05.04) with the SF3B1 mutation. However, SF3B1 knockdown had no notable effect on cell proliferation in two cell lines (BxPC3 and AsPC1) carrying wild-type SF3B1. Ectopic expression of SF3B1 but not SF3B1 in SF3B1-knockout Panc05.04 cells largely restored the inhibitory role induced by SF3B1 knockdown. Introduction of the SF3B1 mutation in BxPC3 and AsPC1 cells also boosted cell proliferation. Gene-set enrichment analysis demonstrated a close correlation between SF3B1 mutation and aerobic glycolysis. Functional analyses showed that the SF3B1 mutation promoted tumor glycolysis, as evidenced by glucose consumption, lactate release, and extracellular acidification rate. Mechanistically, the SF3B1 mutation promoted the aberrant splicing of PPP2R5A and led to the activation of the glycolytic regulator c-Myc via post-translational regulation. Pharmacological activation of PP2A with FTY-720 markedly compromised the growth advantage induced by the SF3B1 mutation in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our data suggest a novel function for SF3B1 mutation in the Warburg effect, and this finding may offer a potential therapeutic strategy against PDAC with the SF3B1 mutation.
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