tRNA synthase suppression activates de novo cysteine synthesis to compensate for cystine and glutathione deprivation during ferroptosis.

Date Published:

2016 Mar


Glutathione is a major endogenous reducing agent in cells, and cysteine is a limiting factor in glutathione synthesis. Cysteine is obtained by uptake or biosynthesis, and mammalian cells often rely on either one or the other pathway. Because of the scarcity of glutathione, blockade of cysteine uptake causes oxidative cell death known as ferroptosis. A new study suggests that tRNA synthetase suppression activates the endogenous biosynthesis of cysteine, compensates such cysteine loss, and thus makes cells resistant to ferroptosis.