Operation of a TCA cycle subnetwork in the mammalian nucleus

Eleni Kafkia, Amparo Andres-Pons, Kerstin Ganter, Markus Seiler, Tom S. Smith, Anna Andrejeva, Paula Jouhten, Filipa Pereira, Catarina Franco, Anna Kuroshchenkova, Sergio Leone, Ritwick Sawarkar, Rebecca Boston, James Thaventhiran, Judith B. Zaugg, Kathryn S. Lilley, Christophe Lancrin, Martin Beck, Kiran Raosaheb Patil (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Nucleic acid and histone modifications critically depend on the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle for substrates and cofactors. Although a few TCA cycle enzymes have been reported in the nucleus, the corresponding pathways are considered to operate in mitochondria. Here, we show that a part of the TCA cycle is operational also in the nucleus. Using 13C-tracer analysis, we identified activity of glutamine-to-fumarate, citrate-to-succinate, and glutamine-to-aspartate routes in the nuclei of HeLa cells. Proximity labeling mass spectrometry revealed a spatial vicinity of the involved enzymes with core nuclear proteins. We further show nuclear localization of aconitase 2 and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase in mouse embryonic stem cells. Nuclear localization of the latter enzyme, which produces succinyl-CoA, changed from pluripotency to a differentiated state with accompanying changes in the nuclear protein succinylation. Together, our results demonstrate operation of an extended metabolic pathway in the nucleus, warranting a revision of the canonical view on metabolic compartmentalization.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabq5206
JournalScience advances
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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