Uncovering the Role of N-Acetyl-Aspartyl-Glutamate as a Glutamate Reservoir in Cancer

Tu Nguyen, Brian James Kirsch, Ryoichi Asaka, Karim Nabi, Addison Quinones, Jessica Tan, Marjorie Justine Antonio, Felipe Camelo, Ting Li, Stephanie Nguyen, Giang Hoang, Kiet Nguyen, Sunag Udupa, Christos Sazeides, Yao An Shen, Amira Elgogary, Juvenal Reyes, Liang Zhao, Andre Kleensang, Kaisorn Lee ChaichanaThomas Hartung, Michael J. Betenbaugh, Suely K. Marie, Jin G. Jung, Tian Li Wang, Edward Gabrielson, Anne Le

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nguyen et al. show that NAAG is more abundant in higher grade cancers and a source of glutamate in cancers expressing GCPII, the enzyme that hydrolyzes NAAG to glutamate and NAA. The results suggest that GCPII is a viable target for cancer therapy, either alone or in combination with glutaminase inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-501.e6
JournalCell Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 9 2019


  • N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate
  • NAAG
  • glutamate carboxypeptidase II
  • glutamate deprivation
  • glutamate reservoir
  • glutaminase inhibitor
  • metabolomics
  • stable isotope resolved

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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