Background: Sp1 is involved in the recurrence of glioblastoma (GBM) due to the acquirement of resistance to temozolomide (TMZ). Particularly, the role of Sp1 in metabolic reprogramming for drug resistance remains unknown. Methods: RNA-Seq and mass spectrometry were used to analyze gene expression and metabolites amounts in paired GBM specimens (primary vs. recurrent) and in paired GBM cells (sensitive vs. resistant). ω-3/6 fatty acid and arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism in GBM patients were analyzed by targeted metabolome. Mitochondrial functions were determined by Seahorse XF Mito Stress Test, RNA-Seq, metabolome and substrate utilization for producing ATP. Therapeutic options targeting prostaglandin (PG) E2 in TMZ-resistant GBM were validated in vitro and in vivo. Results: Among the metabolic pathways, Sp1 increased the prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 expression and PGE2 production in TMZ-resistant GBM. Mitochondrial genes and metabolites were obviously increased by PGE2, and these characteristics were required for developing resistance in GBM cells. For inducing TMZ resistance, PGE2 activated mitochondrial functions, including fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle progression, through PGE2 receptors, E-type prostanoid (EP)1 and EP3. Additionally, EP1 antagonist ONO-8713 inhibited the survival of TMZ-resistant GBM synergistically with TMZ. Conclusion: Sp1-regulated PGE2 production activates FAO and TCA cycle in mitochondria, through EP1 and EP3 receptors, resulting in TMZ resistance in GBM. These results will provide us a new strategy to attenuate drug resistance or to re-sensitize recurred GBM.
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