Bongkrekic acid (BKA) inhibits adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT) and suppresses ADP/ATP exchange in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Previously, we demonstrated that BKA exhibited cytotoxic effects on 4T1 tumor cells, depending on the cell number in the culture, but not on NIH3T3 cells. However, the cause of this differential sensitivity was unelucidated. Here we demonstrate that BKA reduced the O2 consumption in both cell lines and increased the mitochondrial membrane potential, thereby facilitating glucose consumption. BKA reduced cellular ATP in 4T1 cells in a dose-dependent manner but not in NIH3T3 cells. The cellular ATP of 4T1 cells was decreased with a reduced glucose concentration in the media, but that of NIH3T3 cells remained constant. We also demonstrated that BKA-induced cell death in both cell lines in low glucose media; however, the susceptibility to the reduced glucose concentration was slightly higher in 4T1 cells, which may be attributed to the difference in the dependency on glycolysis as their energy source. These results indicate that 4T1 tumor cells rely heavily on glucose for energy production. Our data demonstrate that BKA disturbs ATP production in mitochondria and increases the susceptibility to a low glucose condition.
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