Tumors are heterogeneous cellular environments with entwined metabolic dependencies. However, it is challenging to differentially profile metabolism in cancer and infiltrating non-malignant cells inside patient tumors. Here, we used a tumor transcriptome deconvolution approach to profile the metabolic states of cancer and non-cancer (stromal) cells in bulk tumors of 20 solid tumor types. This analysis highlighted metabolic genes and processes recurrently upregulated in cancer cells across tumor types, including the mitochondrial dicarboxylate carrier SLC25A10. Intriguingly, the tryptophan-degrading dioxygenase, IDO1, was highly recurrently overexpressed in stroma compared to cancer cells and normal tissue, suggesting that tryptophan-mediated suppression of antitumor immune response is predominantly constrained by the stroma. Oxidative phosphorylation was unexpectedly the most upregulated metabolic process in cancer cells compared to both stromal cells and a large atlas of cancer cell lines, suggesting that the warburg effect may be less pronounced in cancer cells in vivo. Overall, our analysis highlights fundamental differences in metabolic states of cancer and stromal cells inside tumors and establishes a pan-cancer resource to interrogate tumor metabolism.

Citation Format: Neha Rohatgi, Umesh Ghoshdastider, Probhonjon Baruah, Anders Jacobsen Skanderup. Pan-cancer metabolic profiling of the tumor microenvironment [abstract]. In: Abstracts: AACR Special Virtual Conference on Epigenetics and Metabolism; October 15-16, 2020; 2020 Oct 15-16. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2020;80(23 Suppl):Abstract nr PO-055.