ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: We have previously identified solute-linked carrier family A1 member 5 (SLC1A5) as an overexpressed protein in a shotgun proteomic analysis of stage I non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when compared with matched controls. We hypothesized that overexpression of SLC1A5 occurs to meet the metabolic demand for lung cancer cell growth and survival.Experimental Design: To test our hypothesis, we first analyzed the protein expression of SLC1A5 in archival lung cancer tissues by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting (N = 98) and in cell lines (N = 36). To examine SLC1A5 involvement in amino acid transportation, we conducted kinetic analysis of l-glutamine (Gln) uptake in lung cancer cell lines in the presence and absence of a pharmacologic inhibitor of SLC1A5, gamma-l-Glutamyl-p-Nitroanilide (GPNA). Finally, we examined the effect of Gln deprivation and uptake inhibition on cell growth, cell-cycle progression, and growth signaling pathways of five lung cancer cell lines.Results: Our results show that (i) SLC1A5 protein is expressed in 95% of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), 74% of adenocarcinomas (ADC), and 50% of neuroendocrine tumors; (ii) SLC1A5 is located at the cytoplasmic membrane and is significantly associated with SCC histology and male gender; (iii) 68% of Gln is transported in a Na+-dependent manner, 50% of which is attributed to SLC1A5 activity; and (iv) pharmacologic and genetic targeting of SLC1A5 decreased cell growth and viability in lung cancer cells, an effect mediated in part by mTOR signaling.Conclusions: These results suggest that SLC1A5 plays a key role in Gln transport controlling lung cancer cells' metabolism, growth, and survival. Clin Cancer Res; 19(3); 560–70. ©2012 AACR.