Postdoc, Karolinska Institutet
cancer and metabolism
A major metabolic aberration associated with cancer is a change in glucose metabolism. Tumors have an increase glucose uptake, and we try to elucidate the molecular mechanism behind this phenomenon.
Abstract: β-catenin is a central player in Wnt signaling, and activation of Wnt signaling is associated with cancer development. E-cadherin in complex with β-catenin mediates cell-cell adhesion, which suppresses β-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling. Recently, a tumor-suppressive role for E-cadherin has been reconsidered, as re-expression of E-cadherin was reported to enhance the metastatic potential of malignant tumors. To explore the role of E-cadherin, we established an E-cadherin-expressing cell line, EC96 cells, from AGS cells that featured undetectable E-cadherin expression and a high level of Wnt signaling. In EC96 cells, E-cadherin re-expression enhanced cell proliferation, although Wnt signaling activity was reduced. Subsequent analysis revealed that NF-κB activation and consequent c-myc expression might be involved in E-cadherin expression-mediated cell proliferation. To facilitate rapid proliferation, EC96 cells enhance glucose uptake and produce ATP using both mitochondria OXPHOS and glycolysis, whereas AGS cells utilize these mechanisms less efficiently. These events appeared to be mediated by NF-κB activation. Therefore, E-cadherin re-expression and subsequent induction of NF-κB signaling likely enhance energy production and cell proliferation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Pub.: 13 Jul '17, Pinned: 19 Sep '17
Abstract: Changes in allosteric regulation of glycolytic enzymes have been linked to metabolic reprogramming involved in cancer. Remarkably, allosteric mechanisms control enzyme function at significantly shorter time-scales compared to the long-term effects of metabolic reprogramming on cell proliferation. It remains unclear if and how the speed and reversibility afforded by rapid allosteric control of metabolic enzymes is important for cell proliferation. Tools that allow specific, dynamic modulation of enzymatic activities in mammalian cells would help address this question. Towards this goal, we have used molecular dynamics simulations to guide the design of PiL[D24], an engineered pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) variant that harbours an insertion of the light-sensing LOV2 domain from Avena Sativa within a region implicated in allosteric regulation by fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP). The LOV2 photoreaction is preserved in the PiL[D24] chimera and causes secondary structure changes that are associated with a 30% decrease in the Km of the enzyme for PEP resulting in increased pyruvate kinase activity after light exposure. Importantly, this change in activity is reversible upon light withdrawal. Expression of PiL[D24] in cells leads to light-induced increase in labelling of pyruvate from glucose. PiL[D24] therefore could provide a means to modulate cellular glucose metabolism in a remote manner and paves the way for studying the importance of rapid allosteric phenomena in the regulation of metabolism and enzyme control. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Pub.: 18 Jul '17, Pinned: 19 Sep '17
Abstract: Long-noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a group of transcripts that are longer than 200 nucleotides and do not code for proteins. However, this class of RNAs plays pivotal regulatory roles. The mechanism of their action is highly complex. Mounting evidence shows that lncRNAs can regulate cancer onset and progression in a variety of ways. They can not only regulate cancer cell proliferation, differentiation, invasion and metastasis, but can also regulate glucose metabolism in cancer cells through different ways, such as by directly regulating the glycolytic enzymes and glucose transporters (GLUTs), or indirectly modulating the signaling pathways. In this review, we summarized the role of lncRNAs in regulating glucose metabolism in cancer, which will help understand better the pathogenesis of malignant tumors. The understanding of the role of lncRNAs in glucose metabolism may help provide new therapeutic targets and novel diagnostic and prognosis markers for human cancer.
Pub.: 26 Jul '17, Pinned: 19 Sep '17
Abstract: The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is a central route for oxidative phosphorylation in cells, and fulfills their bioenergetic, biosynthetic, and redox balance requirements. Despite early dogma that cancer cells bypass the TCA cycle and primarily utilize aerobic glycolysis, emerging evidence demonstrates that certain cancer cells, especially those with deregulated oncogene and tumor suppressor expression, rely heavily on the TCA cycle for energy production and macromolecule synthesis. As the field progresses, the importance of aberrant TCA cycle function in tumorigenesis and the potentials of applying small molecule inhibitors to perturb the enhanced cycle function for cancer treatment start to evolve. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the fuels feeding the cycle, effects of oncogenes and tumor suppressors on fuel and cycle usage, common genetic alterations and deregulation of cycle enzymes, and potential therapeutic opportunities for targeting the TCA cycle in cancer cells. With the application of advanced technology and in vivo model organism studies, it is our hope that studies of this previously overlooked biochemical hub will provide fresh insights into cancer metabolism and tumorigenesis, subsequently revealing vulnerabilities for therapeutic interventions in various cancer types.
Pub.: 28 Jul '17, Pinned: 19 Sep '17
Abstract: Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) signaling is a complex pathway which controls several processes, including cell proliferation, survival, migration, and metabolism. FGFR1 signaling is frequently deregulated via amplification/over-expression in NSCLC of squamous histotype (SQCLC), however its inhibition has not been successfully translated in clinical setting. We determined whether targeting downstream signaling implicated in FGFR1 effects on glucose metabolism potentiates the anti-tumor activity of FGFR1 inhibition in SQCLC. In FGFR1 amplified/over-expressing SQCLC cell lines, FGF2-mediated stimulation of FGFR1 under serum-deprivation activated both MAPK and AKT/mTOR pathways and increased glucose uptake, glycolysis, and lactate production, through AKT/mTOR-dependent HIF-1α accumulation and up-regulation of GLUT-1 glucose transporter. These effects were hindered by PD173074 and NVP-BGJ398, selective FGFR inhibitors, as well as by dovitinib, a multi-kinase inhibitor. Glucose metabolism was hampered by the FGFR inhibitors also under hypoxic conditions, with consequent inhibition of cell proliferation and viability. In presence of serum, glucose metabolism was impaired only in cell models in which FGFR1 inhibition was associated with AKT/mTOR down-regulation. When the activation of the AKT/mTOR pathway persisted despite FGFR1 down-regulation, the efficacy of NVP-BGJ398 could be significantly improved by the combination with NVP-BEZ235 or other inhibitors of this signaling cascade, both in vitro and in xenotransplanted nude mice. Collectively our results indicate that inhibition of FGFR1 signaling impacts on cancer cell growth also by affecting glucose energy metabolism. In addition, this study strongly suggests that the therapeutic efficacy of FGFR1 targeting molecules in SQCLC may be implemented by combined treatments tackling on glucose metabolism.
Pub.: 29 Jul '17, Pinned: 19 Sep '17
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