A pinboard by
míriam balagué

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.


An engineered photoswitchable mammalian pyruvate kinase.

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

Enhancement of the anti-tumor activity of FGFR1 inhibition in squamous cell lung cancer by targeting downstream signaling involved in glucose metabolism.

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