bims-almceb Biomed News
on Acute Leukemia Metabolism and Cell Biology
Issue of 2021‒06‒06
seven papers selected by
Camila Kehl Dias
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

  1. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021 Jun 01. 1-11
      There has been an explosion of knowledge about the role of metabolism and the mitochondria in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We have also recently seen several waves of novel therapies change the treatment landscape for AML, such as the selective B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) inhibitor venetoclax. In this new context, we review the rapidly advancing literature on the role of metabolism and the mitochondria in AML pathogenesis, and how these are interwoven with the mechanisms of action for novel therapeutics in AML. We also review the role of oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) in maintaining leukemia stem cells (LSCs), how recurrent genomic alterations in AML alter downstream metabolism, and focus on how the BCL-2 pathway and the mitochondria are inextricably linked in AML. Thus, we provide an overview of the mitochondria and metabolism in the context of our new therapeutic world for AML and outline how targeting these vulnerabilities may produce novel therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; BCL-2; OxPhos; mitochondria; venetoclax therapy resistance
  2. Cancers (Basel). 2021 May 06. pii: 2225. [Epub ahead of print]13(9):
      Adoptive T-cell therapy using autologous T cells genetically modified to express cancer-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) has emerged as a novel approach for cancer treatment. CAR-T cell therapy has been approved in several major jurisdictions for treating refractory or relapsed cases of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. However, in solid cancer patients, several clinical studies of CAR-T cell therapy have demonstrated minimal therapeutic effects, thus encouraging interest in better integrating CAR-T cells with other treatments such as conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. Increasing evidence shows that not only do chemotherapy drugs have tumoricidal effects, but also significantly modulate the immune system. Here, we discuss immunomodulatory effects of chemotherapy drugs on circulating leukocyte populations, including their ability to enhance cytotoxic effects and preserve the frequency of CD8+ T cells and to deplete immunosuppressive populations including regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. By modulating the abundance and phenotype of leukocytes in the blood (the 'raw material' for CAR-T cell manufacturing), we propose that prior chemotherapy could facilitate production of the most effective CAR-T cell products. Further research is required to directly test this concept and identify strategies for the optimal integration of CAR-T cell therapies with cytotoxic chemotherapy for solid cancers.
    Keywords:  CAR-T cell therapy; adoptive cell therapy; chemotherapy; combination therapy; cytotoxic CD8+ T cells; immunosuppression; immunotherapy; tumour microenvironment
  3. Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2021 May 22. 43(1): 163-175
      Chemoresistance causes cancer relapse and metastasis, thus remaining the major obstacle to cancer therapy. While some light has been shed on the underlying mechanisms, it is clear that chemoresistance is a multifaceted problem strictly interconnected with the high heterogeneity of neoplastic cells. We utilized two different human cell lines, i.e., LoVo colon cancer and promyelocytic leukemia HL60 cells sensitive and resistant to doxorubicin (DXR), largely used as a chemotherapeutic and frequently leading to chemoresistance. LoVo and HL60 resistant cells accumulate less reactive oxygen species by differently modulating the levels of some pro- and antioxidant proteins. Moreover, the content of intracellular magnesium, known to contribute to protect cells from oxidative stress, is increased in DXR-resistant LoVo through the upregulation of MagT1 and in DXR-resistant HL60 because of the overexpression of TRPM7. In addition, while no major differences in mitochondrial mass are observed in resistant HL60 and LoVo cells, fragmented mitochondria due to increased fission and decreased fusion are detected only in resistant LoVo cells. We conclude that DXR-resistant cells evolve adaptive mechanisms to survive DXR cytotoxicity by activating different molecular pathways.
    Keywords:  HL60 cells; LoVo cells; MagT1; ROS; TRPM7; doxorubicin; mitochondria
  4. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2277 289-297
      Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) and redox regulation play an important role in stem cell maintenance and cell fate decisions. Although changes in mtROS and redox homeostasis represent a physiological mechanism to drive stem cell commitment and differentiation, dysregulation of this system can lead to defects in stem cell maintenance and regenerative capacity. This chapter explains the methods used to assess mitochondrial superoxide levels and redox regulation in stem cell populations.
    Keywords:  Antioxidant; Electron transport chain; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Oxidative stress; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Redox; Stem cell fate; Stem cells
  5. Redox Biol. 2021 Mar 27. pii: S2213-2317(21)00101-4. [Epub ahead of print] 101953
      Controlling reactive oxygen species (ROS) at sustainable levels can drive multiple facets of tumor biology, including within the cancer stem cell (CSC) population. Tight regulation of ROS is one key component in CSCs that drives disease recurrence, cell signaling, and therapeutic resistance. While ROS are well-appreciated to need oxygen and are a product of oxidative phosphorylation, there are also important roles for ROS under hypoxia. As hypoxia promotes and sustains major stemness pathways, further consideration of ROS impacts on CSCs in the tumor microenvironment is important. Furthermore, glycolytic shifts that occur in cancer and may be promoted by hypoxia are associated with multiple mechanisms to mitigate oxidative stress. This altered metabolism provides survival advantages that sustain malignant features, such as proliferation and self-renewal, while producing the necessary antioxidants that reduce damage from oxidative stress. Finally, disease recurrence is believed to be attributed to therapy resistant CSCs which can be quiescent and have changes in redox status. Effective DNA damage response pathways and/or a slow-cycling state can protect CSCs from the genomic catastrophe induced by irradiation and genotoxic agents. This review will explore the delicate, yet complex, relationship between ROS and its pleiotropic role in modulating the CSC.
    Keywords:  Cancer stem cell; Metabolism; Reactive oxygen species; Tumor initiating cell
  6. Pharmaceutics. 2021 May 20. pii: 762. [Epub ahead of print]13(5):
      Drug resistance is the main obstacle for a successful cancer therapy. There are many mechanisms by which cancers avoid drug-mediated death, including alterations in cellular metabolism and apoptotic programs. Mitochondria represent the cell's powerhouse and the connection between carbohydrate, lipid and proteins metabolism, as well as crucial controllers of apoptosis, playing an important role not only in tumor growth and progression, but also in drug response. Alterations in tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) caused by mutations in three TCA enzymes-isocitrate dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase and fumarate hydratase-lead to the accumulation of 2-hydroxyglutarate, succinate and fumarate respectively, collectively known as oncometabolites. Oncometabolites have pleiotropic effects on cancer biology. For instance, they generate a pseudohypoxic phenotype and induce epigenetic changes, two factors that may promote cancer drug resistance leading to disease progression and poor therapy outcome. This review sums up the most recent findings about the role of TCA-derived oncometabolites in cancer aggressiveness and drug resistance, highlighting possible pharmacological strategies targeting oncometabolites production in order to improve the efficacy of cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  cancer drug resistance; cancer metabolism; mitochondrial oncometabolites
  7. Cells. 2021 May 17. pii: 1218. [Epub ahead of print]10(5):
      Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a hematological malignancy originating from B- or T-lymphoid progenitor cells. Recent studies have shown that redox dysregulation caused by overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) has an important role in the development and progression of leukemia. The application of pro-oxidant therapy, which targets redox dysregulation, has achieved satisfactory results in alleviating the conditions of and improving the survival rate for patients with ALL. However, drug resistance and side effects are two major challenges that must be addressed in pro-oxidant therapy. Oxidative stress can activate a variety of antioxidant mechanisms to help leukemia cells escape the damage caused by pro-oxidant drugs and develop drug resistance. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are extremely sensitive to oxidative stress due to their low levels of differentiation, and the use of pro-oxidant drugs inevitably causes damage to HSCs and may even cause severe bone marrow suppression. In this article, we reviewed research progress regarding the generation and regulation of ROS in normal HSCs and ALL cells as well as the impact of ROS on the biological behavior and fate of cells. An in-depth understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of redox homeostasis in normal and malignant HSCs is conducive to the formulation of rational targeted treatment plans to effectively reduce oxidative damage to normal HSCs while eradicating ALL cells.
    Keywords:  ROS; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; hematopoietic stem cells; oxidative stress; pro-oxidative therapy