bims-meluca Biomed news
on Metabolism of non-small cell lung carcinoma
Issue of 2019‒02‒03
six papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge


  1. EBioMedicine. 2019 Jan 24. pii: S2352-3964(19)30045-3. [Epub ahead of print]
    Lee JS, Lee H, Lee S, Kang JH, Lee SH, Kim SG, Cho ES, Kim NH, Yook JI, Kim SY.
      BACKGROUND: Fast growing cancer cells require greater amounts of ATP than normal cells. Although glycolysis was suggested as a source of anabolic metabolism based on lactate production, the main source of ATP to support cancer cell metabolism remains unidentified.METHODS: We have proposed that the oxoglutarate carrier SLC25A11 is important for ATP production in cancer by NADH transportation from the cytosol to mitochondria as a malate. We have examined not only changes of ATP and NADH but also changes of metabolites after SLC25A11 knock down in cancer cells.
    FINDINGS: The mitochondrial electron transport chain was functionally active in cancer cells. The cytosolic to mitochondrial NADH ratio was higher in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma cells than in normal cells. This was consistent with higher levels of the oxoglutarate carrier SLC25A11. Blocking malate transport by knockdown of SLC25A11 significantly impaired ATP production and inhibited the growth of cancer cells, which was not observed in normal cells. In in vivo experiments, heterozygote of SLC25A11 knock out mice suppressed KRASLA2 lung tumor formation by cross breeding.
    INTERPRETATION: Cancer cells critically depended on the oxoglutarate carrier SLC25A11 for transporting NADH from cytosol to mitochondria as a malate form for the purpose of ATP production. Therefore blocking SLC25A11 may have an advantage in stopping cancer growth by reducing ATP production. FUND: The Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT to SYK (NRF-2017R1A2B2003428).
    Keywords:  Cancer metabolism; Cancer therapeutic target; Malate aspartate shuttle; Oxoglutarate carrier; SLC25A11
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.01.036
  2. Genes Dev. 2019 Feb 01. 33(3-4): 150-165
    Bhatt V, Khayati K, Hu ZS, Lee A, Kamran W, Su X, Guo JY.
      Loss of tumor suppressor liver kinase B1 (LKB1) promotes cancer cell proliferation but also leads to decreased metabolic plasticity in dealing with energy crises. Autophagy is a protective process involving self-cannibalization to maintain cellular energy homeostasis during nutrient deprivation. We developed a mouse model for Lkb1-deficient lung cancer with conditional deletion of essential autophagy gene Atg7 to test whether autophagy compensates for LKB1 loss for tumor cells to survive energy crises. We found that autophagy ablation was synthetically lethal during Lkb1-deficient lung tumorigenesis in both tumor initiation and tumor growth. We further found that autophagy deficiency causes defective intracellular recycling, which limits amino acids to support mitochondrial energy production in starved cancer cells and causes autophagy-deficient cells to be more dependent on fatty acid oxidation (FAO) for energy production, leading to reduced lipid reserve and energy crisis. Our findings strongly suggest that autophagy inhibition could be a strategy for treating LKB1-deficient lung tumors.
    Keywords:  LKB1; autophagy; energy metabolism; lipid metabolism; non-small cell lung cancer
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.320481.118
  3. Med Sci Monit. 2019 Jan 29. 25 836-846
    Zhou X, Liu S, Lin X, Xu L, Mao X, Liu J, Zhang Z, Jiang W, Zhou H.
      BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to investigate whether PP2A activation is involved in the anti-cancer activity of metformin. MATERIAL AND METHODS A549 and H1651 human lung cancer cells were constructed with stable a4 overexpression (O/E α4) or knockdown of PP2A catalytic subunit A/B(sh-PP2Ac). Influences of okadaic acid (OA) treatment, O/E α4 or sh-PP2Ac on metformin treated cells were investigated by cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, and Transwell invasion assay in vitro. Protein expression levels of Bax, Bcl-2, Myc, and Akt as well as serine phosphorylation level of Bax, Myc, and Akt were examined by western blot. For in vivo assays, wild type (WT) or modified A549 cells were subcutaneously injected in nude mice, and metformin treatment on these xenografted tumors were assayed by tumor formation assay and western blot detecting cell proliferation marker PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) as well as protein expression level and serine phosphorylation level of Akt and Myc. RESULTS Metformin treatment significantly reduced A549 or H1651 cell growth and invasive capacity in vitro as well as Ser184 phosphorylation of Bax, Ser62 phosphorylation of Myc, and Ser473 phosphorylation of Akt, all of which could be partially attenuated by OA treatment, O/E α4 or sh-PP2Ac. Metformin treatment also significantly reduced tumor formation in vivo as well as protein expression of PCNA, Akt, Myc, and serine phosphorylation of the latter 2, which can be partially blocked by O/E α4 or sh-PP2Ac. CONCLUSIONS Metformin reduced lung cancer cell growth and invasion in vitro as well as tumor formation in vivo partially by activating PP2A.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.12659/MSM.912059
  4. Thorac Cancer. 2019 Feb 02.
    Meng L, Yang X, Xie X, Wang M.
      BACKGROUND: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for a significant proportion of cancer-related deaths and lacks an effective treatment strategy. NSCLC tissues are generally found in a low oxygen environment. The NDUFA4L2 protein, located in the mitochondria, is encoded by the nucleus genome and is considered a crucial mediator that regulates cell survival. A better understanding of the mechanism of NDUFA4L2 in NSCLC survival in hypoxic environments is essential to design new therapeutic methods.METHODS: Twenty NSCLC and corresponding paired non-tumorous lung tissue samples were collected. NSCLC cell lines were cultured in hypoxic conditions to investigate the mechanism of NDUFA4L2 in NSCLC. The role of NDUFA4L2 was confirmed by using Western blotting, reactive oxygen species measurement, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence analysis, and wound healing and colony formation assays.
    RESULTS: The expression of HIF-1α and mitochondrial NDUFA4L2 increased in NSCLC cell lines cultured in hypoxic conditions (1% O2 ). NDUFA4L2 was drastically overexpressed in human NSCLC tissues and cell lines cultured in hypoxic conditions. HIF-1α regulated the expression of NDUFA4L2. Knockdown of NDUFA4L2 notably increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production, which suppressed the viability of NSCLC.
    CONCLUSION: In conclusion, overexpression of NDUFA4L2 is a key factor for maintaining NSCLC growth, suggesting that mitochondrial NDUFA4L2 may be a potential target for the treatment of lung cancer.
    Keywords:  HIF-1α; NDUFA4L2; ROS; hypoxia; non-small cell lung cancer
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.12984
  5. J Hematol Oncol. 2019 Jan 29. 12(1): 12
    Jan YH, Lai TC, Yang CJ, Lin YF, Huang MS, Hsiao M.
      BACKGROUND: Adenylate kinase 4 (AK4) has been identified as a biomarker of metastasis in lung cancer. However, the impacts of AK4 on metabolic genes and its translational value for drug repositioning remain unclear.METHODS: Ingenuity upstream analyses were used to identify potential transcription factors that regulate the AK4 metabolic gene signature. The expression of AK4 and its upstream regulators in lung cancer patients was examined via immunohistochemistry. Pharmacological and gene knockdown/overexpression approaches were used to investigate the interplay between AK4 and its upstream regulators during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Drug candidates that reversed AK4-induced gene expression were identified by querying a connectivity map. Orthotopic xenograft mouse models were established to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of drug candidates for metastatic lung cancer.
    RESULTS: We found that HIF-1α is activated in the AK4 metabolic gene signature. IHC analysis confirmed this positive correlation, and the combination of both predicts worse survival in lung cancer patients. Overexpression of AK4 exaggerates HIF-1α protein expression by increasing intracellular ROS levels and subsequently induces EMT under hypoxia. Attenuation of ROS production with N-acetylcysteine abolishes AK4-induced invasion potential under hypoxia. Pharmacogenomics analysis of the AK4 gene signature revealed that withaferin-A could suppress the AK4-HIF-1α signaling axis and serve as a potent anti-metastatic agent in lung cancer.
    CONCLUSIONS: Overexpression of AK4 promotes lung cancer metastasis by enhancing HIF-1α stability and EMT under hypoxia. Reversing the AK4 gene signature with withaferin-A may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy to treat metastatic lung cancer.
    Keywords:  AK4; EMT; HIF-1α; Lung cancer metastasis; ROS; Withaferin-A
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13045-019-0698-5
  6. J Cell Mol Med. 2019 Feb 01.
    Lee BB, Kim Y, Kim D, Cho EY, Han J, Kim HK, Shim YM, Kim DH.
      Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is known to play a role in a variety of tumorigenesis processes by deacetylating histone and non-histone proteins; however, antitumour effects by suppressing SIRT1 activity in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain unclear. This study was designed to scrutinize clinicopathological significance of SIRT1 in NSCLC and investigate effects of metformin on SIRT1 inhibition. This study also evaluated new possibilities of drug combination using a SIRT1 inhibitor, tenovin-6, in NSCLC cell lines. It was found that SIRT1 was overexpressed in 300 (62%) of 485 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded NSCLC tissues. Its overexpression was significantly associated with reduced overall survival and poor recurrence-free survival after adjusted for histology and pathologic stage. Thus, suppression of SIRT1 expression may be a reasonable therapeutic strategy for NSCLC. Metformin in combination with tenovin-6 was found to be more effective in inhibiting cell growth than either agent alone in NSCLC cell lines with different liver kinase B1 (LKB1) status. In addition, metformin and tenovin-6 synergistically suppressed SIRT1 expression in NSCLC cells regardless of LKB1 status. The marked reduction in SIRT1 expression by combination of metformin and tenovin-6 increased acetylation of p53 at lysine 382 and enhanced p53 stability in LKB1-deficient A549 cells. The combination suppressed SIRT1 promoter activity more effectively than either agent alone by up-regulating hypermethylation in cancer 1 (HIC1) binding at SIRT1 promoter. Also, suppressed SIRT1 expression by the combination synergistically induced caspase-3-dependent apoptosis. The study concluded that metformin with tenovin-6 may enhance antitumour effects through LKB1-independent SIRT1 down-regulation in NSCLC cells.
    Keywords:  LKB1; SIRT1 inhibitor; metformin; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); tenovin-6
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.14194