bims-meluca Biomed News
on Metabolism of non-small cell lung carcinoma
Issue of 2020‒08‒02
four papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge


  1. Cells. 2020 Jul 23. pii: E1766. [Epub ahead of print]9(8):
    Caiola E, Colombo M, Sestito G, Lupi M, Marabese M, Pastorelli R, Broggini M, Brunelli L.
      Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines vary in their sensitivity to glutaminase inhibitors, so it is important to identify the metabolic assets underling their efficacy in cancer cells. Even though specific genetic lesions such as in KRAS and LKB1 have been associated with reliance on glutamine for their metabolic needs, we found no distinction between glutaminase inhibitor CB-839 sensitivity and resistant phenotypes in NSCLC cells with or without these genetic alterations. We demonstrated the close relationship between environmental alanine uptake and catabolism. This response depended on the individual cell's ability to employ alanine aminotransferase (GPT2) to compensate the reduced glutamate availability. It may, therefore, be useful to determine GPT2 levels to predict which NSCLC patients would benefit most from glutaminase inhibitor treatment.
    Keywords:  NSCLC; alanine aminotransferase; alanine uptake; cancer cell resistance; glutaminase inhibition; metabolism
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9081766
  2. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Jul 27. pii: E2069. [Epub ahead of print]12(8):
    Shen HT, Chien PJ, Chen SH, Sheu GT, Jan MS, Wang BY, Chang WW.
      Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide and the therapeutic strategies include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) account for around 85% of cases of lung cancers. Pemetrexed is an antifolate agent that is currently used as the second line chemotherapy drug in the treatment of advanced NSCLC patients with a response rate of 20-40%. The search for any combination therapy to improve the efficacy of pemetrexed is required. The existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) is considered as the main reason for drug resistance of cancers. In this study, we first found that pemetrexed-resistant NSCLC cells derived from A549 cells displayed higher CSC activity in comparison to the parental cells. The expression of CSC related proteins, such as BMI1 or CD44, and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signature was elevated in pemetrexed-resistant NSCLC cells. We next discovered that the overexpression of BMI1 in A549 cells caused the pemetrexed resistance and inhibition of BMI1 by a small molecule inhibitor, PTC-209, or transducing of BMI1-specific shRNAs suppressed cell growth and the expression of thymidylate synthase (TS) in pemetrexed-resistant A549 cells. We further identified that BMI1 positively regulated SP1 expression and treatment of mithramycin A, a SP1 inhibitor, inhibited cell proliferation, as well as TS expression, of pemetrexed-resistant A549 cells. Furthermore, overexpression of BMI1 in A549 cells also caused the activation of EMT in and the enhancement of CSC activity. Finally, we demonstrated that pretreatment of PTC-209 in mice bearing pemetrexed-resistant A549 tumors sensitized them to pemetrexed treatment and the expression of Ki-67, BMI1, and SP1 expression in tumor tissues was observed to be reduced. In conclusion, BMI1 expression level mediates pemetrexed sensitivity of NSCLC cells and the inhibition of BMI1 will be an effective strategy in NSCLC patients when pemetrexed resistance has developed.
    Keywords:  BMI1; SP1; cancer stem cells; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; non small cell lung cancer; pemetrexed resistance
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082069
  3. Front Immunol. 2020 ;11 1243
    Botticelli A, Mezi S, Pomati G, Cerbelli B, Cerbelli E, Roberto M, Giusti R, Cortellini A, Lionetto L, Scagnoli S, Zizzari IG, Nuti M, Simmaco M, Marchetti P.
      Background: Clinical trials showed that only a subset of patients benefits from immunotherapy, suggesting the need to identify new predictive biomarker of resistance. Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) has been proposed as a mechanism of resistance to anti-PD-1 treatment, and serum kynurenine/tryptophan (kyn/trp) ratio represents a possible marker of IDO activity. Methods: Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with nivolumab as second-line treatment were included in this prospective study. Baseline serum kyn and trp levels were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography to define the kyn/trp ratio. The χ2-test and t-test were applied to compare frequencies and mean values of kyn/trp ratio between subgroups with distinct clinical/pathological features, respectively. Median baseline kyn/trp ratio was defined and used as cutoff in order to stratify the patients. The association between kyn/trp ratio, clinical/pathological characteristics, response, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) was analyzed. Results: Fifty-five patients were included. Mean baseline serum kyn/trp ratio was significantly lower in female than in male patients (0.048 vs. 0.059, respectively, p = 0.044) and in patients with lung metastasis than in others (0.053 vs. 0.080, respectively, p = 0.017). Mean baseline serum kyn/trp ratio was significantly higher in early progressor patients with both squamous and non-squamous NSCLC (p = 0.003) and with a squamous histology cancer (19 squamous NSCLC and 14 HNSCC, p = 0.029). The median value of kyn/trp ratio was 0.06 in the overall population. With the use of median value as cutoff, patients with kyn/trp ratio > 0.06 had a higher risk to develop an early progression (within 3 months) to nivolumab with a trend toward significance (p = 0.064 at multivariate analysis). Patients presenting a baseline kyn/trp ratio ≤0.06 showed a longer PFS [median 8 vs. 3 months; hazard ratio (HR): 0.49; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.24-1.02; p = 0.058] and a significantly better OS than did those with a kyn/trp ratio > 0.06 (median 16 vs. 4 months; HR: 0.39; 95% CI 0.19-0.82; p = 0.013). Conclusion: Serum kyn/trp ratio could have both prognostic and predictive values in patients with solid tumor treated with immunotherapy, probably reflecting a primary immune-resistant mechanism regardless of the primary tumor histology. Its relative weight is significantly related to gender, site of metastasis, NSCLC, and squamous histology, although these suggestive data need to be confirmed in larger studies.
    Keywords:  anti-PD-1; indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase; kynurenine; tryptophan metabolism; tumor immunity
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01243
  4. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 30. pii: jbc.RA120.012680. [Epub ahead of print]
    Huang LS, Kotha SR, Avasarala S, VanScoyk M, Winn RA, Pennathur A, Yashaswini PS, Bandela M, Salgia R, Tyurina YY, Kagan VE, Zhu X, Reddy SP, Sudhadevi T, Punathil-Kannan PK, Harijith A, Ramchandran R, Bikkavilli RK, Natarajan V.
      Lysocardiolipin acyltransferase (LYCAT), a cardiolipin (CL)-remodeling enzyme, is crucial for maintaining normal mitochondrial function and vascular development. Despite the well-characterized role for LYCAT in the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics, it's involvement in lung cancer, if any, remains incompletely understood. In this study, in silico analysis of TCGA lung cancer datasets revealed a significant increase in LYCAT expression, which was later corroborated in human lung cancer tissues and immortalized lung cancer cell lines via indirect immunofluorescence and immunoblotting, respectively. Stable knockdown of LYCAT in NSCLC cell lines not only reduced CL and increased monolyso CL levels but also reduced in vivo tumor growth, as determined by xenograft studies in athymic nude mice. Furthermore, blocking LYCAT activity using a LYCAT mimetic peptide, attenuated cell migration, suggesting a novel role for LYCAT activity in promoting NSCLC. Mechanistically, the pro-proliferative effects of LYCAT were mediated by an increase in mitochondrial fusion, and a G1/S cell cycle transition, both of which are linked to increased cell proliferation. Taken together, these results demonstrate a novel role for LYCAT in promoting NSCLC and suggests that targeting LYCAT expression or activity in NSCLC may provide new avenues for the therapeutic treatment of lung cancer.
    Keywords:  Cardiolipin; Cell migration; Cell proliferation; LYCAT; NSCLC; cardiolipin; cell cycle; cell migration; cell proliferation; lung cancer
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.012680