bims-meluca Biomed News
on Metabolism of non-small cell lung carcinoma
Issue of 2020‒09‒06
five papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge

  1. Theranostics. 2020 ;10(21): 9579-9590
      The metabolic properties of tumor microenvironment (TME) are dynamically dysregulated to achieve immune escape and promote cancer cell survival. However, in vivo properties of glucose metabolism in cancer and immune cells are poorly understood and their clinical application to development of a biomarker reflecting immune functionality is still lacking. Methods: We analyzed RNA-seq and fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography profiles of 63 lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) specimens to correlate FDG uptake, expression of glucose transporters (GLUT) by RNA-seq and immune cell enrichment score (ImmuneScore). Single cell RNA-seq analysis in five lung cancer specimens was performed. We tested the GLUT3/GLUT1 ratio, the GLUT-ratio, as a surrogate representing immune metabolic functionality by investigating the association with immunotherapy response in two melanoma cohorts. Results: ImmuneScore showed a negative correlation with GLUT1 (r = -0.70, p < 0.01) and a positive correlation with GLUT3 (r = 0.39, p < 0.01) in LUSC. Single-cell RNA-seq showed GLUT1 and GLUT3 were mostly expressed in cancer and immune cells, respectively. In immune-poor LUSC, FDG uptake was positively correlated with GLUT1 (r = 0.27, p = 0.04) and negatively correlated with ImmuneScore (r = -0.28, p = 0.04). In immune-rich LUSC, FDG uptake was positively correlated with both GLUT3 (r = 0.78, p = 0.01) and ImmuneScore (r = 0.58, p = 0.10). The GLUT-ratio was higher in anti-PD1 responders than nonresponders (p = 0.08 for baseline; p = 0.02 for on-treatment) and associated with a progression-free survival in melanoma patients who treated with anti-CTLA4 (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Competitive uptake of glucose by cancer and immune cells in TME could be mediated by differential GLUT expression in these cells.
    Keywords:  glucose transporter; immunotherapy; lung cancer; lung squamous cell carcinoma; tumor metabolism; tumor microenvironment
  2. Oncogenesis. 2020 Aug 29. 9(8): 78
      Cholesterol is the major component of lipid rafts. Squalene synthase (SQS) is a cholesterol biosynthase that functions in cholesterol biosynthesis, modulates the formation of lipids rafts and promotes lung cancer metastasis. In this study, we investigated the lipid raft-associated pathway of SQS in lung cancer. Gene expression microarray data revealed the upregulation of secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1; also known as osteopontin, OPN) in CL1-0/SQS-overexpressing cells. Knockdown of OPN in SQS-overexpressing cells inhibits their migration and invasion, whereas an OPN treatment rescues the migration and invasion of SQS knockdown cells. High OPN expression is associated with lymph node status, advanced stage and poor prognosis in patients with lung cancer. Moreover, patients with high SQS expression and high OPN expression show poor survival compared with patients with low SQS expression and low OPN expression. SQS induces the phosphorylation of Src and ERK1/2 via OPN, resulting in increased expression of MMP1 and subsequent metastasis of lung cancer cells. Based on our findings, SQS expression increases the expression of OPN and phosphorylation of Src through cholesterol synthesis to modulate the formation of lipid rafts. SQS may represent a therapeutic strategy for lung cancer.
  3. Cancer Res. 2020 Sep 01. pii: canres.1192.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      Development of resistance remains the key obstacle to the clinical efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). Hypoxia is a key microenvironmental stress in solid tumors associated with acquired resistance to conventional therapy. Consistent with our previous studies, we show here that long-term, moderate hypoxia promotes resistance to the EGFR TKI osimertinib (AZD9291) in the NSCLC cell line H1975, which harbors two EGFR mutations including T790M. Hypoxia-induced resistance was associated with development of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) coordinated by increased expression of ZEB-1, an EMT activator. Hypoxia induced increased fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) expression in NSCLC cell lines H1975, HCC827 and YLR086, and knockdown of FGFR1 attenuated hypoxia-induced EGFR TKI resistance in each line. Upregulated expression of FGFR1 by hypoxia was mediated through the MAPK pathway and attenuated induction of the pro-apoptotic factor BIM. Consistent with this, inhibition of FGFR1 function by the selective small molecular inhibitor BGJ398 enhanced EGFR TKI sensitivity and promoted upregulation of BIM levels. Furthermore, inhibition of MEK activity by trametinib showed similar effects. In tumor xenografts in mice, treatment with either BGJ398 or trametinib enhanced response to AZD9291 and improved survival. These results suggest that hypoxia is a driving force for acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs through increased expression of FGFR1. The combination of EGFR TKI and FGFR1 or MEK inhibitors may offer an attractive therapeutic strategy for NSCLC.
  4. Mol Cell Biol. 2020 Aug 31. pii: MCB.00377-20. [Epub ahead of print]
      Activating mutations in KEAP1-NRF2 are frequently found in tumours of the lung, oesophageous and liver, where they are associated with aggressive growth, resistance to cancer therapies, and low overall survival. Despite the fact that NRF2 is a validated driver of tumorigenesis and chemotherapeutic resistance, there are currently no approved drugs which can inhibit its activity. Therefore, there is an urgent clinical need to identify NRF2-selective cancer therapies. To this end, we developed a novel synthetic lethal assay, based on fluorescently labelled isogenic wild-type and Keap1 knockout cell lines, in order to screen for compounds which selectively kill cells in an NRF2-dependent manner. Through this approach, we identified three compounds based on the geldanamycin scaffold which display synthetic lethality with NRF2. Mechanistically, we show that NRF2 target genes metabolize the quinone-containing geldanamycin compounds into more potent HSP90 inhibitors, which enhances their cytotoxicity while simultaneously restricting the synthetic lethal effect to cells with aberrant NRF2 activity. As all three of the geldanamycin-derived compounds have been used in clinical trials, they represent ideal candidates for drug repositioning to target the currently untreatable NRF2 activity in cancer.
  5. Arch Bronconeumol. 2020 Aug 29. pii: S0300-2896(20)30256-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      INTRODUCTION: The impact of preoperative nutritional status on survival in lung cancer (LC) patients with underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is still unclear. We hypothesized that presurgical nutritional assessment may differentially predict mortality in patients with resectable LC with moderate COPD and relatively well-preserved nutritional status.METHODS: Nutritional assessment [body mass index (BMI), blood parameters including albumin and protein levels, and body weight loss], and other clinical parameters [cigarette smoking (CS) history, LC staging and histological subtypes, COPD severity, lung function, and adjuvant therapy] were evaluated in 125 patients from the LC Mar Prospective Cohort: 87 LC-COPD patients and 38 LC patients without COPD before thoracotomy. Ten-year overall survival (OS) was analyzed in all patients.
    RESULTS: Prior to thoracotomy, in LC-COPD patients compared to LC, BMI and albumin declined relatively, low levels of the parameters BMI, albumin, and total proteins were associated with poorer 10-year survival, especially in the LC-COPD. CS burden also correlated with impaired survival. COPD per se worsened the prognosis in LC patients.
    CONCLUSIONS: In the present cohort of LC patients with resectable tumors and relatively well-preserved nutritional status, the parameters BMI and blood albumin and protein levels measured prior to thoracotomy predicted OS, especially in those with COPD. These are clinically relevant findings, since values of those nutritional parameters were within the normal ranges in the majority of the analyzed patients. A thorough nutritional preoperative assessment should be included in the study of patients with resectable LC, particularly in those with chronic airway obstruction.
    ABBREVIATIONS: BMI, body mass index; LC, lung cancer; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Hi, high level (above cut-off value); Lo, low level (below cut-off value).
    Keywords:  COPD; EPOC; albúmina en sangre; blood albumin; blood total proteins; cáncer de pulmón; estado nutricional; lung cancer; nutritional status; overall survival; proteínas totales en sangre; supervivencia global