bims-stacyt Biomed News
on Paracrine crosstalk between cancer and the organism
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
eight papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge

  1. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jun 10. pii: S0753-3322(21)00580-1. [Epub ahead of print]141 111798
      Hypoxia is a common phenomenon in most malignant tumors, especially in pancreatic cancer (PC). Hypoxia is the result of unlimited tumor growth and plays an active role in promoting tumor survival, progression, and invasion. As the part of the hypoxia microenvironment in PC is gradually clarified, hypoxia is becoming a key determinant and an important therapeutic target of pancreatic cancer. To adapt to the severe hypoxia environment, cells have changed their metabolic phenotypes to maintain their survival and proliferation. Enhanced glycolysis is the most prominent feature of cancer cells' metabolic reprogramming in response to hypoxia. It provides the energy source for hypoxic cancer cells (although it provides less than oxidative phosphorylation) and produces metabolites that can be absorbed and utilized by normoxic cancer cells. In addition, the uptake of glutamine and fatty acids by hypoxic cancer cells is also increased, which is also conducive to tumor progression. Their metabolites are pooled in the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP). As a nutrition sensor, HBP, in turn, can coordinate glucose and glutamine metabolism. Its end product, UDP-GlcNAc, is the substrate of protein post-translational modification (PTM) involved in various signaling pathways supporting tumor progression. Adaptive metabolic changes of cancer cells promote their survival and affect tumor immune cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), which contributes to tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment and induces tumor immunotherapy resistance. Here, we summarize the hypoxic microenvironment, its effect on metabolic reprogramming, and its contribution to immunotherapy resistance in pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  Hypoxia; Immunosuppressive microenvironment; Metabolic reprogramming; Pancreatic cancer (PC)
  2. Xi Bao Yu Fen Zi Mian Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2021 Jul;37(7): 651-656
      Hypoxia is a key characteristic of solid malignant tumor microenvironment. Exosomes secreted by tumor cells as well as stromal cells are important components of the tumor microenvironment. Hypoxia regulates the formation, contents loading, release and biological functions of exosomes. In the hypoxic microenvironment, tumor cell-derived exosomes can deliver important differentially-expressed molecular cargoes to a variety of immune cells and regulate these cells activity to facilitate the growth of tumors by inducing M2 polarization of macrophages, expansion of regulatory T cells, activation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and inhibition of cytotoxicity in natural killer cells. To elucidate the interaction mediated by exosomes between tumor cells and immune cells under hypoxia tumor microenvironment and the underlying mechanisms by which exosomes regulate anti-tumor immunity will provide reference for the application of exosomes in tumor vaccines, anti-cancer drug delivery and combined immunotherapy.
  3. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 656364
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a complex and ever-changing "rogue organ" composed of its own blood supply, lymphatic and nervous systems, stroma, immune cells and extracellular matrix (ECM). These complex components, utilizing both benign and malignant cells, nurture the harsh, immunosuppressive and nutrient-deficient environment necessary for tumor cell growth, proliferation and phenotypic flexibility and variation. An important aspect of the TME is cellular crosstalk and cell-to-ECM communication. This interaction induces the release of soluble factors responsible for immune evasion and ECM remodeling, which further contribute to therapy resistance. Other aspects are the presence of exosomes contributed by both malignant and benign cells, circulating deregulated microRNAs and TME-specific metabolic patterns which further potentiate the progression and/or resistance to therapy. In addition to biochemical signaling, specific TME characteristics such as the hypoxic environment, metabolic derangements, and abnormal mechanical forces have been implicated in the development of treatment resistance. In this review, we will provide an overview of tumor microenvironmental composition, structure, and features that influence immune suppression and contribute to treatment resistance.
    Keywords:  CAF; HIF - hypoxia inducible factor; MDSC (myeloid-derived suppressor cells); TGF - β1; TME (tumor microenvironment); Treg - regulatory T cell; microRNA (miR); tumor associated macrophage (TAM)
  4. Biosci Rep. 2021 Jun 17. pii: BSR20211066. [Epub ahead of print]
      High glucose levels are associated with changes in macrophage polarization and evidence indicates that the sustained or even short-term high glucose levels modulate inflammatory responses in macrophages. However, the mechanism by which macrophages can sense the changes in glucose levels are not clearly understood. We find that high glucose levels rapidly increase the α-E catenin protein level in RAW264.7 macrophages. We also find an attenuation of glucose induced increase of α-E catenin when hexosamine biosynthesis pathway is inhibited either with glutamine depletion or with the drugs azaserine and tunicamycin. This indicates the involvement of hexosamine biosynthesis pathway in this process. Then, we investigated the potential role of α-E catenin in glucose induced macrophage polarization. We find that the reduction of α-E catenin level using siRNA attenuates the glucose induced changes of both IL-1β and IL-12 mRNA levels under LPS stimulated condition but does not affect TNF-α expression. Together this indicates that α-E catenin can sense the changes in glucose levels in macrophages via hexosamine biosynthesis pathway and also can modulate the glucose induced gene expression of inflammatory markers such as IL-1β and IL-12.  This identifies a new part of the mechanism by which macrophages are able to respond to changes in glucose levels.
    Keywords:  alpha catenin; hexosamine biosynthesis pathway; inflammation; macrophages
  5. Life Sci. 2021 Jun 07. pii: S0024-3205(21)00679-2. [Epub ahead of print]279 119693
      Nitrosative stress plays a critical role in retinal injury in high glucose (HG) environment of eye, but the mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that HG induced reactive nitrogen species (RNS) production acts as a key functional mediator of antioxidant depletion, mitochondrial dysfunction, biomolecule damage, inflammation and apoptosis. Our findings illustrated that exposure of cultured RGC-5 cells to HG significantly disrupts the antioxidant defense mechanism and mitochondrial machineries by increasing the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔѰM) and elevating mitochondrial mass. Furthermore, we used biochemical tools to analyze the changes in metabolites, sulfur amino acids (SAAs) such as L-glutathione (GSH) and L-cysteine (Cys), in the presence of HG environment. These metabolic changes were followed by an increase in glycolytic flux that is phosphofructokinase-2 (PFK-2) activity. Moreover, HG exposure results in a significant disruption of protein carbonylation (PC) and lipid peroxidation (LPO), downregulation of OGG1 and increase in 8-OHdG accumulations in RGC-5 cells. In addition, our results demonstrated that HG environment coinciding with increased expression of inflammatory mediators, cell cycle deregulation, decreased in cell viability and expression of FoxOs, increased lysosomal content leading to apoptosis. Pre-treatment of selective inhibitors of RNS significantly reduced the HG-induced cell cycle deregulation and apoptosis in RGC-5 cells. Collectively, these results illustrated that accumulated RNS exacerbates the antioxidant depletion, mitochondrial dysfunction, biomolecule damage, inflammation and apoptosis induced by HG exposure in RGC-5 cells. Treatment of pharmacological inhibitors attenuated the HG induced in retinal cells.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; High glucose; Inflammation; Metabolites; Reactive nitrogen species (RNS)
  6. Cell Biochem Funct. 2021 Jun 15.
      Energetically inefficient inter-organ substrate shuttles are proposed contributors to cachexia-related weight loss. Here, we examined glycolytic pathway metabolites, enzyme activity and transport proteins in skeletal muscle, liver and tumours of mice with cachexia-related weight loss induced by colon-26 cancer cells. Skeletal muscle of cachexic mice had increased [L-lactate]/[pyruvate], LDH activity and lactate transporter MCT1. Cachexic livers also showed increased MCT1. This is consistent with the proposal that the rate of muscle-derived lactate shuttling to liver for use in gluconeogenesis is increased, that is, an increased Cori cycle flux in weight-losing cachexic mice. A second shuttle between liver and tumour may also contribute to disrupted energy balance and weight loss. We found increased high-affinity glucose transporter GLUT1 in tumours, suggesting active glucose uptake, tumour MCT1 detection and decreased intratumour [L-lactate]/[pyruvate], implying increased lactate efflux and/or intratumour lactate oxidation. Last, high [L-lactate]/[pyruvate] and MCT1 in cachexic muscle provides a potential muscle-derived lactate supply for the tumour (a 'reverse Warburg effect'), supporting tumour growth and consequent cachexia. Our findings suggest several substrate shuttles among liver, skeletal muscle and tumour contribute to metabolic disruption and weight loss. Therapies that aim to normalize dysregulated substrate shuttling among energy-regulating tissues may alleviate unintended weight loss in cancer cachexia. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: Cachexia is a serious complication of cancer characterized by severe weight loss, muscle atrophy and frailty. Cachexia occurs in roughly half of all cancer patients, and in up to 80% of patients with advanced disease. Cachexia independently worsens patient prognosis, lowers treatment efficacy, increases hospitalization cost and length of stay, and accounts for 20-30% of cancer-related deaths. There are no effective treatments. Our findings suggest several substrate shuttles among liver, skeletal muscle and tumour contribute to metabolic disruption and weight loss in cancer cachexia. Identifying therapies that normalize dysregulated substrate shuttling among energy-regulating tissues may protect against cachexia-related weight loss.
    Keywords:  Colon-26; Cori cycle; Warburg effect; energy metabolism; glucose transporter; lactate; monocarboxylate transporter
  7. Cancer Commun (Lond). 2021 Jun 18.
      Metabolic reprogramming in tumor-immune interactions is emerging as a key factor affecting pro-inflammatory carcinogenic effects and anticancer immune responses. Therefore, dysregulated metabolites and their regulators affect both cancer progression and therapeutic response. Here, we describe the molecular mechanisms through which microenvironmental, systemic, and microbial metabolites potentially influence the host immune response to mediate malignant progression and therapeutic intervention. We summarized the primary interplaying factors that constitute metabolism, immunological reactions, and cancer with a focus on mechanistic aspects. Finally, we discussed the possibility of metabolic interventions at multiple levels to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapeutic and conventional approaches for future anticancer treatments.
    Keywords:  aging; cancer; immune response; metabolism; microbes; obesity
  8. Heliyon. 2021 May;7(5): e07064
      Cancer cells are dependent on glutamine for their metabolism and growth. Despite being the most abundant amino acid in the blood, glutamine deprivation occurs in the core of the tumor rendering less access to glutamine to the nearby tumor cells. Tumor cells mostly use the glutamine for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to produce energy and the ingredients of the biomass required for the highly proliferating and metastatic ovarian cancer cells. But there is a lack of reports on the regulation of glutamine starvation on metastatic behavior and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of ovarian cancer cells. We found that glutamine starvation reduced the migration and invasion properties of the ovarian cancer cells, PA1 and SKOV3. The expression of the invasion-inducing proteins, like matrix metalloproteinases (MMP2 and MMP9), were downregulated upon glutamine starvation. MMP genes are mostly regulated by the ETS1 oncogenic transcription factor in invasive tumor cells. Here we demonstrated the significant involvement of ETS1 on EMT and invasion in glutamine-deprived cells. We have further shown that the regulation of ETS1 expression and nuclear localization upon glutamine starvation is controlled in a cell type-specific manner. In PA1 cells, glutamine-induced ETS1 over-expression is HIF1α-dependent, while in SKOV3, its translocation to the nucleus is regulated through the mTOR pathway. Considering all, our study suggests that glutamine plays a very significant role in migration and invasion in ovarian cancer cells and ETS1 plays a key role in inducing such oncogenic parameters.
    Keywords:  ETS1; Glutamine; MMP