Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: chemoresistance

9 Investigating Role of Autophagy in Cispaltin Induced Stemness and Chemoresistance in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Authors: Prajna Paramita Naik, Sujit Kumar Bhutia


Background: Regardless of the development multimodal treatment strategies, oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is often associated with a high rate of recurrence, metastasis and chemo- and radio- resistance. The present study inspected the relevance of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression as a putative stem cell compartment in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and deciphered the role of autophagy in regulating the expression of aforementioned proteins, stemness and chemoresistance. Methods: A retrospective analysis of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression with respect to the various clinicopathological factors of sixty OSCC patients were determined via immunohistochemistry. The correlation among CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression was established. Sphere formation assay, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy were conducted to elucidate the stemness and chemoresistance nature of established cisplatin-resistant oral cancer cells (FaDu). The pattern of expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 in parental (FaDu-P) and resistant FaDu cells (FaDu-CDDP-R) were investigated through fluorescence microscopy. Western blot analysis of autophagy marker proteins was performed to compare the status of autophagy in parental and resistant FaDu cell. To investigate the role of autophagy in chemoresistance and stemness, sphere formation assay, immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis was performed post transfection with siATG14 and the level of expression of autophagic proteins, mitochondrial protein and stemness-associated proteins were analyzed. The statistical analysis was performed by GraphPad Prism 4.0 software. p-value was defined as follows: not significant (n.s.): p > 0.05;*: p ≤ 0.05; **: p ≤ 0.01; ***: p ≤ 0.001; ****: p ≤ 0.0001 were considered statistically significant. Results: In OSCC, high CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression were significantly correlated with higher tumor grades and poor differentiation. However, the expression of these proteins was not related to the age and sex of OSCC patients. Moreover, the expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 were positively correlated with each other. In vitro and OSCC tissue double labeling experiment data showed that CD44+ cells were highly associated with ABCB1 and ADAM17 expression. Further, FaDu-CDDP-R cells showed higher sphere forming capacity along with increased fraction of the CD44+ population and β-catenin expression FaDu-CDDP-R cells also showed accelerated expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17. A comparatively higher autophagic flux was observed in FaDu-CDDP-R against FaDu-P cells. The expression of mitochondrial proteins was noticeably reduced in resistant cells as compared to parental cells indicating the occurrence of autophagy-mediated mitochondrial degradation in oral cancer. Moreover, inhibition of autophagy was coupled with the decreased formation of orospheres suggesting autophagy-mediated stemness in oral cancer. Blockade of autophagy was also found to induce the restoration of mitochondrial proteins in FaDu-CDDP-R cells indicating the involvement of mitophagy in chemoresistance. Furthermore, a reduced expression of CD44, ABCB1 and ADAM17 was also observed in ATG14 deficient cells FaDu-P and FaDu-CDDP-R cells. Conclusion: The CD44+ ⁄ABCB1+ ⁄ADAM17+ expression in OSCC might be associated with chemoresistance and a putative CSC compartment. Further, the present study highlights the contribution of mitophagy in chemoresistance and confirms the potential involvement of autophagic regulation in acquisition of stem-like characteristics in OSCC.

Keywords: ABCB1, ADAM17, autophagy, CD44, chemoresistance, mitophagy, OSCC, stemness

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8 Effect of Leptin Gene Methylation on Colorectal Cancer Chemoresistance

Authors: Wissem Abdaoui, Nizar M. Mhaidat, Ilhem Mokhtari, Adel Gouri


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common tumors all over the world. Obesity, considered a risk factor of CRC, is characterized by a high level of secreted cytokines from adipose tissue. Among these inflammatory molecules, leptin is considered the key mediator for CRC cancer development and progression by activation of mitogenic and anti apoptotic signaling pathways. Gene expression can be significantly modulated by alterations in DNA methylation patterns. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of leptin gene methylation on CRC prognosis and sensitivity to chemotherapy. The study involved 70 CRC tissue samples collected from King Abdullah University Hospital (KAUH) from which only 53 was analyzed because of bisulfate fragmentation and low yield of DNA extracted from FFPE tissues. A total of 22 blood samples were collected from healthy volunteers and enrolled as a control group. Leptin promoter methylation was analyzed by methylation specific PCR after bisulfate conversion. Results revealed that the incidence of leptin gene methylation was significantly higher in CRC patients in comparison to that of controls (P < 0.05). The correlation between patient’s demographics and leptin gene methylation was not significant (P < 0.05). However, a significant correlation between leptin gene methylation status and early cancer stages (I, II and III) was found in male but not in female (p < 0.05). Moreover, a significant correlation was found between leptin promoter methylation and early tumor localization T1-2 (p < 0.05). The correlation between epigenetic regulation of leptin and chemosensitivity was not significant. Taken together, these results suggest the possibility to use leptin gene methylation as a biomarker for the evaluation of CRC prognosis and metastasis.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, obesity, leptin, DNA methylation, disease prognosis, bisulfate conversion, chemoresistance

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7 COX-2 Inhibitor NS398 Counteracts Chemoresistance to Temozolomide in T98G Glioblastoma Cell Line

Authors: Francesca Lombardi, Francesca Rosaria Augello, Benedetta Cinque, Maria Grazia Cifone, Paola Palumbo


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a high-grade primary brain tumor refractory to current forms of treatment. The survival benefits of patients with GBM remain unsatisfactory due to the intrinsic or acquired resistance to temozolomide (TMZ), an alkylating agent, used as the first-line chemotherapeutic drug to treat GBM patients. Its cytotoxic effect is visualized by the induction of O6-methylguanine (O6MeG) within DNA. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an inflammation-associated enzyme, has been implicated in tumorigenesis and progression of GBM, its inhibition shows anticancer activities. In the present study, it was verified if the combination of a COX-2 selective inhibitor, NS398, with TMZ could counteract the TMZ resistance. In particular, the effect of NS398 mixed with TMZ was investigated in the GBM TMZ-resistant cell line, T98G. Cells were pretreated with NS398 (100µM, 24 hours) and then exposed to TMZ alone (200µM), NS398 alone, or both for 72 hours, after which cell growth rate and cycle phases, as well as apoptosis level, were evaluated. Coadministration of NS398 and TMZ caused a significant decrease in cell growth and a progressive increase of dead cells detected by trypan blue staining. Moreover, a significant level of apoptotic cell percentage and alteration of cell cycle phases were observed in T98G treated with TMZ-NS398 combination when compared to untreated cells or TMZ-treated cells. TMZ-resistant tumors, as GBM, express elevated levels of DNA repair enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT). The mixture drastically reduced MGMT expression in the TMZ-resistant cell line T98G, known to express high levels of MGMT basically. Moreover, while TMZ alone did not influence the COX-2 protein expression, the combination successfully reduced it. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that NS398 enhanced the efficacy of TMZ through cell number reduction, apoptosis induction, and decreased MGMT levels, suggesting the ability of drug combination to reduce the chemoresistance. This drug combination deserves attention and could be considered as a promising therapeutic strategy for GBM patients.

Keywords: COX-2, COX-2 inhibitor, glioblastoma, NS398, T98G, temozolomide

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6 miR-200c as a Biomarker for 5-FU Chemosensitivity in Colorectal Cancer

Authors: Rezvan Najafi, Korosh Heydari, Massoud Saidijam


5-FU is a chemotherapeutic agent that has been used in colorectal cancer (CRC) treatment. However, it is usually associated with the acquired resistance, which decreases the therapeutic effects of 5-FU. miR-200c is involved in chemotherapeutic drug resistance, but its mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, the effect of inhibition of miR-200c in sensitivity of HCT-116 CRC cells to 5-FU was evaluated. HCT-116 cells were transfected with LNA-anti- miR-200c for 48 h. mRNA expression of miR-200c was evaluated using quantitative real- time PCR. The protein expression of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and E-cadherin were analyzed by western blotting. Annexin V and propidium iodide staining assay were applied for apoptosis detection. The caspase-3 activation was evaluated by an enzymatic assay. The results showed LNA-anti-miR-200c inhibited the expression of PTEN and E-cadherin protein, apoptosis and activation of caspase 3 compared with control cells. In conclusion, these results suggest that miR-200c as a prognostic marker can overcome to 5-FU chemoresistance in CRC.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, miR-200c, 5-FU resistance, E-cadherin, PTEN

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5 Synergistic Cytotoxicity of Cisplatin and Taxol in Overcoming Taxol Resistance through the Inhibition of LDHA in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Authors: Lin Feng, Ling-Ling E., Hong-Chen Liu


The development of chemoresistance in patients represents a major challenge in cancer treatment. Lactate dehydrogenase‑A (LDHA) is one of the principle isoforms of LDH that is expressed in breast tissue, controlling the conversion of pyruvate to lactate and also playing a significant role in the metabolism of glucose. The aim of this study was to identify whether LDHA was involved in oral cancer cell resistance to Taxol and whether the downregulation of LDHA, as a result of cisplatin treatment, may overcome Taxol resistance in human oral squamous cells. The OECM‑1 oral epidermal carcinoma cell line was used, which has been widely used as a model of oral cancer in previous studies. The role of LDHA in Taxol and cisplatin resistance was investigated and the synergistic cytotoxicity of cisplatin and/or Taxol in oral squamous cells was analyzed. Cell viability was analyzed by MTT assay, LDHA expression was analyzed by western blot analysis and siRNA transfection was performed to knock down LDHA expression. The present study results showed that decreased levels of LDHA were responsible for the resistance of oral cancer cells to cisplatin (CDDP). CDDP treatments downregulated LDHA expression and lower levels of LDHA were detected in the CDDP‑resistant oral cancer cells compared with the CDDP‑sensitive cells. By contrast, the Taxol‑resistant cancer cells showed elevated LDHA expression levels. In addition, small interfering RNA‑knockdown of LDHA sensitized the cells to Taxol but desensitized them to CDDP treatment while exogenous expression of LDHA sensitized the cells to CDDP, but desensitized them to Taxol. The present study also revealed the synergistic cytotoxicity of CDDP and Taxol for killing oral cancer cells through the inhibition of LDHA. This study highlights LDHA as a novel therapeutic target for overcoming Taxol resistance in oral cancer patients using the combined treatments of Taxol and CDDP.

Keywords: cisplatin, Taxol, carcinoma, oral squamous cells

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4 Targeting Glucocorticoid Receptor Eliminate Dormant Chemoresistant Cancer Stem Cells in Glioblastoma

Authors: Aoxue Yang, Weili Tian, Yonghe Wu, Haikun Liu


Brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs) are resistant to therapy and give rise to recurrent tumors. These rare and elusive cells are likely to disseminate during cancer progression, and some may enter dormancy, remaining viable but not increasing. The identification of dormant BTSCs is thus necessary to design effective therapies for glioblastoma (GBM) patients. Little progress has been made in therapeutic treatment of glioblastoma in the last decade despite rapid progress in molecular understanding of brain tumors1. Here we show that the stress hormone glucocorticoid is essential for the maintenance of brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs), which are resistant to conventional therapy. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) regulates metabolic plasticity and chemoresistance of the dormant BTSC via controlling expression of GPD1 (glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase 1), which is an essential regulator of lipid metabolism in BTSCs. Genomic, lipidomic and cellular analysis confirm that GR/GPD1 regulation is essential for BTSCs metabolic plasticity and survival. We further demonstrate that the GR agonist dexamethasone (DEXA), which is commonly used to control edema in glioblastoma, abolishes the effect of chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ) by upregulating GPD1 and thus promoting tumor cell dormancy in vivo, this provides a mechanistic explanation and thus settle the long-standing debate of usage of steroid in brain tumor patient edema control. Pharmacological inhibition of GR/GPD1 pathway disrupts metabolic plasticity of BTSCs and prolong animal survival, which is superior to standard chemotherapy. Patient case study shows that GR antagonist mifepristone blocks tumor progression and leads to symptomatic improvement. This study identifies an important mechanism regulating cancer stem cell dormancy and provides a new opportunity for glioblastoma treatment.

Keywords: cancer stem cell, dormancy, glioblastoma, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase 1, glucocorticoid receptor, dexamethasone, RNA-sequencing, phosphoglycerides.

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3 Evaluation of Important Transcription Factors and Kinases in Regulating the Signaling Pathways of Cancer Stem Cells With Low and High Proliferation Rate Derived From Colorectal Cancer

Authors: Mohammad Hossein Habibi, Atena Sadat Hosseini


Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. Colorectal cancer screening, early detection, and treatment programs could benefit from the most up-to-date information on the disease's burden, given the present worldwide trend of increasing colorectal cancer incidence. Tumor recurrence and resistance are exacerbated by the presence of chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cells that can generate rapidly proliferating tumor cells. In addition, tumor cells can evolve chemoresistance through adaptation mechanisms. In this work, we used in silico analysis to select suitable GEO datasets. In this study, we compared slow-growing cancer stem cells with high-growth colorectal cancer-derived cancer stem cells. We then evaluated the signal pathways, transcription factors, and kinases associated with these two types of cancer stem cells. A total of 980 upregulated genes and 870 downregulated genes were clustered. MAPK signaling pathway, AGE-RAGE signaling pathway in diabetic complications, Fc gamma R-mediated phagocytosis, and Steroid biosynthesis signaling pathways were observed in upregulated genes. Also, caffeine metabolism, amino sugar and nucleotide sugar metabolism, TNF signaling pathway, and cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway were involved in downregulated genes. In the next step, we evaluated the best transcription factors and kinases in two types of cancer stem cells. In this regard, NR2F2, ZEB2, HEY1, and HDGF as transcription factors and PRDM5, SMAD, CBP, and KDM2B as critical kinases in upregulated genes. On the other hand, IRF1, SPDEF, NCOA1, and STAT1 transcription factors and CTNNB1 and CDH7 kinases were regulated low expression genes. Using bioinformatics analysis in the present study, we conducted an in-depth study of colorectal cancer stem cells at low and high growth rates so that we could take further steps to detect and even target these cells. Naturally, more additional tests are needed in this direction.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, bioinformatics analysis, transcription factor, kinases, cancer stem cells

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2 In vitro Establishment and Characterization of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Derived Cancer Stem-Like Cells

Authors: Varsha Salian, Shama Rao, N. Narendra, B. Mohana Kumar


Evolving evidence proposes the existence of a highly tumorigenic subpopulation of undifferentiated, self-renewing cancer stem cells, responsible for exhibiting resistance to conventional anti-cancer therapy, recurrence, metastasis and heterogeneous tumor formation. Importantly, the mechanisms exploited by cancer stem cells to resist chemotherapy are very less understood. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is one of the most regularly diagnosed cancer types in India and is associated commonly with alcohol and tobacco use. Therefore, the isolation and in vitro characterization of cancer stem-like cells from patients with OSCC is a critical step to advance the understanding of the chemoresistance processes and for designing therapeutic strategies. With this, the present study aimed to establish and characterize cancer stem-like cells in vitro from OSCC. The primary cultures of cancer stem-like cell lines were established from the tissue biopsies of patients with clinical evidence of an ulceroproliferative lesion and histopathological confirmation of OSCC. The viability of cells assessed by trypan blue exclusion assay showed more than 95% at passage 1 (P1), P2 and P3. Replication rate was performed by plating cells in 12-well plate and counting them at various time points of culture. Cells had a more marked proliferative activity and the average doubling time was less than 20 hrs. After being cultured for 10 to 14 days, cancer stem-like cells gradually aggregated and formed sphere-like bodies. More spheroid bodies were observed when cultured in DMEM/F-12 under low serum conditions. Interestingly, cells with higher proliferative activity had a tendency to form more sphere-like bodies. Expression of specific markers, including membrane proteins or cell enzymes, such as CD24, CD29, CD44, CD133, and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) is being explored for further characterization of cancer stem-like cells. To summarize the findings, the establishment of OSCC derived cancer stem-like cells may provide scope for better understanding the cause for recurrence and metastasis in oral epithelial malignancies. Particularly, identification and characterization studies on cancer stem-like cells in Indian population seem to be lacking thus provoking the need for such studies in a population where alcohol consumption and tobacco chewing are major risk habits.

Keywords: cancer stem-like cells, characterization, in vitro, oral squamous cell carcinoma

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1 Constitutive Androstane Receptor (CAR) Inhibitor CINPA1 as a Tool to Understand CAR Structure and Function

Authors: Milu T. Cherian, Sergio C. Chai, Morgan A. Casal, Taosheng Chen


This study aims to use CINPA1, a recently discovered small-molecule inhibitor of the xenobiotic receptor CAR (constitutive androstane receptor) for understanding the binding modes of CAR and to guide CAR-mediated gene expression profiling studies in human primary hepatocytes. CAR and PXR are xenobiotic sensors that respond to drugs and endobiotics by modulating the expression of metabolic genes that enhance detoxification and elimination. Elevated levels of drug metabolizing enzymes and efflux transporters resulting from CAR activation promote the elimination of chemotherapeutic agents leading to reduced therapeutic effectiveness. Multidrug resistance in tumors after chemotherapy could be associated with errant CAR activity, as shown in the case of neuroblastoma. CAR inhibitors used in combination with existing chemotherapeutics could be utilized to attenuate multidrug resistance and resensitize chemo-resistant cancer cells. CAR and PXR have many overlapping modulating ligands as well as many overlapping target genes which confounded attempts to understand and regulate receptor-specific activity. Through a directed screening approach we previously identified a new CAR inhibitor, CINPA1, which is novel in its ability to inhibit CAR function without activating PXR. The cellular mechanisms by which CINPA1 inhibits CAR function were also extensively examined along with its pharmacokinetic properties. CINPA1 binding was shown to change CAR-coregulator interactions as well as modify CAR recruitment at DNA response elements of regulated genes. CINPA1 was shown to be broken down in the liver to form two, mostly inactive, metabolites. The structure-activity differences of CINPA1 and its metabolites were used to guide computational modeling using the CAR-LBD structure. To rationalize how ligand binding may lead to different CAR pharmacology, an analysis of the docked poses of human CAR bound to CITCO (a CAR activator) vs. CINPA1 or the metabolites was conducted. From our modeling, strong hydrogen bonding of CINPA1 with N165 and H203 in the CAR-LBD was predicted. These residues were validated to be important for CINPA1 binding using single amino-acid CAR mutants in a CAR-mediated functional reporter assay. Also predicted were residues making key hydrophobic interactions with CINPA1 but not the inactive metabolites. Some of these hydrophobic amino acids were also identified and additionally, the differential coregulator interactions of these mutants were determined in mammalian two-hybrid systems. CINPA1 represents an excellent starting point for future optimization into highly relevant probe molecules to study the function of the CAR receptor in normal- and pathophysiology, and possible development of therapeutics (for e.g. use for resensitizing chemoresistant neuroblastoma cells).

Keywords: antagonist, chemoresistance, constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), multi-drug resistance, structure activity relationship (SAR), xenobiotic resistance

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