Doctor of Philosophy, Universita Degli Studi Di Roma (2004)
Amato Giaccia, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Although the only effective drug against primary hepatocarcinoma, the multikinase inhibitor Sorafenib (SFB) usually fails to eradicate liver cancer. Since SFB targets mitochondria, cell metabolic reprogramming may underlie intrinsic tumor resistance. To characterize cancer cell metabolic response to SFB, we measured oxygen consumption, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ATP content in rat LCSC (Liver Cancer Stem Cells) -2 cells exposed to the drug. Genome wide analysis of gene expression was performed by Affymetrix technology. SFB cytotoxicity was evaluated by multiple assays in the presence or absence of metabolic inhibitors, or in cells genetically depleted of mitochondria. We found that low concentrations (2.5-5 μM) of SFB had a relatively modest effect on LCSC-2 or 293 T cell growth, but damaged mitochondria and increased intracellular ROS. Gene expression profiling of SFB-treated cells was consistent with a shift toward aerobic glycolysis and, accordingly, SFB cytotoxicity was dramatically increased by glucose withdrawal or the glycolytic inhibitor 2-DG. Under metabolic stress, activation of the AMP dependent Protein Kinase (AMPK), but not ROS blockade, protected cells from death. We conclude that mitochondrial damage and ROS drive cell killing by SFB, while glycolytic cell reprogramming may represent a resistance strategy potentially targetable by combination therapies.
View details for DOI 10.1038/srep09149
View details for Web of Science ID 000351228200001
View details for PubMedID 25779766
The induction of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) is essential for the adaptation of tumor cells to a low-oxygen environment. We found that the expression of the apoptosis inhibitor ARC (apoptosis repressor with a CARD domain) was induced by hypoxia in a variety of cancer cell types, and its induction is primarily HIF1 dependent. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and reporter assays also indicate that the ARC gene is regulated by direct binding of HIF1 to a hypoxia response element (HRE) located at bp -190 upstream of the transcription start site. HIFs play an essential role in the pathogenesis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) under normoxic conditions, through the loss of the Von Hippel-Lindau gene (VHL). Accordingly, our results show that ARC is not expressed in normal renal tissue but is highly expressed in 65% of RCC tumors, which also express high levels of carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), a HIF1-dependent protein. Compared to controls, ARC-deficient RCCs exhibited decreased colony formation and increased apoptosis in vitro. In addition, loss of ARC resulted in a dramatic reduction of RCC tumor growth in SCID mice in vivo. Thus, HIF-mediated increased expression of ARC in RCC can explain how loss of VHL can promote survival early in tumor formation.
View details for DOI 10.1128/MCB.00644-12
View details for Web of Science ID 000330583000014
View details for PubMedID 24344197