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Free access

Maria Denaro, Clara Ugolini, Anello Marcello Poma, Nicla Borrelli, Gabriele Materazzi, Paolo Piaggi, Massimo Chiarugi, Paolo Miccoli, Paolo Vitti and Fulvio Basolo

Noninvasive encapsulated follicular variants of papillary thyroid carcinomas have been recently reclassified as noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasms with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTPs). NIFTPs exhibit a behavior that is very close to that of follicular adenomas but different from the infiltrative and invasive follicular variants of papillary thyroid carcinomas (FVPTCs). The importance of miRNAs to carcinogenesis has been reported in recent years. miRNAs seem to be promising diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers for thyroid cancer, and the combination of miRNA expression and mutational status might improve cytological diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the miRNA expression profile in wild-type, RAS - or BRAF-mutated NIFTPs, infiltrative and invasive FVPTCs, and follicular adenomas using the nCounter miRNA Expression assay (NanoString Technologies). To identify the significant Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) molecular pathways associated with deregulated miRNAs, we used the union of pathways option in DNA Intelligent Analysis (DIANA) miRPath software. We have shown that the miRNA expression profiles of wild-type and mutated NIFTPs could be different. The expression profile of wild-type NIFTPs seems comparable to that of follicular adenomas, whereas mutated NIFTPs have an expression profile similar to that of infiltrative and invasive FVPTCs. The upregulation of 4 miRNAs (miR-221-5p, miR-221-3p, miR-222-3p, miR-146b-5p) and the downregulation of 8 miRNAs (miR-181a-3p, miR-28-5p, miR-363-3p, miR-342-3p, miR-1285-5p, miR-152-3p, miR-25-3p, miR-30e-3) in mutated NIFTPs compared to wild-type ones suggest a potential invasive-like phenotype by deregulating the specific pathways involved in cell adhesion and cell migration (Hippo signaling pathway, ECM-receptor interaction, adherens junction, regulation of actin cytoskeleton, fatty acid biosynthesis and metabolism).

Open access

Lingqin Yuan, Xiugui Sheng, Adam K Willson, Dario R Roque, Jessica E Stine, Hui Guo, Hannah M Jones, Chunxiao Zhou and Victoria L Bae-Jump

Glutamine is one of the main nutrients used by tumor cells for biosynthesis. Therefore, targeted inhibition of glutamine metabolism may have anti-tumorigenic implications. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of glutamine on ovarian cancer cell growth. Three ovarian cancer cell lines, HEY, SKOV3, and IGROV-1, were assayed for glutamine dependence by analyzing cytotoxicity, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, cell stress, and glucose/glutamine metabolism. Our results revealed that administration of glutamine increased cell proliferation in all three ovarian cancer cell lines in a dose dependent manner. Depletion of glutamine induced reactive oxygen species and expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress proteins. In addition, glutamine increased the activity of glutaminase (GLS) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) by modulating the mTOR/S6 and MAPK pathways. Inhibition of mTOR activity by rapamycin or blocking S6 expression by siRNA inhibited GDH and GLS activity, leading to a decrease in glutamine-induced cell proliferation. These studies suggest that targeting glutamine metabolism may be a promising therapeutic strategy in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Free access

Sewha Kim, Do Hee Kim, Woo-Hee Jung and Ja Seung Koo

The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of glutamine metabolism-related proteins to determine whether glutamine is metabolized differently according to breast cancer molecular subtype. We generated a tissue microarray of 702 breast cancer patients and performed immunohistochemical staining for glutamine metabolism-related proteins, including glutaminase 1 (GLS1 (GLS)), glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH (H6PD)), and amino acid transporter-2 (ASCT2 (SLC1A5)), which were separately evaluated in tumor and stroma compartments and then analyzed by breast cancer molecular subtypes. Breast cancers were classified as follows: 293 luminal A (41.7%), 166 luminal B (23.6%), 67 HER2 type (9.6%), and 176 TNBC (25.1%). HER2 type showed the highest stromal GLS1 (P=0.001), tumoral GDH (P=0.001), stromal GDH (P<0.001), and tumoral ASCT (P<0.001) expression. We identified differential expression of glutamine metabolism-related proteins according to molecular subtype of breast cancer. The highest glutamine metabolic activity was seen in HER2-type breast cancer.

Free access

Wei Wang, Takeshi Yuasa, Norihiko Tsuchiya, Shinya Maita, Teruaki Kumazawa, Takamitsu Inoue, Mitsuru Saito, Zhiyong Ma, Takashi Obara, Hiroshi Tsuruta, Shigeru Satoh and Tomonori Habuchi

Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) of patients with prostate cancer (PCa) is known to reduce bone mineral density (BMD). However, the most studies examined Caucasian or black patients and the effects of ADT on the bone metabolism of East Asians are unclear. Therefore, we performed a cross-sectional study to elucidate the influence of ADT on bone metabolism in Japanese patients. In total, 101 native Japanese patients with PCa were enrolled. They consisted of 58 ADT-treated and 43 hormone-naive patients. The BMD in the lumbar spine, total hip, and femoral neck was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and expressed in s.d. units relative to young adult men (T-score) or age-matched men (Z-score). Serum levels of bone metabolism markers were also measured. The BMDs at the three sites revealed that 2.3% (1/43) and 8.6% (5/58) of the hormone-naive and ADT-treated PCa patients had osteoporosis respectively, but this difference failed to achieve statistical significance (P=0.294). The two groups also did not differ significantly in their Z-scores of the three sites, and univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that ADT was not a significant risk factor for decreased BMD. In addition, a significant correlation between the duration of ADT and BMD was not observed for all three sites measured. However, the ADT-treated patients had significantly higher serum levels of N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) than the hormone-naive patients (P=0.017). To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the low prevalence of osteoporosis in both ADT-treated and hormone-naive Japanese PCa patients. Moreover, ADT did not significantly increase the prevalence of osteoporosis in this Japanese population.

Free access

Elena Rapizzi, Rossella Fucci, Elisa Giannoni, Letizia Canu, Susan Richter, Paolo Cirri and Massimo Mannelli

In solid tumors, neoplastic cells grow in contact with the so-called tumor microenvironment. The interaction between tumor cells and the microenvironment causes reciprocal metabolic reprogramming and favorable conditions for tumor growth and metastatic spread. To obtain an experimental model resembling the in vivo conditions of the succinate dehydrogenase B subunit (SDHB)-mutated paragangliomas (PGLs), we evaluated the effects of SDHB silencing on metabolism and proliferation in the human neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-AS), cultured alone or in association with human fibroblasts. Silencing caused a 70% decrease in protein expression, an almost complete loss of the complex specific enzymatic activity, and a significant increase in HIF1α and HIF2α expression; it thus resembled the in vivo tumor cell phenotype. When compared with WT SK-N-AS cells, SDHB-silenced cells showed an altered metabolism characterized by an unexpected significant decrease in glucose uptake and an increase in lactate uptake. Moreover, silenced cells exhibited a significant increase in cell proliferation and metalloproteinase activity. When co-cultured with human fibroblasts, control cells displayed a significant decrease in glucose uptake and a significant increase in cell proliferation as compared with their mono-cultured counterparts. These effects were even more evident in co-cultured silenced cells, with a 70% decrease in glucose uptake and a 92% increase in cell proliferation as compared to their mono-cultured counterparts. The present data indicate for the first time, to our knowledge, that SDHB impairment causes metabolic and functional derangement of neural-crest-derived tumor cells and that the microenvironment, here represented by fibroblasts, strongly affects their tumor metabolism and growth capacity.

Free access

R C Stein

The phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3-kinases) are a family of lipid kinases that have a key role in the regulation of many cellular processes including proliferation, survival, carbohydrate metabolism, and motility. There is now strong evidence that some members of the PI3-kinase family have an important role in cancer. Emerging evidence for functional specialisation of PI3-kinase isoforms suggests that isoform selective inhibitors, in contrast to the existing non-selective inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002, may prove to be useful anticancer drugs.

Free access

Massimo Mannelli, Elena Rapizzi, Rossella Fucci, Letizia Canu, Tonino Ercolino, Michaela Luconi and William F Young Jr

The discovery of SDHD as a pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma susceptibility gene was the prismatic event that led to all of the subsequent work highlighting the key roles played by mitochondria in the pathogenesis of these tumors and other solid cancers. Alterations in the function of tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes can cause accumulation of intermediate substrates and subsequent changes in cell metabolism, activation of the angiogenic pathway, increased reactive oxygen species production, DNA hypermethylation, and modification of the tumor microenvironment favoring tumor growth and aggressiveness. The elucidation of these tumorigenic mechanisms should lead to novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of the most aggressive forms of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma.

Restricted access

Lingfan Xu, Enze Ma, Tao Zeng, Ruya Zhao, Yulei Tao, Xufeng Chen, Jeff Groth, Chaozhao Liang, Hailiang Hu and Jiaoti Huang

ATM is a well-known master regulator of double strand break (DSB) DNA repair and the defective DNA repair has been therapeutically exploited to develop PARP inhibitors based on the synthetic lethality strategy. ATM mutation is found with increased prevalence in advanced metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ATM mutation-driving disease progression are still largely unknown. Here, we report that ATM mutation contributes to the CRPC progression through a metabolic rather than DNA repair mechanism. We showed that ATM deficiency generated by CRISPR/Cas9 editing promoted CRPC cell proliferation and xenograft tumor growth. ATM deficiency altered cellular metabolism and enhanced Warburg effect in CRPC cells. We demonstrated that ATM deficiency shunted the glucose flux to aerobic glycolysis by upregulating LDHA expression, which generated more lactate and produced less mitochondrial ROS to promote CRPC cell growth. Inhibition of LDHA by siRNA or inhibitor FX11 generated less lactate and accumulated more ROS in ATM-deficient CRPC cells and therefore potentiated the cell death of ATM-deficient CRPC cells. These findings suggest a new therapeutic strategy for ATM-mutant CRPC patients by targeting LDHA-mediated glycolysis metabolism, which might be effective for the PARP inhibitor resistant mCRPC tumors.

Free access

Sefirin Djiogue, Armel Hervé Nwabo Kamdje, Lorella Vecchio, Maulilio John Kipanyula, Mohammed Farahna, Yousef Aldebasi and Paul Faustin Seke Etet

Insulin, IGF1, and IGF2 are the most studied insulin-like peptides (ILPs). These are evolutionary conserved factors well known as key regulators of energy metabolism and growth, with crucial roles in insulin resistance-related metabolic disorders such as obesity, diseases like type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as associated immune deregulations. A growing body of evidence suggests that insulin and IGF1 receptors mediate their effects on regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, glucose transport, and energy metabolism by signaling downstream through insulin receptor substrate molecules and thus play a pivotal role in cell fate determination. Despite the emerging evidence from epidemiological studies on the possible relationship between insulin resistance and cancer, our understanding on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that might account for this relationship remains incompletely understood. The involvement of IGFs in carcinogenesis is attributed to their role in linking high energy intake, increased cell proliferation, and suppression of apoptosis to cancer risks, which has been proposed as the key mechanism bridging insulin resistance and cancer. The present review summarizes and discusses evidence highlighting recent advances in our understanding on the role of ILPs as the link between insulin resistance and cancer and between immune deregulation and cancer in obesity, as well as those areas where there remains a paucity of data. It is anticipated that issues discussed in this paper will also recover new therapeutic targets that can assist in diagnostic screening and novel approaches to controlling tumor development.

Free access

Fábio Pereira, María Jesús Larriba and Alberto Muñoz

The most active vitamin D metabolite, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), is a pleiotropic hormone with wide regulatory actions. Classically, vitamin D deficiency was known to alter calcium and phosphate metabolism and bone biology. In addition, recent epidemiological and experimental studies support the association of vitamin D deficiency with a large variety of human diseases, and particularly with the high risk of colorectal cancer. By regulating the expression of many genes via several mechanisms, 1,25(OH)2D3 induces differentiation, controls the detoxification metabolism and cell phenotype, sensitises cells to apoptosis and inhibits the proliferation of cultured human colon carcinoma cells. Consistently, 1,25(OH)2D3 and several of its analogues decrease intestinal tumourigenesis in animal models. Molecular, genetic and clinical data in humans are scarce but they suggest that vitamin D is protective against colon cancer. Clearly, the available evidence warrants new, well-designed, large-scale trials to clarify the role of vitamin D in the prevention and/or therapy of this important neoplasia.