Metabolomic profiling of drug responses in acute myeloid leukaemia cell lines.
ABSTRACT: Combined bezafibrate (BEZ) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) exert unexpected antileukaemic activities against acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and these activities are associated with the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the tumor cells. Although the generation of ROS by these drugs is supported by preceding studies including our own, the interrelationship between the cellular effects of the drugs and ROS generation is not well understood. Here we report the use of NMR metabolomic profiling to further study the effect of BEZ and MPA on three AML cell lines and to shed light on the underlying mechanism of action. For this we focused on drug effects induced during the initial 24 hours of treatment prior to the onset of overt cellular responses and examined these in the context of basal differences in metabolic profiles between the cell lines. Despite their ultimately profound cellular effects, the early changes in metabolic profiles engendered by these drugs were less pronounced than the constitutive metabolic differences between cell types. Nonetheless, drug treatments engendered common metabolic changes, most markedly in the response to the combination of BEZ and MPA. These responses included changes to TCA cycle intermediates consistent with recently identified chemical actions of ROS. Notable amongst these was the conversion of alpha-ketoglutarate to succinate which was recapitulated by the treatment of cell extracts with exogenous hydrogen peroxide. These findings indicate that the actions of combined BEZ and MPA against AML cells are indeed mediated downstream of the generation of ROS rather than some hitherto unsuspected mechanism. Moreover, our findings demonstrate that metabolite profiles represent highly sensitive markers for genomic differences between cells and their responses to external stimuli. This opens new perspectives to use metabolic profiling as a tool to study the rational redeployment of drugs in new disease settings.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The majority of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients are over sixty years of age. With current treatment regimens, survival rates amongst these, and also those younger patients who relapse, remain dismal and novel therapies are urgently required. In particular, therapies that have anti-leukaemic activity but that, unlike conventional chemotherapy, do not impair normal haemopoiesis. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we demonstrate the potent anti-leukaemic activity of the combination of the lipid-regulating drug bezafibrate (BEZ) and the sex hormone medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) against AML cell lines and primary AML cells. The combined activity of BEZ and MPA (B/M) converged upon the increased synthesis and reduced metabolism of prostaglandin D(2) (PGD(2)) resulting in elevated levels of the downstream highly bioactive, anti-neoplastic prostaglandin 15-deoxy Delta(12,14) PGJ(2) (15d-PGJ(2)). BEZ increased PGD(2) synthesis via the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of the lipid peroxidation pathway. MPA directed prostaglandin synthesis towards 15d-PGJ(2) by inhibiting the PGD(2) 11beta -ketoreductase activity of the aldo-keto reductase AKR1C3, which metabolises PGD(2) to 9alpha11beta-PGF(2alpha). B/M treatment resulted in growth arrest, apoptosis and cell differentiation in both AML cell lines and primary AML cells and these actions were recapitulated by treatment with 15d-PGJ(2). Importantly, the actions of B/M had little effect on the survival of normal adult myeloid progenitors. SIGNIFICANCE: Collectively our data demonstrate that B/M treatment of AML cells elevated ROS and delivered the anti-neoplastic actions of 15d-PGJ(2). These observations provide the mechanistic rationale for the redeployment of B/M in elderly and relapsed AML.
Project description:We previously reported the safety and efficacy of low dose BaP [Bezafibrate (Bez) and Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA)] in 20 acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients for whom chemotherapy was not an option. This study provided evidence that BaP had anti-AML activity and improved haemopoiesis; absence of haematological toxicity allowed continuous daily administration. Similarly a previous trial in endemic Burkitt lymphoma demonstrated anti-B cell lymphoma activity of low and high dose BaP again in the absence of toxicity. We conducted a study to further evaluate the safety and activity of high dose BaP therapy in adults with AML (and high risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (BHNL). Eighteen patients were recruited to the study over 20 months, 16 AML/MDS, 1 CLL, and 1 BNHL. Although MPA was well tolerated throughout the study, only 2 patients were able to tolerate Bez treatment for their whole trial duration, indicating that Bez escalation is not feasible in the setting of adult AML/MDS. Thus there has been no obvious benefit in improved haemopoiesis or overt anti-leukaemia activity from the attempts to escalate BaP dose over previous published studies. Since current therapeutic options in MDS are restricted it may be now of value to continue to evaluate low dose BaP based approaches in low risk MDS rather than AML/high risk MDS. Furthermore, screening of low dose BaP against libraries of other already available dugs may identify an addition to BaP that augments the anti-neoplastic efficacy without significant toxicity.
Project description:The antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins play critical roles in resistance to chemotherapy in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The Bcl-2-selective inhibitor ABT-199 (Venetoclax) shows promising antileukaemic activity against AML, though Mcl-1 limits its antileukaemic activity. XPO1 is a nuclear exporter overexpressed in AML cells and its inhibition decreases Mcl-1 levels in cancer cells. Thus, we hypothesized that the XPO1-selective inhibitor KPT-330 (Selinexor) can synergize with ABT-199 to induce apoptosis in AML cells through down-regulation of Mcl-1. The combination of KPT-330 and ABT-199 was found to synergistically induce apoptosis in AML cell lines and primary patient samples and cooperatively inhibit colony formation capacity of primary AML cells. KPT-330 treatment decreased Mcl-1 protein after apoptosis initiation. However, binding of Bim to Mcl-1 induced by ABT-199 was abrogated by KPT-330 at the same time as apoptosis initiation. KPT-330 treatment increased binding of Bcl-2 to Bim but was overcome by ABT-199 treatment, demonstrating that KPT-330 and ABT-199 reciprocally overcome apoptosis resistance. Mcl-1 knockdown and overexpression confirmed its critical role in the antileukaemic activity of the combination. In summary, KPT-330 treatment, alone and in combination with ABT-199, modulates Mcl-1, which plays an important role in the antileukaemic activity of the combination.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite great efforts to identify druggable molecular targets for AML, there remains an unmet need for more effective therapies. METHODS:An in silico screening was performed using Connectivity Maps to identify FDA-approved drugs that may revert an early leukaemic transformation gene signature. Hit compounds were validated in AML cell lines. Cytotoxic effects were assessed both in primary AML patient samples and healthy donor blood cells. Xenotransplantation assays were undertaken to determine the effect on engraftment of hit compounds. The mechanism of action responsible for the antileukaemic effect was studied focussing on lysosomes and mitochondria. FINDINGS:We identified a group of antihistamines (termed ANHAs) with distinct physicochemical properties associated with their cationic-amphiphilic nature, that selectively killed leukaemic cells. ANHAs behaved as antileukaemic agents against primary AML samples ex vivo, sparing healthy cells. Moreover, ANHAs severely impaired the in vivo leukaemia regeneration capacity. ANHAs' cytotoxicity relied on simultaneous mitochondrial and lysosomal disruption and induction of autophagy and apoptosis. The pharmacological effect was exerted based on their physicochemical properties that permitted the passive targeting of both organelles, without the involvement of active molecular recognition. INTERPRETATION:Dual targeting of lysosomes and mitochondria constitutes a new promising therapeutic approach for leukaemia treatment, supporting the further clinical development. FUND: This work was funded by the Fundación Mutua Madrileña (RMR), CaixaImpulse (RMR), the Spanish Ministry of Economy (RMR), the Josep Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation (RMR), l'Obra Social "La Caixa" (RMR), and Generalitat de Catalunya (IJC).
Project description:Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells possess metabolism profiles, such as higher rates of oxidative phosphorylation and dependence on fatty acid oxidation for survival, and are dependent on the sophisticated regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation for survival, drug resistance and stemness maintenance. We found that sensitivity of primary AML cells to cytarabine correlated with SOD2 acetylation and the ability of the drug to induce mitochondrial ROS. The SOD2 deacetylase, SIRT3, protected AML cells from chemotherapy as shown by inhibited apoptosis via inhibited drug-induced production of mitochondrial ROS. SIRT3 significantly decreased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP)/reduced NADP ratio and increased reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio. Furthermore, SIRT3 enhanced oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) in AML cells under both basic and cytarabine-treated conditions. A xenograft mouse model showed that SIRT3 overexpressing AML cells and patient-derived xenograft mice bearing high SIRT3 deacetylase activity were more resistant to chemotherapy in vivo. SIRT3 inhibitor displayed synergy with cytarabine to ablate AML cells in vitro and in mouse models. Taken together, our study showed that SIRT3 is capable of reprograming mitochondrial metabolism towards OxPhos and downregulating ROS generation, which contribute to the chemoresistance of AML cells. SIRT3 can be utilized as a potential therapeutic target to improve the anti-leukaemic efficacy of standard chemotherapeutic agents for AML.
Project description:Recently, we have shown that Bezafibrate (BEZ), the pan-PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) activator, ameliorated diabetes in insulin deficient streptozotocin treated diabetic mice. In order to study whether BEZ can also improve glucose metabolism in a mouse model for fatty liver and type 2 diabetes, the drug was applied to TallyHo mice.TallyHo mice were divided into an early (ED) and late (LD) diabetes progression group and both groups were treated with 0.5% BEZ (BEZ group) or standard diet (SD group) for 8 weeks. We analyzed plasma parameters, pancreatic beta-cell morphology, and mass as well as glucose metabolism of the BEZ-treated and control mice. Furthermore, liver fat content and composition as well as hepatic gluconeogenesis and mitochondrial mass were determined.Plasma lipid and glucose levels were markedly reduced upon BEZ treatment, which was accompanied by elevated insulin sensitivity index as well as glucose tolerance, respectively. BEZ increased islet area in the pancreas. Furthermore, BEZ treatment improved energy expenditure and metabolic flexibility. In the liver, BEZ ameliorated steatosis, modified lipid composition and increased mitochondrial mass, which was accompanied by reduced hepatic gluconeogenesis.Our data showed that BEZ ameliorates diabetes probably via reduced steatosis, enhanced hepatic mitochondrial mass, improved metabolic flexibility and elevated hepatic insulin sensitivity in TallyHo mice, suggesting that BEZ treatment could be beneficial for patients with NAFLD and impaired glucose metabolism.
Project description:Macroautophagy/autophagy, a pathway by which cellular components are sequestered and degraded in response to homeostatic and cell stress-related signals, is required to preserve hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell function. Loss of chromosomal regions carrying autophagy genes and decreased autophagy gene expression are characteristic of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Deficiency of autophagy proteins is also linked to an altered AML metabolic profile; altered metabolism has recently emerged as a potential druggable target in AML. Here, we sought to understand the mitochondria-specific changes that occur in leukemia cells after knockdown of BNIP3L/Nix or SQSTM1/p62, which are two autophagy genes involved in mitochondrial clearance and are downregulated in primary AML cells. Mitochondrial function, as measured by changes in endogenous levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial membrane potential, was altered in leukemia cells deficient in these autophagy genes. Further, these AML cells were increasingly sensitive to mitochondria-targeting drugs while displaying little change in sensitivity to DNA-targeting agents. These findings suggest that BNIP3L or SQSTM1 may be useful prognostic markers to identify AML patients suitable for mitochondria-targeted therapies. Abbreviations: AML: acute myeloid leukemia; DHE: dihydroethidium; mtDNA: mitochondrial DNA; NAO: 10-N-nonyl acridine orange; PD: population doubling; R123: rhodamine 123; ROS: reactive oxygen species; TRC: transduced scramble controls.
Project description:All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) is a physiologically active metabolite of vitamin A. Its antitumour activities have been extensively studied in a variety of model systems and clinical trials; however, to date the only malignancy responsive to ATRA treatment is acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) where it induces complete remission in the majority of cases when administered in combination with light chemotherapy and/or arsenic trioxide. After decades of studies, the efficacy of ATRA to treat other acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) subtypes and solid tumours remains poor. Recent studies directed to improve ATRA responsiveness in non-APL AML seem to indicate that the lack of effective ATRA response in these tumours may be primarily due to aberrant epigenetics, which negatively affect ATRA-regulated gene expression and its antileukaemic activity. Epigenetic reprogramming could potentially restore therapeutic effects of ATRA in all AML subtypes. This review discusses the current progresses in the understanding how ATRA can be utilised in the therapy of non-APL AML and other cancers.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play major roles in cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. It is evident from growing reports that PI3K/Akt/mTOR and Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathways are aberrantly reactivated in pancreatic CSCs. Here, we examined the efficacy of combining NVP-LDE-225 (PI3K/mTOR inhibitor) and NVP-BEZ-235 (Smoothened inhibitor) on pancreatic CSCs characteristics, microRNA regulatory network, and tumor growth. NVP-LDE-225 co-operated with NVP-BEZ-235 in inhibiting pancreatic CSC's characteristics and tumor growth in mice by acting at the level of Gli. Combination of NVP-LDE-225 and NVP-BEZ-235 inhibited self-renewal capacity of CSCs by suppressing the expression of pluripotency maintaining factors Nanog, Oct-4, Sox-2 and c-Myc, and transcription of Gli. NVP-LDE-225 co-operated with NVP-BEZ-235 to inhibit Lin28/Let7a/Kras axis in pancreatic CSCs. Furthermore, a superior interaction of these drugs was observed on spheroid formation by pancreatic CSCs isolated from Pankras/p53 mice. The combination of these drugs also showed superior effects on the expression of proteins involved in cell proliferation, survival and apoptosis. In addition, NVP-LDE-225 co-operated with NVP-BEZ-235 in inhibiting EMT through modulation of cadherin, vimentin and transcription factors Snail, Slug and Zeb1. In conclusion, these data suggest that the combined inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR and Shh pathways may be beneficial for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Project description:In acute myeloid leukemia (AML) quiescence and low oxidative state, linked to BCL2 mitochondrial regulation, endow leukemic stem cells (LSC) with treatment-resistance. LSC in CD34+ and more mature CD34- AML have heterogeneous immunophenotypes overlapping with normal stem/progenitor cells (SPC) but may be differentiated by functional markers. We therefore investigated the oxidative/reactive oxygen species (ROS) profile, its relationship with cell-cycle/BCL2 for normal SPC, and whether altered in AML and myelodysplasia (MDS). In control BM (n = 24), ROS levels were highest in granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GMP) and CD34- myeloid precursors but megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors had equivalent levels to CD34+CD38low immature-SPC although they were ki67high. BCL2 upregulation was specific to GMPs. This profile was also observed for CD34+SPC in MDS-without-excess-blasts (MDS-noEB, n = 12). Erythroid CD34- precursors were, however, abnormally ROS-high in MDS-noEB, potentially linking oxidative stress to cell loss. In pre-treatment AML (n = 93) and MDS-with-excess-blasts (MDS-RAEB) (n = 14), immunophenotypic mature-SPC had similar ROS levels to co-existing immature-SPC. However ROS levels varied between AMLs; Flt3ITD+/NPM1wild-type CD34+SPC had higher ROS than NPM1mutated CD34+ or CD34- SPC. An aberrant ki67lowBCL2high immunophenotype was observed in CD34+AML (most prominent in Flt3ITD AMLs) but also in CD34- AMLs and MDS-RAEB, suggesting a shared redox/pro-survival adaptation. Some patients had BCL2 overexpression in CD34+ ROS-high as well as ROS-low fractions which may be indicative of poor early response to standard chemotherapy. Thus normal SPC subsets have distinct ROS, cell-cycle, BCL2 profiles that in AML /MDS-RAEB are decoupled from maturation. The combined profile of these functional properties in AML subpopulations may be relevant to differential treatment resistance.