Pharmacological levels of Withaferin A (Withania somnifera) trigger clinically relevant anticancer effects specific to triple negative breast cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: Withaferin A (WA) isolated from Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) has recently become an attractive phytochemical under investigation in various preclinical studies for treatment of different cancer types. In the present study, a comparative pathway-based transcriptome analysis was applied in epithelial-like MCF-7 and triple negative mesenchymal MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells exposed to different concentrations of WA which can be detected systemically in in vivo experiments. Whereas WA treatment demonstrated attenuation of multiple cancer hallmarks, the withanolide analogue Withanone (WN) did not exert any of the described effects at comparable concentrations. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that WA targets specific cancer processes related to cell death, cell cycle and proliferation, which could be functionally validated by flow cytometry and real-time cell proliferation assays. WA also strongly decreased MDA-MB-231 invasion as determined by single-cell collagen invasion assay. This was further supported by decreased gene expression of extracellular matrix-degrading proteases (uPA, PLAT, ADAM8), cell adhesion molecules (integrins, laminins), pro-inflammatory mediators of the metastasis-promoting tumor microenvironment (TNFSF12, IL6, ANGPTL2, CSF1R) and concomitant increased expression of the validated breast cancer metastasis suppressor gene (BRMS1). In line with the transcriptional changes, nanomolar concentrations of WA significantly decreased protein levels and corresponding activity of uPA in MDA-MB-231 cell supernatant, further supporting its anti-metastatic properties. Finally, hierarchical clustering analysis of 84 chromatin writer-reader-eraser enzymes revealed that WA treatment of invasive mesenchymal MDA-MB-231 cells reprogrammed their transcription levels more similarly towards the pattern observed in non-invasive MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, taking into account that sub-cytotoxic concentrations of WA target multiple metastatic effectors in therapy-resistant triple negative breast cancer, WA-based therapeutic strategies targeting the uPA pathway hold promise for further (pre)clinical development to defeat aggressive metastatic breast cancer.
Project description:Withaferin A isolated from Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) has recently become an attractive phytochemical under investigation in various preclinical studies for treatment of different cancer types. In the present study, a comparative pathway-based transcriptome analysis was applied in epithelial-like MCF-7 and triple negative mesenchymal MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells exposed to concentrations of Withaferin A (WA) which can be detected systemically in in vivo experiments. Whereas WA revealed attenuation of multiple cancer hallmarks the withanolide analogue Withanone (WN), did not exert any of the described effects in these cells at comparable concentrations. Pathway enrichment analysis identified that WA targeted relevant cancer programs related to cell death, cell cycle and proliferation, which could functionally be validated flow cytometrically and by real-time proliferation xCELLigence assay. With respect to cell motility, invasion and metastasis processes, WA was found to strongly decrease MDA-MB-231 invasion as determined by single-cell collagen invasion assay. This is further supported by gene expression changes which demonstrate increased expression of a validated breast cancer metastasis suppressor gene (BRMS1) and concomitant decreased expression of extracellular matrix-degrading proteases (PLAU, PLAT, ADAM8), cell adhesion molecules (integrins, laminins) as well as pro-inflammatory mediators of the metastasis-promoting tumor microenvironment (TNFSF12, IL6, ANGPTL2, CSF1R). Subsequent in silico network analysis listed key node transcription factors regulating these processes (p53, E2F1, CDKN2A, NRF2) and revealed the role of chromatin modifying enzymes (p300, JARID1B) as central master switches, linking multiple anticancer activities of WA. Furthermore, hierarchical clustering analysis of 84 chromatin writer-reader-eraser enzymes revealed that WA treatment of invasive mesenchymal MDA-MB-231 cells reprogrammed their transcription levels more similarly towards the pattern observed in non-invasive MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, taking in account that sub-cytotoxic concentrations of WA target multiple metastatic effectors in therapy resistant triple negative breast cancer, WA based therapeutic strategies hold promise for further (pre)clinical development to defeat aggressive metastatic breast cancer. Total RNA from 2 different cell lines treated with WA, are compared to their untreated states
Project description:Angiogenin (ANG), a 14-kDa pro-angiogenic secreted protein, has been shown to play a role in cell migration and tumor invasion, which involve proteolytic cleavage of plasminogen to generate plasmin. However, the mechanism by which ANG regulates plasmin formation and cell migration was not known. Our studies here detected elevated levels of secreted and cell surface-bound ANG in highly invasive metastatic breast cancer cells. ANG was also detected at very high levels in the tumor cells in infiltrating ductal carcinomas. By immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation analysis, ANG was detected at the leading edges of the cell surfaces where it colocalized and interacted with members of the plasminogen activation system (PAS) such as annexin A2 (A2), calpactin (S100-A10) and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). Analysis of lipid raft (LR) and non-lipid raft (NLR) regions of the cell membranes showed the predominance of ANG, A2 and S100-A10 in the LR regions. In contrast, uPAR was detected predominantly in the NLR fractions, suggesting that ANG interacts with uPAR at the junctions of LR and NLR regions. ANG knockdown in T47D and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines did not affect the cellular expression of A2, S100-A10 and uPAR but decreased cell migration and plasmin formation. Neutralization of ANG with monoclonal antibodies similarly decreased the migration of MDA-MB-231 cells. In the presence of ANG, uPAR was observed to interact with uPA, which is necessary for plasmin formation. Conversely, in the absence of ANG, uPAR did not interact with uPA and FAK and Src kinases were observed to be dephosphorylated. Exogenous addition of recombinant ANG to ANG knocked down MDA-MB-231 cells restored FAK phosphorylation, uPAR interactions with uPA, plasmin formation as well as migration of these cells. Taken together, our results identified a novel role for ANG as a member of the uPAR interactome that facilitates the interaction of uPAR with uPA, leading to plasmin formation and cell migration necessary for tumor invasion and metastasis of breast cancer cells.
Project description:The urokinase plasminogen activator and its receptor (uPA/uPAR) are biomarkers for metastasis, especially in triple-negative breast cancer. We prepared anti-mitotic N-alkylisatin (N-AI)-loaded liposomes functionalized with the uPA/uPAR targeting ligand, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2/SerpinB2), and assessed liposome uptake in vitro and in vivo. Receptor-dependent uptake of PAI-2-functionalized liposomes was significantly higher in the uPA/uPAR overexpressing MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line relative to the low uPAR/uPAR expressing MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Furthermore, N-AI cytotoxicity was enhanced in a receptor-dependent manner. In vivo, PAI-2 N-AI liposomes had a plasma half-life of 5.82 h and showed an increased accumulation at the primary tumor site in an orthotopic MDA-MB-231 BALB/c-Fox1nu/Ausb xenograft mouse model, relative to the non-functionalized liposomes, up to 6 h post-injection. These findings support the further development of N-AI-loaded PAI-2-functionalized liposomes for uPA/uPAR-positive breast cancer, especially against triple-negative breast cancer, for which the prognosis is poor and treatment is limited.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Extracellular nucleotides are released and detectable in a high concentration within the tumor microenvironment. G protein-coupled P2Y2 nucleotide receptor (P2Y2R) is activated equipotently by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and uridine 5'-triphosphate (UTP), which mediate proinflammatory responses such as cell migration and proliferation. However, the role of P2Y2R in the process of cancer metastasis remains unclear. This study aimed to determine the role of P2Y2R in the proliferation, migration and invasion of highly metastatic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells through crosstalk with endothelial cells (ECs). METHODS: ATP release and P2Y2R activity between high metastatic breast cancer cell MDA-MB-231 and low metastatic breast cancer cell MCF-7 were compared. Then, the role of P2Y2R on tumor growth and invasion via crosstalk with ECs was examined in vitro, using MDA-MB-231 cells and ECs transfected with control- or P2Y2R-siRNA, and in vivo, using an animal model injected with control-shRNA- or P2Y2R-shRNA-transfected MDA-MB-231 cells. RESULTS: We found that this highly metastatic breast cancer cell line released higher levels of ATP and showed a higher P2Y2R activity in comparison to a low metastatic breast cancer cell line, MCF-7. In MDA-MB-231 cells, P2Y2R activation by ATP or UTP increased proliferation at 24 or 72 hours, which was abolished by P2Y2R knock-down. In addition, the adhesion of MDA-MB-231 cells to ECs and cell migration were both significantly increased by ATP or UTP through the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in MDA-MB-231 or ECs but not in cells where P2Y2R was knocked down. Furthermore, ATP- or UTP-mediated activation of P2Y2R induced MDA-MB-231 invasion through ECs, increased matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production in MDA-MB-231 and induced the phosphorylation of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin in ECs. Tumor growth and metastasis to other tissues were dramatically reduced, and body weight was increased in mice injected with P2Y2R-shRNA-transfected MDA-MB-231 cells compared to mice injected with control shRNA-transfected MDA-MB-231 cells. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that P2Y2R may play an important role in cancer metastasis via modulation of the crosstalk between cancer cells and ECs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women. In triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells, a novel quinone derivative, coenzyme Q0 (CoQ0), promotes apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest. This study explored the anti-epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and antimetastatic attributes of CoQ0 in TNBC (MDA-MB-231). METHODS:Invasion, as well as MTT assays were conducted. Lipofectamine RNAiMAX was used to transfect cells with ?-catenin siRNA. Through Western blotting and RT-PCR, the major signaling pathways' protein expressions were examined, and the biopsied tumor tissues underwent immunohistochemical and hematoxylin and eosin staining as well as Western blotting. RESULTS:CoQ0 (0.5-2??M) hindered tumor migration, invasion, and progression. Additionally, it caused MMP-2/-?9, uPA, uPAR, and VEGF downregulation. Furthermore, in highly metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells, TIMP-1/2 expression was subsequently upregulated and MMP-9 expression was downregulated. In addition, CoQ0 inhibited metastasis and EMT in TGF-?/TNF-?-stimulated non-tumorigenic MCF-10A cells. Bioluminescence imaging of MDA-MB-231 luciferase-injected live mice demonstrated that CoQ0 significantly inhibited metastasis of the breast cancer to the lungs and inhibited the development of tumors in MDA-MB-231 xenografted nude mice. Silencing of ?-catenin with siRNA stimulated CoQ0-inhibited EMT. Western blotting as well as histological analysis established that CoQ0 reduced xenografted tumor development because apoptosis induction, cell-cycle inhibition, E-cadherin upregulation, ?-catenin downregulation, and metastasis and EMT regulatory protein modulation were observed. CONCLUSIONS:CoQ0 inhibited the progression of metastasis as well as EMT (in vitro and in vivo). The described approach has potential in treating human breast cancer metastasis.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Basal-like breast cancers (BL-BCa) have the worst prognosis of all subgroups of this disease. Hyaluronan (HA) and the HA receptor CD44 have a long-standing association with cell invasion and metastasis of breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to establish the relation of CD44 to BL-BCa and to characterize how HA/CD44 signaling promotes a protease-dependent invasion of breast cancer (BrCa) cells. METHODS: CD44 expression was determined with immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis of a breast cancer tissue microarray (TMA). In vitro experiments were performed on a panel of invasive BL-BCa cell lines, by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunoblotting, protease activity assays, and invasion assays to characterize the basis of HA-induced, CD44-mediated invasion. RESULTS: Expression of the hyaluronan (HA) receptor CD44 associated with the basal-like subgroup in a cohort of 141 breast tumor specimens (P = 0.018). Highly invasive cells of the representative BL-BCa cell line, MDA-MB-231 (MDA-MB-231Hi) exhibited increased invasion through a basement membrane matrix (Matrigel) and collagen. In further experiments, HA-induced promotion of CD44 signaling potentiated expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor uPAR, and underpinned an increased cell-associated activity of this serine protease in MDA-MB-231Hi and a further BL-BCa cell line, Hs578T cells. Knockdown of CD44 attenuated both basal and HA-stimulated uPA and uPAR gene expression and uPA activity. Inhibition of uPA activity by using (a) a gene-targeted RNAi or (b) a small-molecule inhibitor of uPA attenuated HA-induced invasion of MDA-MB-231Hi cells through Matrigel. HA/CD44 signaling also was shown to increase invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells through collagen and to potentiate the collagen-degrading activity of MDA-MB-231Hi cells. CD44 signaling was subsequently shown to upregulate expression of two potent collagen-degrading enzymes, the cysteine protease cathepsin K and the matrix metalloprotease MT1-MMP. RNAi- or shRNA-mediated depletion of CD44 in MDA-MB-231Hi cells decreased basal and HA-induced cathepsin K and MT1-MMP expression, reduced the collagen-degrading activity of the cell, and attenuated cell invasion through collagen. Pharmacologic inhibition of cathepsin K or RNAi-mediated depletion of MT1-MMP also attenuated MDA-MB-231Hi cell invasion through collagen. CONCLUSION: HA-induced CD44 signaling increases a diverse spectrum of protease activity to facilitate the invasion associated with BL-BCa cells, providing new insights into the molecular basis of CD44-promoted invasion.
Project description:Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women and has poor survival and high recurrence rates for aggressive metastatic disease. Notably, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly aggressive cancer and there is no preferred agent for TNBC therapy. In this study, we show that a novel agent, 2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-benzothiazole (YL-109), has ability to inhibit breast cancer cell growth and invasiveness in vitro and in vivo. In addition, YL-109 repressed the sphere-forming ability and the expression of stem cell markers in MDA-MB-231 mammosphere cultures. YL-109 increased the expression of carboxyl terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP), which suppresses tumorigenic and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the oncogenic pathway. YL-109 induced CHIP transcription because of the recruitment of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) to upstream of CHIP gene in MDA-MB-231 cells. Consistently, the antitumor effects of YL-109 were depressed by CHIP or AhR knockdown in MDA-MB-231 cells. Taken together, our findings indicate that a novel agent YL-109 inhibits cell growth and metastatic potential by inducing CHIP expression through AhR signaling and reduces cancer stem cell properties in MDA-MB-231 cells. It suggests that YL-109 is a potential candidate for breast cancer therapy.
Project description:Advancement in cancer therapy requires a better understanding of the detailed mechanisms that induce death in cancer cells. Besides apoptosis, themode of other types of cell death has been increasingly recognized in response to therapy. Paraptosis is a non-apoptotic alternative form of programmed cell death, morphologically) distinct from apoptosis and autophagy. In the present study, Withaferin-A (WA) induced hyperpolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential and formation of many cytoplasmic vesicles. This was due to progressive swelling and fusion of mitochondria and dilation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), forming large vacuolar structures that eventually filled the cytoplasm in human breast cancer cell-lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. The level of indigenous paraptosis inhibitor, Alix/AIP-1 (Actin Interacting Protein-1) was down-regulated by WA treatment. Additionally, prevention of WA-induced cell death and vacuolation on co-treatment with protein-synthesis inhibitor indicated requirement of de-novo protein synthesis. Co-treatment with apoptosis inhibitor resulted in significant augmentation of WA-induced death in MCF-7 cells, while partial inhibition in MDA-MB-231 cells; implyingthat apoptosis was not solely responsible for the process.WA-mediated cytoplasmic vacuolationcould not be prevented by autophagy inhibitor wortmanninas well, claiming this process to be a non-autophagic one. Early induction of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species)by WA in both the cell-lines was observed. ROS inhibitorabrogated the effect of WA on: cell-death, expression of proliferation-associated factor andER-stress related proteins,splicing of XBP-1 (X Box Binding Protein-1) mRNA and formation of paraptotic vacuoles.All these results conclusively indicate thatWA induces deathin bothMCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines byROS-mediated paraptosis.
Project description:Although drug resistance is often observed in metastatic recurrence of breast cancer, little is known about the intrinsic drug resistance in such metastases. In the present study, we found, for the first time, that MDA-MB-231BR, a brain metastatic variant of a human breast cancer cell line, was refractory to treatment with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) even without chronic drug exposure, compared to its parent cell line, MDA-MB-231, and a bone metastatic variant, MDA-MB-231SCP2. Both the mRNA and protein levels of COX-2 and BCL2A1 in MDA-MB-231BR were significantly higher than those in MDA-MB-231 or MDA-MB-231SCP2. Neither the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib nor the NF-?B inhibitor BAY11-7082 could sensitize MDA-MB-231BR to 5-FU, indicating that COX-2 plays little, if any, role in the resistance of MDA-MB-231BR to 5-FU. Although BCL2-family inhibitor ABT-263 failed to sensitize MDA-MB-231BR to 5-FU at a dose at which ABT-263 is considered to bind to BCL2, BCL2-xL, and BCL2-w, but not to BCL2A1, ABT-263 did sensitize MDA-MB-231BR to 5-FU to a level comparable to that in MDA-MB-231 at a dose of 5 ?M, at which ABT-263 may disrupt intracellular BCL2A1 protein interactions. More importantly, BCL2A1 siRNA sensitized MDA-MB-231BR to 5-FU, whereas the overexpression of BCL2A1 conferred 5-FU-resistance on MDA-MB-231. These results indicate that BCL2A1 is a key contributor to the intrinsic 5-FU-resistance in MDA-MB-231BR. It is interesting to note that the drug sensitivity of MDA-MB-231BR was distinct from that of MDA-MB-231SCP2 even though they have the same origin (MDA-MB-231). Further investigations pertinent to the present findings may provide valuable insight into the breast cancer brain metastasis.