The CT20 peptide causes detachment and death of metastatic breast cancer cells by promoting mitochondrial aggregation and cytoskeletal disruption.
ABSTRACT: Metastasis accounts for most deaths from breast cancer, driving the need for new therapeutics that can impede disease progression. Rationally designed peptides that take advantage of cancer-specific differences in cellular physiology are an emerging technology that offer promise as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer. We developed CT20p, a hydrophobic peptide based on the C terminus of Bax that exhibits similarities with antimicrobial peptides, and previously reported that CT20p has unique cytotoxic actions independent of full-length Bax. In this study, we identified the intracellular actions of CT20p which precede cancer cell-specific detachment and death. Previously, we found that CT20p migrated in the heavy membrane fractions of cancer cell lysates. Here, using MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, we demonstrated that CT20p localizes to the mitochondria, leading to fusion-like aggregation and mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization. As a result, the distribution and movement of mitochondria in CT20p-treated MDA-MB-231 cells was markedly impaired, particularly in cell protrusions. In contrast, CT20p did not associate with the mitochondria of normal breast epithelial MCF-10A cells, causing little change in the mitochondrial membrane potential, morphology or localization. In MDA-MB-231 cells, CT20p triggered cell detachment that was preceded by decreased levels of ?5?1 integrins and reduced F-actin polymerization. Using folate-targeted nanoparticles to encapsulate and deliver CT20p to murine tumors, we achieved significant tumor regression within days of peptide treatment. These results suggest that CT20p has application in the treatment of metastatic disease as a cancer-specific therapeutic peptide that perturbs mitochondrial morphology and movement ultimately culminating in disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, cell detachment, and loss of cell viability.
Project description:Molecules designed to target and accumulate in the mitochondria are an emerging therapeutic approach for cancer and other indications. Mitochondria-targeted redox agents (MTAs) induce mitochondrial damage and autophagy in cancer cells. However, the mechanisms for these molecules to induce mitophagy, the clearance of damaged mitochondria, are largely unknown. Using breast derived cell lines and a series of targeted molecules, mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy was established to be selective for MDA-MB-231 cancer cells as compared to the non-cancerous MCF-12A cells. Kinetic analyses revealed that mitochondrial dysfunction precedes the activation of autophagy in these cancer cells. To determine the onset of mitophagy, stably expressing mitochondrial mKeima, a mitochondrial pH sensor, cell lines were generated and revealed that these drugs activate lysosomal dependent mitochondrial degradation in MDA-MB-231 cells. Mitophagy was confirmed by identifying the accumulation of a PINK1, mitochondria located in autophagosomes, and the formation of an autophagosome-mitochondria protein (MFN2-LC3-II) complex. These results are the first to demonstrate that mitochondrial redox agents selectively induce mitophagy in a breast cancer cell line and their potential application both as tools for investigating mitochondrial biomechanics and as therapeutic strategies that target mitochondrial metabolism.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 (TRAP1) is abnormally expressed in many cancers. In this study, we showed that TRAP1 is aberrantly upregulated in breast tumors compared to control tissues. TRAP1 knockdown downregulates mitochondrial aerobic respiratory, sensitizes cells to lethal stimuli, and inhibited tumor growth in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells in vivo. TRAP1 overexpression, however, enhances the capacity to cope with stress conditions. These evidences suggested that TRAP1 is required for tumorigenesis. We also found that TRAP1 regulates the mitochondrial morphology. Relatively lower TRAP1 levels are associated with the rod-shaped mitochondrial phenotype in invasive and metastatic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells; on the contrary, higher TRAP1 levels are associated with the tubular network-shaped mitochondrial phenotype in non-invasive MCF-7 cells. Interestingly, the expression of TRAP1 in human breast cancer specimens inversely correlates with tumor grade. Overexpression of TRAP1 in MDA-MB-231 cells causes mitochondrial fusion, triggers mitochondria to form tubular networks, and suppresses cell migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo. These data link TRAP1-regulated mitochondrial dynamics and function with tumorigenesis of breast cancer and suggested that TRAP1 may therefore be a potential target for breast cancer drug development.
Project description:Background:Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive type of breast cancer with high risk of recurrence. It is still poorly understood and lacks any targeted therapy, which makes it difficult to treat. Thus, it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms and pathways that are dysregulated in triple-negative breast cancer. Methods:To investigate the role of mitochondria in triple-negative breast cancer progression, we analysed previously reported gene expression data from triple-negative breast cancer cybrids with SUM-159 as the nuclear donor cell and SUM-159 or A1N4 (c-SUM-159, c-A1N4) as the mitochondrial donor cells and with 143B as the nuclear donor cell and MCF-10A or MDA-MB-231 (c-MCF-10A, c-MDA-MB-231) as the mitochondrial donor cells. The role of potential biomarkers in cell proliferation and migration was examined in SUM-159 and MDA-MB-231 cells using sulforhodamine B and wound healing assays. Results:Rank product analysis of cybrid gene expression data identified 149 genes which were significantly up-regulated in the cybrids with mitochondria from the cancer cell line. Analysis of previously reported breast tumour gene expression datasets confirmed 9 of the 149 genes were amplified, up-regulated, or down-regulated in more than 10% of the patients. The genes included NDRG1, PVT1, and EXT1, which are co-located in cytoband 8q24, which is frequently amplified in breast cancer. NDRG1 showed the largest down-regulation in the cybrids with benign mitochondria and was associated with poor prognosis in a breast cancer clinical dataset. Knockdown of NDRG1 expression significantly decreased proliferation of SUM-159 triple-negative breast cancer cells. Conclusions:These results indicate that mitochondria-regulated nuclear gene expression helps breast cancer cells survive and proliferate, consistent with previous work focusing on an Src gene signature which is mitochondria regulated and drives malignancy in breast cancer cybrids. This is the first study to show that mitochondria in triple-negative breast cancer mediate significant up-regulation of a number of genes, and silencing of NDRG1 leads to significant reduction in proliferation.
Project description:Triple naegative breast cancer has an increased rate of distant metastasis and consequently poor prognosis. To metastasize, breast cancer cells must detach from the main tumour mass and resist anoikis, a programmed cell death induced by lack of cell-extracellular matrix communication. Although cancer cells must detach to metastasize in vivo, the viability of floating cancer cells in vitro is rarely investigated. Here we show that co-treatment of anoikis-resistant MDA-MB-231 cells with metformin and 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) increased the percentage of floating cells, of which about 95% were viable. Floating cells resumed their proliferation once they were reseeded in the pharmacological compound-free medium. Similar effects on detachment were observed on anoikis-prone MCF-7 cells. Co-treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with metformin and 2-DG induced a strong activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which was reduced by AMPK inhibitor compound C that prevented detachment of MDA-MB-231 cells. However, direct AMPK activators A-769662 and AICAR did not have any major effect on the percentage of floating MDA-MB-231 cells, indicating that AMPK activation is necessary but not sufficient for triggering detachment of cancer cells. Our results demonstrate that separate analysis of floating and attached cancer cells might be important for evaluation of anti-cancer agents.
Project description:IR-783 is a kind of heptamethine cyanine dye that exhibits imaging, cancer targeting and anticancer properties. A previous study reported that its imaging and targeting properties were related to mitochondria. However, the molecular mechanism behind the anticancer activity of IR-783 has not been well demonstrated. In this study, we showed that IR-783 inhibits cell viability and induces mitochondrial apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. Exposure of MDA-MB-231 cells to IR-783 resulted in the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion, mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening and cytochrome c (Cyto C) release. Furthermore, we found that IR-783 induced dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) translocation from the cytosol to the mitochondria, increased the expression of mitochondrial fission proteins mitochondrial fission factor (MFF) and fission-1 (Fis1), and decreased the expression of mitochondrial fusion proteins mitofusin1 (Mfn1) and optic atrophy 1 (OPA1). Moreover, knockdown of Drp1 markedly blocked IR-783-mediated mitochondrial fission, loss of MMP, ATP depletion, mPTP opening and apoptosis. Our in vivo study confirmed that IR-783 markedly inhibited tumour growth and induced apoptosis in an MDA-MB-231 xenograft model in association with the mitochondrial translocation of Drp1. Taken together, these findings suggest that IR-783 induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells by increasing Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission. Our study uncovered the molecular mechanism of the anti-breast cancer effects of IR-783 and provided novel perspectives for the application of IR-783 in the treatment of breast cancer.
Project description:Mitochondrial dysregulation is closely associated with excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Altered redox homeostasis has been implicated in the onset of several diseases including cancer. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and proteins are particularly sensitive to ROS as they are in close proximity to the respiratory chain (RC). Mitoquinone (MitoQ), a mitochondria-targeted redox agent, selectively damages breast cancer cells possibly through damage induced via enhanced ROS production. However, the effects of MitoQ and other triphenylphosphonium (TPP+) conjugated agents on cancer mitochondrial homeostasis remain unknown. The primary objective of this study was to determine the impact of mitochondria-targeted agent [(MTAs) conjugated to TPP+: mitoTEMPOL, mitoquinone and mitochromanol-acetate] on mitochondrial physiology and mtDNA integrity in breast (MDA-MB-231) and lung (H23) cancer cells. The integrity of the mtDNA was assessed by quantifying the degree of mtDNA fragmentation and copy number, as well as by measuring mitochondrial proteins essential to mtDNA stability and maintenance (TFAM, SSBP1, TWINKLE, POLG and POLRMT). Mitochondrial status was evaluated by measuring superoxide production, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, oxygen consumption, extracellular acidification and mRNA or protein levels of the RC complexes along with TCA cycle activity. In this study, we demonstrated that all investigated MTAs impair mitochondrial health and decrease mtDNA integrity in MDA-MB-231 and H23 cells. However, differences in the degree of mitochondrial damage and mtDNA degradation suggest unique properties among each MTA that may be cell line, dose and time dependent. Collectively, our study indicates the potential for TPP+ conjugated molecules to impair breast and lung cancer cells by targeting mitochondrial homeostasis.
Project description:Berberine is reported to have multiple biological effects, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor activities, and 13-alkyl-substituted berberines show higher activity than berberine against certain bacterial species and human cancer cell lines. In particular, 13-ethylberberine (13-EBR) was reported to have anti-inflammatory effects in endotoxin-activated macrophage and septic mouse models. Thus, in this study, we aimed to examine the anticancer effects of 13-EBR and its mechanisms in radiotherapy-resistant (RT-R) MDA-MB-231 cells derived from the highly metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells. When we compared the gene expression between MDA-MB-231 and RT-R MDA-MB-231 cells with an RNA microarray, RT-R MDA-MB-231 showed higher levels of anti-apoptotic genes and lower levels of pro-apoptotic genes compared to MDA-MB-231 cells. Accordingly, we examined the effect of 13-EBR on the induction of apoptosis in RT-R MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-231 cells. The results showed that 13-EBR reduced the proliferation and colony-forming ability of both MDA-MB-231 and RT-R MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, 13-EBR induced apoptosis by promoting both intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and by regulating the apoptosis-related proteins involved in the intrinsic pathway, not in the extrinsic pathway. These results suggest that 13-EBR has pro-apoptotic effects in RT-R MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-231 cells by inducing mitochondrial ROS production and activating the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, providing useful insights into new potential therapeutic strategies for RT-R breast cancer treatment.
Project description:Mitochondrial metabolism plays an essential role in various biological processes of cancer cells. Herein, we established an experimental procedure for the metabolic assessment of mitochondria in cancer cells. We examined procedures for mitochondrial isolation coupled with various mitochondrial extraction buffers in three major cancer cell lines (PANC1, A549, and MDA-MB-231) and identified a potentially optimal and generalized approach. The purity of the mitochondrial fraction isolated by the selected protocol was verified using specific protein markers of cellular components, and the ultrastructure of the isolated mitochondria was also analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The isolation procedure, involving a bead beater for cell lysis, a modified sucrose buffer, and differential centrifugation, appeared to be a suitable method for the extraction of mitochondria from cancer cells. Electron micrographs indicated an intact two-layer membrane and inner structures of mitochondria isolated by this procedure. Metabolomic and lipidomic analyses were conducted to examine the metabolic phenotypes of the mitochondria-enriched fractions and associated bulk cancer cells. A total of 44 metabolites, including malate and succinate, occurred at significantly higher levels in the mitochondrial fractions, whereas 51 metabolites, including citrate, oxaloacetate, and fumarate of the Krebs cycle and the oncometabolites glutamine and glutamate, were reduced in mitochondria compared to that in the corresponding bulk cells of PANC1. Similar patterns were observed in mitochondria and bulk cells of MDA-MB-231 and A549 cell lines. A clear difference between the lipid profiles of bulk PANC1, MDA-MB-231, and A549 and corresponding mitochondrial fractions of these cell lines was detected by principal component analysis. In conclusion, we developed an experimental procedure for a large-scale metabolic assessment for suborganelle metabolic profiling and multiple omics data integration in cancer cells with broad applications.
Project description:Calcium uptake through the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) is thought to be essential in regulating cellular signaling events, energy status, and survival. Functional dissection of the uniporter is now possible through the recent identification of the genes encoding for MCU protein complex subunits. Cancer cells exhibit many aspects of mitochondrial dysfunction associated with altered mitochondrial Ca2+ levels including resistance to apoptosis, increased reactive oxygen species production and decreased oxidative metabolism. We used a publically available database to determine that breast cancer patient outcomes negatively correlated with increased MCU Ca2+ conducting pore subunit expression and decreased MICU1 regulatory subunit expression. We hypothesized breast cancer cells may therefore be sensitive to MCU channel manipulation. We used the widely studied MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line to investigate whether disruption or increased activation of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake with specific siRNAs and adenoviral overexpression constructs would sensitize these cells to therapy-related stress. MDA-MB-231 cells were found to contain functional MCU channels that readily respond to cellular stimulation and elicit robust AMPK phosphorylation responses to nutrient withdrawal. Surprisingly, knockdown of MCU or MICU1 did not affect reactive oxygen species production or cause significant effects on clonogenic cell survival of MDA-MB-231 cells exposed to irradiation, chemotherapeutic agents, or nutrient deprivation. Overexpression of wild type or a dominant negative mutant MCU did not affect basal cloning efficiency or ceramide-induced cell killing. In contrast, non-cancerous breast epithelial HMEC cells showed reduced survival after MCU or MICU1 knockdown. These results support the conclusion that MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells do not rely on MCU or MICU1 activity for survival in contrast to previous findings in cells derived from cervical, colon, and prostate cancers and suggest that not all carcinomas will be sensitive to therapies targeting mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake mechanisms.
Project description:Deregulated metabolism is gaining recognition as a hallmark of cancer cells, and is being explored for therapeutic potential. The Warburg effect is a metabolic phenotype that occurs in 90% of tumors, where glycolysis is favored despite the presence of oxygen. Dichloroacetate (DCA) is a pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) inhibitor that can reverse the Warburg effect. PENAO (4-(N-(S-penicillaminylacetyl)amino) phenylarsonous acid) is a novel anti-mitochondrial agent that targets the adenine nucleotide transporter in mitochondria and is currently in clinical trials for solid tumors. We have investigated the targeting of two aspects of metabolism, using DCA to promote mitochondrial activity combined with PENAO to inhibit mitochondrial activity, in breast and other carcinoma cell lines. PENAO was effective at low uM concentrations in luminal (T-47D) and triple negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells, in normoxia and hypoxia. The cytotoxicity of PENAO was enhanced by DCA by a mechanism involving increased reactive oxygen species in both T-47D and MDA-MB-231 cells, however further investigations found it did not always involve PDK2 inhibition or reduction of the mitochondrial membrane potential, which are the accepted mechanisms for DCA induction of apoptosis. Nevertheless, DCA sensitized all cancer cell lines tested toward apoptosis of PENAO. DCA and PENAO are both currently in clinical trials and targeting cancer metabolism with these drugs may offer options for difficult to treat cancers.