Tamoxifen Induces Cytotoxic Autophagy in Glioblastoma.
ABSTRACT: Glioblastomas (GBMs) are the most common and aggressive primary human malignant brain tumors. 4-Hydroxy tamoxifen (OHT) is an active metabolite of the tamoxifen (TMX) prodrug and a well-established estrogen receptor (ER) and estrogen-related receptor antagonist. A recent study from our laboratory demonstrated that OHT induced ER-independent malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) cell death by autophagic degradation of the prosurvival protein Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog. Because both MPNST and GBM are glial in cell origin, we hypothesized that OHT could mediate similar effects in GBM. OHT induced a concentration-dependent reduction in cell viability that was largely independent of caspase activation in a human GBM cell line and 2 patient-derived xenolines. Further, OHT induced both cytotoxic autophagy and a concentration-dependent decrease in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein levels. A GBM cell line expressing EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII) was relatively resistant to OHT-induced death and EGFRvIII was refractory to OHT-induced degradation. Thus, OHT induces GBM cell death through a caspase-independent, autophagy-related mechanism and should be considered as a potential therapeutic agent in patients with GBM whose tumors express wild-type EGFR.
Project description:Tamoxifen is widely used to treat estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Recent findings that tamoxifen and its derivative 4-hydroxytamoxifen (OHT) can exert estrogen receptor-independent cytotoxic effects have prompted the initiation of clinical trials to evaluate its use in estrogen receptor-negative malignancies. For example, tamoxifen and OHT exert cytotoxic effects in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) where estrogen is not involved. In this study, we gained insights into the estrogen receptor-independent cytotoxic effects of OHT by studying how it kills MPNST cells. Although caspases were activated following OHT treatment, caspase inhibition provided no protection from OHT-induced death. Rather, OHT-induced death in MPNST cells was associated with autophagic induction and attenuated by genetic inhibition of autophagic vacuole formation. Mechanistic investigations revealed that OHT stimulated autophagic degradation of K-Ras, which is critical for survival of MPNST cells. Similarly, we found that OHT induced K-Ras degradation in breast, colon, glioma, and pancreatic cancer cells. Our findings describe a novel mechanism of autophagic death triggered by OHT in tumor cells that may be more broadly useful clinically in cancer treatment.
Project description:RIP1 is a central mediator of cell death in response to cell stress but can also mediate cell survival by activating NF-?B. Here, we show that RIP1 acts as a switch in EGFR signaling. EGFRvIII is an oncogenic mutant that does not bind ligand and is coexpressed with EGFRWT in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). EGFRvIII recruits ubiquitin ligases to RIP1, resulting in K63-linked ubiquitination of RIP1. RIP1 binds to TAK1 and NEMO, forming an EGFRvIII-RIP1 signalosome that activates NF-?B. RIP1 is essential for EGFRvIII-mediated oncogenicity and correlates with NF-?B activation in GBM. Surprisingly, activation of EGFRWT with EGF results in a negative regulation of EGFRvIII, with dissociation of the EGFRvIII-RIP1 signalosome, loss of RIP1 ubiquitination and NF-?B activation, and association of RIP1 with FADD and caspase-8. If EGFRWT is overexpressed with EGFRvIII, the addition of EGF leads to a RIP1 kinase-dependent cell death. The EGFRWT-EGFRvIII-RIP1 interplay may regulate oncogenicity and vulnerability to targeted treatment in GBM.
Project description:In glioblastoma (GBM), the EGF receptor (EGFR) and Src family kinases (SFKs) contribute to an aggressive phenotype. EGFR may be targeted therapeutically; however, resistance to EGFR-targeting drugs such as Erlotinib and Gefitinib develops quickly. In many GBMs, a truncated form of the EGFR (EGFRvIII) is expressed. Although EGFRvIII is constitutively active and promotes cancer progression, its activity is attenuated compared with EGF-ligated wild-type EGFR, suggesting that EGFRvIII may function together with other signaling receptors in cancer cells to induce an aggressive phenotype. In this study, we demonstrate that in EGFRvIII-expressing GBM cells, the urokinase receptor (uPAR) functions as a major activator of SFKs, controlling phosphorylation of downstream targets, such as p130Cas and Tyr-845 in the EGFR in vitro and in vivo. When EGFRvIII expression in GBM cells was neutralized, either genetically or by treating the cells with Gefitinib, paradoxically, the cells demonstrated increased cell migration. The increase in cell migration was explained by a compensatory increase in expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator, which activates uPAR-dependent cell signaling. GBM cells that were selected for their ability to grow in vivo in the absence of EGFRvIII also demonstrated increased cell migration, due to activation of the uPAR signaling system. The increase in GBM cell migration, induced by genetic or pharmacologic targeting of the EGFR, was blocked by Dasatinib, highlighting the central role of SFKs in uPAR-promoted cell migration. These results suggest that compensatory activation of uPAR-dependent cell signaling, in GBM cells treated with targeted therapeutics, may adversely affect the course of the disease by promoting cell migration, which may be associated with tumor progression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive brain tumor with universal recurrence and poor prognosis. The recurrence is largely driven by chemoradiation resistant cancer stem cells (CSCs). Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and its mutant EGFRvIII are amplified in ~ 60% and ~ 30% of GBM patients, respectively; however, therapies targeting EGFR have failed to improve disease outcome. EGFRvIII-mediated cross-activation of tyrosine kinase receptor, cMET, regulates GBM CSC maintenance and promote tumor recurrence. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of pan-EGFR inhibitor afatinib and Temozolomide (TMZ) combination on GBM in vitro and in vivo. METHODS:We analyzed the effect of afatinib and temozolomide (TMZ) combination on GBM cells U87MG and U251 engineered to express wild type (WT) EGFR, EGFRvIII or EGFRvIII dead kinase, CSCs isolated from U87 and U87EGFRvIII in vitro. The therapeutic utility of the drug combination was investigated on tumor growth and progression using intracranially injected U87EGFRvIII GBM xenografts. RESULTS:Afatinib and TMZ combination synergistically inhibited the proliferation, clonogenic survival, motility, invasion and induced senescence of GBM cells compared to monotherapy. Mechanistically, afatinib decreased U87EGFRvIII GBM cell proliferation and motility/invasion by inhibiting EGFRvIII/AKT, EGFRvIII/JAK2/STAT3, and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling pathways respectively. Interestingly, afatinib specifically inhibited EGFRvIII-cMET crosstalk in CSCs, resulting in decreased expression of Nanog and Oct3/4, and in combination with TMZ significantly decreased their self-renewal property in vitro. More interestingly, afatinib and TMZ combination significantly decreased the xenograft growth and progression compared to single drug alone. CONCLUSION:Our study demonstrated significant inhibition of GBM tumorigenicity, CSC maintenance in vitro, and delayed tumor growth and progression in vivo by combination of afatinib and TMZ. Our results warrant evaluation of this drug combination in EGFR and EGFRvIII amplified GBM patients.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumor of adults and one of the most lethal of all cancers. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations (EGFRvIII) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) hyperactivation are common in GBM, promoting tumor growth and survival, including through sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1)-dependent lipogenesis. The role of cholesterol metabolism in GBM pathogenesis, its association with EGFR/PI3K signaling, and its potential therapeutic targetability are unknown. In our investigation, studies of GBM cell lines, xenograft models, and GBM clinical samples, including those from patients treated with the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib, uncovered an EGFRvIII-activated, PI3K/SREBP-1-dependent tumor survival pathway through the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR). Targeting LDLR with the liver X receptor (LXR) agonist GW3965 caused inducible degrader of LDLR (IDOL)-mediated LDLR degradation and increased expression of the ABCA1 cholesterol efflux transporter, potently promoting tumor cell death in an in vivo GBM model. These results show that EGFRvIII can promote tumor survival through PI3K/SREBP-1-dependent upregulation of LDLR and suggest a role for LXR agonists in the treatment of GBM patients.
Project description:A truncated and constitutively active form of the EGF receptor, variant III (EGFRvIII), is a major determinant of tumor growth and progression in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Extensive bidirectional crosstalk occurs in the cell-signaling pathways downstream of the EGFR and the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR); however, crosstalk between EGFRvIII and uPAR has not been examined. Here, we show that uPAR does not regulate ERK activation in EGFRvIII-expressing GBM cells; however, in GBM cells isolated from four separate xenografts in which EGFRvIII expression was down-regulated in vivo, uPAR assumed a major role in sustaining ERK activation. Phosphorylation of Tyr-845 in the EGFR, which is mediated by Src family kinases, depended on uPAR in EGFRvIII-expressing GBM cells. Activation of the mitogenic and prosurvival transcription factor, STAT5b, downstream of EGFRvIII, also required uPAR. The EGFR-selective tyrosine kinase inhibitors, erlotinib and gefitinib, blocked not only EGFRvIII signaling to ERK but also uPAR-dependent STAT5b activation. uPAR gene silencing in EGFRvIII-expressing GBM cells and in cells from tumors that escaped dependency on EGFRvIII decreased cell survival and proliferation. Xenografts of EGFRvIII-expressing cancer cell lines and a human GBM, which was propagated as a xenograft, were robustly immunopositive for uPAR and phospho-Tyr-845 by immunohistochemistry. A human GBM in which the EGFR gene was amplified without truncation was immunonegative for both uPAR and phospho-Tyr-845. These studies identify distinct cell-signaling activities for uPAR in GBM cells that express EGFRvIII and in cells released from dormancy when EGFRvIII is neutralized. uPAR and its crosstalk pathways with EGFRvIII emerge as logical targets for therapeutics development in GBM.
Project description:In glioblastoma (GBM), the gene for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is frequently amplified. EGFR mutations also are common, including a truncation mutation that yields a constitutively active variant called EGFR variant (v)III. EGFRvIII-positive GBM progresses rapidly; however, the reason for this is not clear because the activity of EGFRvIII is attenuated compared with EGF-ligated wild-type EGFR. We hypothesized that EGFRvIII-expressing GBM cells selectively express other oncogenic receptors that support tumor progression.Mining of The Cancer Genome Atlas prompted us to test whether GBM cells in culture, which express EGFRvIII, selectively express vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)2. We also studied human GBM propagated as xenografts. We then applied multiple approaches to test the effects of VEGFR2 on GBM cell growth, apoptosis, and cellular senescence.In human GBM, EGFR overexpression and EGFRvIII positivity were associated with increased VEGFR2 expression. In GBM cells in culture, EGFRvIII-initiated cell signaling increased expression of VEGFR2, which prevented cellular senescence and promoted cell cycle progression. The VEGFR-selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor cediranib decreased tumor DNA synthesis, increased staining for senescence-associated ?-galactosidase, reduced retinoblastoma phosphorylation, and increased p27(Kip1), all markers of cellular senescence. Similar results were obtained when VEGFR2 was silenced.VEGFR2 expression by GBM cells supports cell cycle progression and prevents cellular senescence. Coexpression of VEGFR2 by GBM cells in which EGFR signaling is activated may contribute to the aggressive nature of these cells.
Project description:Glioblastomas (GBM) are often characterized by an elevated expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII). We used GBM cell lines with native EGFRvIII expression to determine whether this EGFR variant affects radiosensitivity with or without EGFR targeting.Experiments were performed with GBM cell lines lacking (LN229, U87MG, U251, CAS-1) or endogenously expressing EGFRvIII (BS153, DKMG). The two latter cell lines were also used to establish sublines with a low (-) or a high proportion (+) of cells expressing EGFRvIII. EGFR signaling and the cell cycle were analyzed using Western blot and flow cytometry; cell survival was assessed by colony forming assay and double-strand break repair capacity by immunofluorescence.DKMG and BS153 parental cells with heterogeneous EGFRvIII expression were clearly more radiosensitive compared to other GBM cell lines without EGFRvIII expression. However, no significant difference was observed in cell proliferation, clonogenicity or radiosensitivity between the EGFRvIII- and + sublines derived from DKMG and BS153 parental cells. Expression of EGFRvIII was associated with decreased DSB repair capacity for BS153 but not for DKMG cells. The effects of EGFR targeting by gefitinib alone or in combination with irradiation were also found not to depend on EGFRvIII expression. Gefitinib was only observed to influence the proliferation of EGFRvIII- BS153 cells.The data indicate that EGFRvIII does not alter radiosensitivity with or without anti-EGFR treatment.
Project description:The extent of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) guided tumor resection has a determining impact in high-grade glioma and glioblastoma surgery. Yet the intensity of the 5-ALA induced fluorescence may vary within the tumor. We aimed to correlate 5-ALA induced fluorescence with the expression of epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) and its constitutively active version EGFRvIII in different glioblastoma (GBM) cell lines. To elucidate the role of EGFR in the metabolism of 5-ALA in GBM cell lines with variable EGFR expression status, we analyzed the activation of EGFR by its primary ligand EGF, and its downstream effect on Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a key enzyme regulating the metabolism of Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), the fluorescent metabolite of 5-ALA. Effects of direct pharmacological inhibition by Tin(IV)-Protoporphyrin (SnPP) or gene knockdown by small interfering RNA (siRNA) on HO-1 enzyme were analyzed in respect to 5-ALA induced fluorescence. Furthermore, inhibition of EGFR by Gefitinib was tested. A significant difference in 5-ALA induced fluorescence was obtained in U87MG (low EGFR expression) and LN229EGFR cells (EGFR overexpression) compared to BS153 (EGFR overexpression/EGFRvIII+). Treatment of U87MG and LN229EGFR cells with EGF significantly reduced cellular fluorescence, by promoting HO-1 transcription and expression in a concentration-dependent manner. This effect could be reversed by EGFR-specific siRNA treatment, which reduced protein expression of about 80% in U87MG. Remarkably, inhibition of HO-1 activity by SnPP or reduction of HO-1 protein levels by siHO-1 treatment restored fluorescence in all cell lines, independently of EGFR quantitative and qualitative expression. Gefitinib treatment was able to restore fluorescence after EGF stimulation in U87MG cells but not in BS153 cells, overexpressing EGFR/EGFRvIII. In GBM cell lines, 5-ALA induced fluorescence is variable and influenced by EGF-induced downstream activation of HO-1. HO-1 protein expression was identified as a negative regulator of 5-ALA induced fluorescence in GBM cells. We further propose that co-expression of EGFRvIII but not quantitative EGFR expression influence HO-1 activity and therefore cellular fluorescence.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and deadly primary brain tumor in adults. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is frequently amplified and mutated in GBM. We previously reported that Guanylate binding protein-1 (GBP1) is a novel transcriptional target gene of EGFR and plays a role in GBM invasion. Here we demonstrate that GBP1 can also be induced by EGFRvIII at the transcriptional level through the p38 MAPK/Yin Yang 1 (YY1) signaling pathway. Silencing of GBP1 by RNA interference significantly inhibits EGFRvIII-mediated GBM cell proliferation in vitro and in a mouse model. Overexpression of GBP1 has no obvious effect on glioblastoma cell proliferation in vitro. In contrast, in an orthotopic glioma mouse model GBP1 overexpression significantly promotes glioma growth and reduces survival rate of glioma-bearing mice by increasing cell proliferation and decreasing cell apoptosis in tumor. Clinically, GBP1 expression is elevated in human GBM tumors and positively correlates with EGFRvIII status in GBM specimens, and its expression is inversely correlated with the survival rate of GBM patients. Taken together, these results reveal that GBP1 may serve as a potential therapeutic target for GBMs with EGFRvIII mutation.