Argininosuccinate Synthetase 1 Loss in Invasive Bladder Cancer Regulates Survival through General Control Nonderepressible 2 Kinase-Mediated Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 2? Activity and Is Targetable by Pegylated Arginine Deiminase.
ABSTRACT: Loss of argininosuccinate synthetase 1 (ASS1), a key enzyme for arginine synthesis, occurs in many cancers, making cells dependent on extracellular arginine and targetable by the arginine-degrading enzyme pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG 20). We evaluated ASS1 expression and effects of ASS1 loss in bladder cancer which, despite affecting >70,000 people in the United States annually, has limited therapies. ASS1 loss was identified in conventional and micropapillary urothelial carcinoma, small cell, and squamous cell carcinoma subtypes of invasive bladder cancer, as well as in T24, J82, and UM-UC-3 but not in 5637, RT112, and RT4 cell lines. ASS1-deficient cells showed preferential sensitivity to ADI-PEG 20, evidenced by decreased colony formation, reduced cell viability, and increased sub-G1 fractions. ADI-PEG 20 induced general control nonderepressible 2-dependent eukaryotic initiation factor 2? phosphorylation and activating transcription factor 4 and C/EBP homologous protein up-regulation, associated with caspase-independent apoptosis and autophagy. These effects were ablated with selective siRNA silencing of these proteins. ASS1 overexpression in UM-UC-3 or ASS1 silencing in RT112 cells reversed these effects. ADI-PEG 20 treatment of mice bearing contralateral flank UM-UC-3 and RT112 xenografts selectively arrested tumor growth in UM-UC-3 xenografts, which had reduced tumor size, reduced Ki-67, and increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling staining. This suggests that ASS1 loss occurs in invasive bladder cancer and is targetable by ADI-PEG 20.
Project description:Purpose Pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG 20) depletes essential amino acid levels in argininosuccinate synthetase 1 (ASS1) -negative tumors by converting arginine to citrulline and ammonia. The main aim of this study was to determine the recommended dose, safety, and tolerability of ADI-PEG 20, cisplatin, and pemetrexed in patients with ASS1-deficient malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) or non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients and Methods Using a 3 + 3 + 3 dose-escalation study, nine chemotherapy-naïve patients (five MPM, four NSCLC) received weekly ADI-PEG 20 doses of 18 mg/m2, 27 mg/m2, or 36 mg/m2, together with pemetrexed 500 mg/m2 and cisplatin 75 mg/m2 which were given every three weeks (maximum of six cycles). Patients achieving stable disease or better could continue ADI-PEG 20 monotherapy until disease progression or withdrawal. Adverse events were assessed by Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03, and pharmacodynamics and immunogenicity were also evaluated. Tumor response was assessed by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1 for NSCLC and by modified RECIST criteria for MPM. Results No dose-limiting toxicities were reported; nine of 38 reported adverse events (all grade 1 or 2) were related to ADI-PEG 20. Circulating arginine concentrations declined rapidly, and citrulline levels increased; both changes persisted at 18 weeks. Partial responses were observed in seven of nine patients (78%), including three with either sarcomatoid or biphasic MPM. Conclusion Target engagement with depletion of arginine was maintained throughout treatment with no dose-limiting toxicities. In this biomarker-selected group of patients with ASS1-deficient cancers, clinical activity was observed in patients with poor-prognosis tumors. Therefore, we recommend a dose for future studies of weekly ADI-PEG 20 36 mg/m2 plus three-weekly cisplatin 75 mg/m2 and pemetrexed 500 mg/m2.
Project description:Many malignant human tumors, including melanomas, are auxotrophic for arginine due to reduced expression of argininosuccinate synthetase-1 (ASS1), the rate-limiting enzyme for arginine biosynthesis. Pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20), which degrades extracellular arginine, resulting in arginine deprivation, has shown favorable results in clinical trials for treating arginine-auxotrophic tumors. Drug resistance is the major obstacle for effective ADI-PEG20 usage. To elucidate mechanisms of resistance, we established several ADI-PEG20-resistant (ADI(R)) variants from A2058 and SK-Mel-2 melanoma cells. Compared with the parental lines, these ADI(R) variants showed the following characteristics: (i) all ADI(R) cell lines showed elevated ASS1 expression, resulting from the constitutive binding of the transcription factor c-Myc on the ASS1 promoter, suggesting that elevated ASS1 is the major mechanism of resistance; (ii) the ADI(R) cell lines exhibited enhanced AKT signaling and were preferentially sensitive to PI3K/AKT inhibitors, but reduced mTOR signaling, and were preferentially resistant to mTOR inhibitor; (iii) these variants showed enhanced expression of glucose transporter-1 and lactate dehydrogenase-A, reduced expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase, and elevated sensitivity to the glycolytic inhibitors 2-deoxy-glucose and 3-bromopyruvate, consistent with the enhanced glycolytic pathway (the Warburg effect); (iv) the resistant cells showed higher glutamine dehydrogenase and glutaminase expression and were preferentially vulnerable to glutamine inhibitors. We showed that c-Myc, not elevated ASS1 expression, is involved in upregulation of many of these enzymes because knockdown of c-Myc reduced their expression, whereas overexpressed ASS1 by transfection reduced their expression. This study identified multiple targets for overcoming ADI-PEG resistance in cancer chemotherapy using recombinant arginine-degrading enzymes.
Project description:Alterations in DNA methylation are important epigenetic markers in bladder cancer (BC). These epigenome modifications may drive the mechanisms of aggressive chemo-resistant BC. Clinicopathological biomarkers that indicate chemotherapeutic resistance are critical for better assessing treatment strategies for individual patients. Thus, in this study, we aimed to determine whether DNA methylation of certain metabolic enzymes is significantly altered in cisplatin-resistant BC cells. Methods: To characterize CpG methylation and nucleosome accessibility in cisplatin-resistant BC cells, the Illumina Infinium HM450 DNA methylation assay was performed. Perturbed gene expression was found to be associated with cisplatin resistance, and the biological roles of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SAT1) and argininosuccinate synthase 1 (ASS1) were further studied using qRT-PCR analysis and various cell biology assays, including western blot. Results:ASS1 and SAT1, genes for amino acid and polyamine metabolism catalysts, respectively, were found to be vastly hypermethylated, resulting in greatly downregulated expression. ASS1 expression is of particular interest because prior studies have demonstrated its potential association with BC stage and recurrence. In regard to chemoresistance, we found that aberrant expression or induced stimulation of SAT1 restored cisplatin sensitivity in the cell culture system. We also found that the addition of exogenous arginine deiminase through administration of ADI-PEG 20 (pegylated arginine deiminase) increased ASS1 expression and enhanced cisplatin's apoptotic effects. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a novel mechanistic link between the epigenetic perturbation of SAT1 and ASS1 and cancer metabolism in cisplatin-resistant bladder cancer cells. These findings suggest potential utility of SAT1 and ASS1 as predictive biomarkers in re-sensitizing bladder cancer to chemotherapy and personalizing therapy.
Project description:The hypoxic tumour microenvironment represents an aggressive, therapy-resistant compartment. As arginine is required for specific hypoxia-induced processes, we hypothesised that arginine-deprivation therapy may be useful in targeting hypoxic cancer cells. We explored the effects of the arginine-degrading agent ADI-PEG20 on hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) activation, the hypoxia-induced nitric oxide (NO) pathway and proliferation using HCT116 and UMUC3 cells and xenografts. The latter lack argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS1) making them auxotrophic for arginine. In HCT116 cells, ADI-PEG20 inhibited hypoxic-activation of HIF-1? and HIF-2?, leading to decreased inducible-nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), NO-production, and VEGF. Interestingly, combining hypoxia and ADI-PEG20 synergistically inhibited ASS1. ADI-PEG20 inhibited mTORC1 and activated the unfolded protein response providing a mechanism for inhibition of HIF and ASS1. ADI-PEG20 inhibited tumour growth, impaired hypoxia-associated NO-production, and decreased vascular perfusion. Expression of HIF-1?/HIF-2?/iNOS and VEGF were reduced, despite an increased hypoxic tumour fraction. Similar effects were observed in UMUC3 xenografts. In summary, ADI-PEG20 inhibits HIF-activated processes in two tumour models with widely different arginine biology. Thus, ADI-PEG20 may be useful in the clinic to target therapy-resistant hypoxic cells in ASS1-proficient tumours and ASS1-deficient tumours.
Project description:Analysis of mechanism underlying the metabolic effects of ADI-PEG20 at gene expression level. The hypothesis tested in the present study was that ASS1-deficient breast cancer cells would be arginine-auxotrophs and would therefore be sensitive to arginine starvation. Results provide important information of the response of ASS1-deficient breast cancer cells to ADI-PEG20-treatment, such as the suppression of mRNAs encoding mitochondrial respiratory chain proteins. Total RNA obtained from ADI-treated, or ADI- and L-arginine-treated 231 cells compared to untreated cells.
Project description:Argininosuccinate synthase 1 (ASS1) is the rate-limiting enzyme for arginine biosynthesis. ASS1 expression is lost in a range of tumor types, including 50% of malignant pleural mesotheliomas. Starving ASS1-deficient cells of arginine with arginine blockers such as ADI-PEG20 can induce selective lethality and has shown great promise in the clinical setting. We have generated a model of ADI-PEG20 resistance in mesothelioma cells. This resistance is mediated through re-expression of ASS1 via demethylation of the ASS1 promoter. Through coordinated transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling, we have shown that ASS1-deficient cells have decreased levels of acetylated polyamine metabolites, together with a compensatory increase in the expression of polyamine biosynthetic enzymes. Upon arginine deprivation, polyamine metabolites are decreased in the ASS1-deficient cells and in plasma isolated from ASS1-deficient mesothelioma patients. We identify a synthetic lethal dependence between ASS1 deficiency and polyamine metabolism, which could potentially be exploited for the treatment of ASS1-negative cancers.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains a cancer with a poor prognosis and few effective therapeutic options. Successful medical management of GBM is limited by the restricted access of drugs to the central nervous system (CNS) caused by the blood brain barrier (BBB). We previously showed that a subset of GBM are arginine auxotrophic because of transcriptional silencing of ASS1 and/or ASL and are sensitive to pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20). However, it is unknown whether depletion of arginine in peripheral blood in vivo has therapeutic activity against intracranial disease. In the present work, we describe the efficacy of ADI-PEG20 in an intracranial model of human GBM in which tumour growth and regression are assessed in real time by measurement of luciferase activity. Animals bearing intracranial human GBM tumours of varying ASS status were treated with ADI-PEG20 alone or in combination with temozolomide and monitored for tumour growth and regression. Monotherapy ADI-PEG20 significantly reduces the intracranial growth of ASS1 negative GBM and extends survival of mice carrying ASS1 negative GBM without obvious toxicity. The combination of ADI-PEG20 with temozolomide (TMZ) demonstrates enhanced effects in both ASS1 negative and ASS1 positive backgrounds.Our data provide proof of principle for a therapeutic strategy for GBM using peripheral blood arginine depletion that does not require BBB passage of drug and is well tolerated. The ability of ADI-PEG20 to cytoreduce GBM and enhance the effects of temozolomide argues strongly for its early clinical evaluation in the treatment of GBM.
Project description:PURPOSE:The response to acute and long-term arginine starvation results in a conditional adaptive metabolic reprogramming that can be harnessed for therapeutic opportunities in ASS1-negative tumors. Here, we investigate the underlying biology of priming ASS1- tumors with arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20) before treatment with gemcitabine (GEM) and docetaxel (DTX) in sarcoma, pancreatic cancer, and melanoma cell lines. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:ASS1- tumor cell lines were treated to create LTAT (long-term ADI treated) cell lines (ASS1+) and used for drug combination studies. Protein expression of ASS1, dCK, RRM2, E2F1, c-MYC, and hENT1 was measured. c-MYC activity was determined, live-cell immunofluorescent studies for hENT1, uptake assays of FITC-cytosine probe, and rescue studies with a c-MYC inhibitor were all determined in the presence or absence of the ADI-PEG20:GEM:DTX. RESULTS:In examining modulations within the pyrimidine pathway, we identified that the addition of DTX to cells treated with ADI-PEG20 resulted in translocation of stabilized c-Myc to the nucleus. This resulted in an increase of hENT1 cell-surface expression and rendered the cells susceptible to GEM. In vivo studies demonstrate that the combination of ADI-PEG20:GEM:DTX was optimal for tumor growth inhibition, providing the preclinical mechanism and justification for the ongoing clinical trial of ADI-PEG20, GEM, and DTX in sarcoma. CONCLUSIONS:The priming of tumors with ADI-PEG20 and DTX results in the stabilization of c-MYC potentiating the effect of GEM treatment via an increase in hENT1 expression. This finding is applicable to ASS1-deficient cancers that are currently treated with GEM.
Project description:To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying TYRO3 oncogenic activity in bladder carcinomas, we made use of MGH-U3, RT112 and UM-UC-5 cell lines, which were derived from a human bladder tumor and endogenously expressed the Tyro3 protein, the growth and transformation of these cell lines being dependent on Tyro3. We carried out a gene expression analysis using Affymetrix DNA arrays in this cell line treated or not withTYRO3 siRNAs. Overall design: MGH-U3, RT112 and UM-UC-5 cells were transfected or not with siRNA TYRO3. mRNA was extracted after 40h and gene expression analysis was assessed using the HG-U133 Plus 2.0 array (Affymetrix) array
Project description:PEGylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG 20) is being investigated in clinical studies in arginine auxotrophic cancers and is well-tolerated. The anti-tumor properties of ADI-PEG 20 have been extensively investigated - ADI-PEG 20 inhibits the growth of auxotrophic cancers <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> - however, its impact on immune cells is largely unknown. Here we report the potential impact of ADI-PEG 20 on the tumor immune microenvironment. ADI-PEG 20 induced immunosuppressive programmed death-ligand 1 expression on some cancer cells <i>in vitro</i>, but the magnitude of the increase was cell line dependent and in most relatively small. Using healthy donor human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) we discovered that when present during initiation of T cell activation (but not later on) ADI-PEG 20 can inhibit their differentiation after early activation stage manifested by the expression of CD69 marker. <i>In vivo</i>, ADI-PEG 20 induced tumor T-cell infiltration in a poorly immunogenic syngeneic mouse melanoma B16-F10 model and reduced its growth as a single agent or when combined with anti-PD-1 mAb. It was also effective by itself or in combination with anti-PD-L1 mAb in CT26 colon carcinoma syngeneic model.