Glutamine metabolism via glutaminase 1 in autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease.
ABSTRACT: Background:Metabolism of glutamine by glutaminase 1 (GLS1) plays a key role in tumor cell proliferation via the generation of ATP and intermediates required for macromolecular synthesis. We hypothesized that glutamine metabolism also plays a role in proliferation of autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) cells and that inhibiting GLS1 could slow cyst growth in animal models of ADPKD. Methods:Primary normal human kidney and ADPKD human cyst-lining epithelial cells were cultured in the presence or absence of two pharmacologic inhibitors of GLS1, bis-2-(5-phenylacetamido-1,2,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl sulfide 3 (BPTES) and CB-839, and the effect on proliferation, cyst growth in collagen and activation of downstream signaling pathways were assessed. We then determined if inhibiting GLS1 in vivo with CB-839 in the Aqp2-Cre; Pkd1fl/fl and Pkhd1-Cre; Pkd1fl/fl mouse models of ADPKD slowed cyst growth. Results:We found that an isoform of GLS1 (GLS1-GAC) is upregulated in cyst-lining epithelia in human ADPKD kidneys and in mouse models of ADPKD. Both BPTES and CB-839 blocked forskolin-induced cyst formation in vitro. Inhibiting GLS1 in vivo with CB-839 led to variable outcomes in two mouse models of ADPKD. CB-839 slowed cyst growth in Aqp2-Cre; Pkd1fl/fl mice, but not in Pkhd1-Cre; Pkd1fl/fl mice. While CB-839 inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and MEK activation in Aqp2-Cre; Pkd1fl/fl, it did not in Pkhd1-Cre; Pkd1fl/fl mice. Conclusion:These findings provide support that alteration in glutamine metabolism may play a role in cyst growth. However, testing in other models of PKD and identification of the compensatory metabolic changes that bypass GLS1 inhibition will be critical to validate GLS1 as a drug target either alone or when combined with inhibitors of other metabolic pathways.
Project description:Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is characterized by innumerous fluid-filled cysts and progressive deterioration of renal function. Previously, we showed that periostin, a matricellular protein involved in tissue repair, is markedly overexpressed by cyst epithelial cells. Periostin promotes cell proliferation, cyst growth, interstitial fibrosis, and the decline in renal function in PKD mice. Here, we investigated the regulation of these processes by the integrin-linked kinase (ILK), a scaffold protein that links the extracellular matrix to the actin cytoskeleton and is stimulated by periostin. Pharmacologic inhibition or shRNA knockdown of ILK prevented periostin-induced Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and ADPKD cell proliferation in vitro Homozygous deletion of ILK in renal collecting ducts (CD) of Ilkfl/fl ;Pkhd1-Cre mice caused tubule dilations, apoptosis, fibrosis, and organ failure by 10 weeks of age. By contrast, Ilkfl/+ ;Pkhd1-Cre mice had normal renal morphology and function and survived >1 year. Reduced expression of ILK in Pkd1fl/fl ;Pkhd1-Cre mice, a rapidly progressive model of ADPKD, decreased renal Akt/mTOR activity, cell proliferation, cyst growth, and interstitial fibrosis, and significantly improved renal function and animal survival. Additionally, CD-specific knockdown of ILK strikingly reduced renal cystic disease and fibrosis and extended the life of pcy/pcy mice, a slowly progressive PKD model. We conclude that ILK is critical for maintaining the CD epithelium and renal function and is a key intermediate for periostin activation of signaling pathways involved in cyst growth and fibrosis in PKD.
Project description:Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common inherited kidney disease and is characterized by progressive growth of fluid-filled cysts. Growth factors binding to receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) stimulate cell proliferation and cyst growth in PKD. Nintedanib, a triple RTK inhibitor, targets the vascular endothelial growth-factor receptor (VEGFR), platelet-derived growth-factor receptor (PDGFR), and fibroblast growth-factor receptor (FGFR), and is an approved drug for the treatment of non-small-cell lung carcinoma and idiopathic lung fibrosis. To determine if RTK inhibition using nintedanib can slow ADPKD progression, we tested its effect on human ADPKD renal cyst epithelial cells and myofibroblasts in vitro, and on Pkd1<sup>f/f</sup>Pkhd1<sup>Cre</sup> and Pkd1<sup>RC/RC</sup>, orthologous mouse models of ADPKD. Nintedanib significantly inhibited cell proliferation and in vitro cyst growth of human ADPKD renal cyst epithelial cells, and cell viability and migration of human ADPKD renal myofibroblasts. Consistently, nintedanib treatment significantly reduced kidney-to-body-weight ratio, renal cystic index, cystic epithelial cell proliferation, and blood-urea nitrogen levels in both the Pkd1<sup>f/f</sup>Pkhd1<sup>Cre</sup> and Pkd1<sup>RC/RC</sup> mice. There was a corresponding reduction in ERK, AKT, STAT3, and mTOR activity and expression of proproliferative factors, including Yes-associated protein (YAP), c-Myc, and Cyclin D1. Nintedanib treatment significantly reduced fibrosis in Pkd1<sup>RC/RC</sup> mice, but did not affect renal fibrosis in Pkd1<sup>f/f</sup>Pkhd1<sup>Cre</sup> mice. Overall, these results suggest that nintedanib may be repurposed to effectively slow cyst growth in ADPKD.
Project description:Cancer cells employ glutaminolysis to provide a source of intermediates for their upregulated biosynthetic needs. Glutaminase, which catalyzes the conversion of glutamine to glutamate, is gaining increasing attention as a potential drug target. Small-molecule inhibitors such as BPTES and CB-839, which target the allosteric site of glutaminase with high specificity, demonstrate immense promise as anti-tumor drugs. Here, we report the study of a new BPTES analog, N,N'-(5,5'-(trans-cyclohexane-1,3-diyl)bis(1,3,4-tiadiazole-5,2-diyl))bis(2-phenylacetamide) (trans-CBTBP), and compared its inhibitory effect against that of CB-839 and BPTES. We show that CB-839 has a 30- and 50-fold lower IC50 than trans-CBTBP and BPTES, respectively. To explore the structural basis for the differences in their inhibitory efficacy, we solved the complex structures of cKGA with 1S, 3S-CBTBP and CB-839. We found that CB-839 produces a greater degree of interaction with cKGA than 1S, 3S-CBTBP or BPTES. The results of this study will facilitate the rational design of new KGA inhibitors to better treat glutamine-addicted cancers.
Project description:Altered glycolytic flux in cancer cells (the "Warburg effect") causes their proliferation to rely upon elevated glutamine metabolism ("glutamine addiction"). This requirement is met by the overexpression of glutaminase C (GAC), which catalyzes the first step in glutamine metabolism and therefore represents a potential therapeutic target. The small molecule CB-839 was reported to be more potent than other allosteric GAC inhibitors, including the parent compound bis-2-(5-phenylacetamido-1,2,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl (BPTES), and is in clinical trials. Recently, we described the synthesis of BPTES analogs having distinct saturated heterocyclic cores as a replacement for the flexible chain moiety, with improved microsomal stability relative to CB-839 and BPTES. Here, we show that one of these new compounds, UPGL00004, like CB-839, more potently inhibits the enzymatic activity of GAC, compared with BPTES. We also compare the abilities of UPGL00004, CB-839, and BPTES to directly bind to recombinant GAC and demonstrate that UPGL00004 has a similar binding affinity as CB-839 for GAC. We also show that UPGL00004 potently inhibits the growth of triple-negative breast cancer cells, as well as tumor growth when combined with the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibody bevacizumab. Finally, we compare the X-ray crystal structures for UPGL00004 and CB-839 bound to GAC, verifying that UPGL00004 occupies the same binding site as CB-839 or BPTES and that all three inhibitors regulate the enzymatic activity of GAC via a similar allosteric mechanism. These results provide insights regarding the potency of these inhibitors that will be useful in designing novel small-molecules that target a key enzyme in cancer cell metabolism.
Project description:It has been increasingly recognized lately that aberrant cellular metabolism plays an important role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. In our previous systemic studies, we found that human lung myofibroblasts undergo glutaminolytic reprogramming, which is mediated by an increased expression of glutaminase (Gls) 1. We showed that augmented glutaminolysis critically regulates collagen production by promoting its stabilization in human lung myofibroblasts. Our study indicates that lung fibroblast Gls1 is a promising therapeutic target for this disease. In this investigation, we primarily focused on delineating the <i>in vivo</i> role of fibroblast Gls1 in mouse models of pulmonary fibrosis and determining the efficacy of Gls1 inhibition in treating this pathology. We now show that fibroblast Gls1 is upregulated in fibrotic mouse lungs. We present evidence that mice with ablation of fibroblast Gls1 are protected from bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. We show that the Gls1 inhibitor, CB-839, is therapeutically efficacious in treating both bleomycin- and transforming growth factor-β1-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Our study has thus established a solid rationale for advancing Gls1 inhibitors, particularly CB-839, to the next stage of testing in the treatment of this disease.
Project description:Cancer cells require glutamine to adapt to increased biosynthetic activity. The limiting step in intracellular glutamine catabolism involves its conversion to glutamate by glutaminase (GA). Different GA isoforms are encoded by the genes GLS1 and GLS2 in humans. Herein, we show that glutamine levels control mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Glutaminase C (GAC) is the GA isoform that is most abundantly expressed in AML. Both knockdown of GLS1 expression and pharmacologic GLS1 inhibition by the drug CB-839 can reduce OXPHOS, leading to leukemic cell proliferation arrest and apoptosis without causing cytotoxic activity against normal human CD34(+) progenitors. Strikingly, GLS1 knockdown dramatically inhibited AML development in NSG mice. The antileukemic activity of CB-839 was abrogated by both the expression of a hyperactive GAC(K320A) allele and the addition of the tricarboxyclic acid cycle product α-ketoglutarate, indicating the critical function of GLS1 in AML cell survival. Finally, glutaminolysis inhibition activated mitochondrial apoptosis and synergistically sensitized leukemic cells to priming with the BCL-2 inhibitor ABT-199. These findings show that targeting glutamine addiction via GLS1 inhibition offers a potential novel therapeutic strategy for AML.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Glutamine serves as an important nutrient with many cancer types displaying glutamine dependence. Following cellular uptake glutamine is converted to glutamate in a reaction catalysed by mitochondrial glutaminase. This glutamate has many uses, including acting as an anaplerotic substrate (via alpha-ketoglutarate) to replenish TCA cycle intermediates. CB-839 is a potent, selective, orally bioavailable inhibitor of glutaminase that has activity in Triple receptor-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) cell lines and evidence of efficacy in advanced TNBC patients. METHODS:A panel of eleven breast cancer cell lines was used to investigate the anti-proliferative effects of the glutaminase inhibitors CB-839 and BPTES in different types of culture medium, with or without additional pyruvate supplementation. The abundance of the TCA cycle intermediate fumarate was quantified as a measure if TCA cycle anaplerosis. Pyruvate secretion by TNBC cultures was then assessed with or without AZD3965, a monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) inhibitor. Finally, two dimensional (2D) monolayer and three dimensional (3D) spheroid assays were used to compare the effect of microenvironmental growth conditions on CB-839 activity. RESULTS:The anti-proliferative activity of CB-839 in a panel of breast cancer cell lines was similar to published reports, but with a major caveat; growth inhibition by CB-839 was strongly attenuated in culture medium containing pyruvate. This pyruvate-dependent attenuation was also observed with a related glutaminase inhibitor, BPTES. Studies demonstrated that exogenous pyruvate acted as an anaplerotic substrate preventing the decrease of fumarate in CB-839-treated conditions. Furthermore, endogenously produced pyruvate secreted by TNBC cell lines was able to act in a paracrine manner to significantly decrease the sensitivity of recipient cells to glutaminase inhibition. Suppression of pyruvate secretion using the MCT1 inhibitor AZD3965, antagonised this paracrine effect and increased CB-839 activity. Finally, CB-839 activity was significantly compromised in 3D compared with 2D TNBC culture models, suggesting that 3D microenvironmental features impair glutaminase inhibitor responsiveness. CONCLUSION:This study highlights the potential influence that both circulating and tumour-derived pyruvate can have on glutaminase inhibitor efficacy. Furthermore, it highlights the benefits of 3D spheroid cultures to model the features of the tumour microenvironment and improve the in vitro investigation of cancer metabolism-targeted therapeutics.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alterations in metabolism are one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer cells and targeting dysregulated cancer metabolism provides a new approach to developing more selective therapeutics. However, insufficient blockade critical metabolic dependencies of cancer allows the development of metabolic bypasses, thus limiting therapeutic benefits. METHODS:A series of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines and animal models were used to determine the efficacy of CPI-613 and CB-839 when given alone or in combination. Glutaminase 1 (GLS1) depletion was achieved by lentiviral shRNAs. Cell viability and apoptosis were determined in HNSCC cells cultured in 2D culture dish and SeedEZ™ 3D scaffold. Molecular alterations were examined by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Metabolic changes were assessed by glucose uptake, lactate production, glutathione levels, and oxygen consumption rate. RESULTS:We show here that HNSCC cells display strong addiction to glutamine. CPI-613, a novel lipoate analog, redirects cellular activity towards tumor-promoting glutaminolysis, leading to low anticancer efficacy in HNSCC cells. Mechanistically, CPI-613 inhibits the tricarboxylic acid cycle by blocking the enzyme activities of pyruvate dehydrogenase and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, which upregulates GLS1 and eventually promotes the compensatory role of glutaminolysis in cancer cell survival. Most importantly, the addition of a GLS1 inhibitor CB-839 to CPI-613 treatment abrogates the metabolic dependency of HNSCC cells on glutamine, achieving a synergistic anticancer effect in glutamine-addicted HNSCC. CONCLUSIONS:These findings uncover the critical role of GLS1-mediated glutaminolysis in CPI-613 treatment and suggest that the CB-839 and CPI-613 combination may potentiate synergistic anticancer activity for HNSCC therapeutic gain.
Project description:Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) exhibits an inflammatory component, but the contribution of inflammation to cyst progression is unknown. Macrophages promote the proliferation of tubular cells following ischemic injury, suggesting that they may have a role in cystogenesis. Furthermore, cultured Pkd1-deficient cells express the macrophage chemoattractants Mcp1 and Cxcl16 and stimulate macrophage migration. Here, in orthologous models of both PKD1 and PKD2, abnormally large numbers of alternatively activated macrophages surrounded the cysts. To determine whether pericystic macrophages contribute to the proliferation of cyst-lining cells, we depleted phagocytic cells from Pkd1(fl/fl);Pkhd1-Cre mice by treating with liposomal clodronate from postnatal day 10 until day 24. Compared with vehicle-treated controls, macrophage-depleted mice had a significantly lower cystic index, reduced proliferation of cyst-lining cells, better-preserved renal parenchyma, and improved renal function. In conclusion, these data suggest that macrophages home to cystic areas and contribute to cyst growth. Interruption of these homing and proliferative signals could have therapeutic potential for PKD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDA) activate a glutamine-dependent pathway of cytosolic nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) production to maintain redox homeostasis and support proliferation. Enzymes involved in this pathway (GLS1 (mitochondrial glutaminase 1), GOT1 (cytoplasmic glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase 1), and GOT2 (mitochondrial glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase 2)) are highly upregulated in PDA, and among these, inhibitors of GLS1 were recently deployed in clinical trials to target anabolic glutamine metabolism. However, single-agent inhibition of this pathway is cytostatic and unlikely to provide durable benefit in controlling advanced disease. RESULTS:Here, we report that reducing NADPH pools by genetically or pharmacologically (bis-2-(5-phenylacetamido-1,2,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl sulfide (BPTES) or CB-839) inhibiting glutamine metabolism in mutant Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) PDA sensitizes cell lines and tumors to ß-lapachone (ß-lap, clinical form ARQ761). ß-Lap is an NADPH:quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1)-bioactivatable drug that leads to NADPH depletion through high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the futile redox cycling of the drug and subsequently nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)+ depletion through poly(ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP) hyperactivation. NQO1 expression is highly activated by mutant KRAS signaling. As such, ß-lap treatment concurrent with inhibition of glutamine metabolism in mutant KRAS, NQO1 overexpressing PDA leads to massive redox imbalance, extensive DNA damage, rapid PARP-mediated NAD+ consumption, and PDA cell death-features not observed in NQO1-low, wild-type KRAS expressing cells. CONCLUSIONS:This treatment strategy illustrates proof of principle that simultaneously decreasing glutamine metabolism-dependent tumor anti-oxidant defenses and inducing supra-physiological ROS formation are tumoricidal and that this rationally designed combination strategy lowers the required doses of both agents in vitro and in vivo. The non-overlapping specificities of GLS1 inhibitors and ß-lap for PDA tumors afford high tumor selectivity, while sparing normal tissue.