Methylglyoxal Acts as a Tumor-Promoting Factor in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.
ABSTRACT: Methylglyoxal (MG) is a potent inducer of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). MG, long considered a highly cytotoxic molecule with potential anticancer value, is now being re-evaluated to a protumorigenic agent in some malignancies. Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is an extremely aggressive and highly lethal cancer for which conventional therapies have proved ineffective. Successful therapeutic intervention in ATC is undermined by our poor understanding of its molecular etiology. In the attempt to understand the role of MG in ATC aggressiveness, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the level of MG protein adducts in ATC and slow-growing papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). We detected a high level of MG adducts in ATC compared to PTC ones, suggesting a protumor role for MG-mediated dicarbonyl stress in ATC. Accordingly, MG adduct accumulation in ATC cells in vitro was associated with a marked mesenchymal phenotype and increased migration/invasion, which were both reversed by aminoguanidine (AG)-a scavenger of MG-and resveratrol-an activator of Glyoxalase 1 (Glo1), the key metabolizing enzyme of MG. Our study represents the first demonstration that MG, via AGEs, acts as a tumor-promoting factor in ATC and suggests that MG scavengers and/or Glo1 activators merit investigations as potential therapeutic strategies for this malignancy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Elevated aerobic glycolysis rate is a biochemical alteration associated with malignant transformation and cancer progression. This metabolic shift unavoidably generates methylglyoxal (MG), a potent inducer of dicarbonyl stress through the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). We have previously shown that the silencing of glyoxalase 1 (GLO1), the main MG detoxifying enzyme, generates endogenous dicarbonyl stress resulting in enhanced growth and metastasis in vivo. However, the molecular mechanisms through which MG stress promotes metastasis development remain to be unveiled. METHODS:In this study, we used RNA sequencing analysis to investigate gene-expression profiling of GLO1-depleted breast cancer cells and we validated the regulated expression of selected genes of interest by RT-qPCR. Using in vitro and in vivo assays, we demonstrated the acquisition of a pro-metastatic phenotype related to dicarbonyl stress in MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468 and MCF7 breast cancer cellular models. Hyperactivation of MEK/ERK/SMAD1 pathway was evidenced using western blotting upon endogenous MG stress and exogenous MG treatment conditions. MEK and SMAD1 regulation of MG pro-metastatic signature genes in breast cancer cells was demonstrated by RT-qPCR. RESULTS:High-throughput transcriptome profiling of GLO1-depleted breast cancer cells highlighted a pro-metastatic signature that establishes novel connections between MG dicarbonyl stress, extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling by neoplastic cells and enhanced cell migration. Mechanistically, we showed that these metastasis-related processes are functionally linked to MEK/ERK/SMAD1 cascade activation in breast cancer cells. We showed that sustained MEK/ERK activation in GLO1-depleted cells notably occurred through the down-regulation of the expression of dual specificity phosphatases in MG-stressed breast cancer cells. The use of carnosine and aminoguanidine, two potent MG scavengers, reversed MG stress effects in in vitro and in vivo experimental settings. CONCLUSIONS:These results uncover for the first time the key role of MG dicarbonyl stress in the induction of ECM remodeling and the activation of migratory signaling pathways, both in favor of enhanced metastatic dissemination of breast cancer cells. Importantly, the efficient inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling using MG scavengers further emphasizes the need to investigate their therapeutic potential across different malignancies.
Project description:Cancer cells generally rely on aerobic glycolysis as a major source of energy. Methylglyoxal (MG), a dicarbonyl compound that is produced as a side product during glycolysis, is highly reactive and induces the formation of advanced glycation end-products that are implicated in several pathologies including cancer. All mammalian cells have an enzymatic defense against MG composed by glyoxalases GLO1 and GLO2 that converts MG to d-lactate. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most frequently occurring cancers with high morbidity and mortality. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the level of MG protein adducts, in a series of 102 CRC human tumors divided into four clinical stages. We consistently detected a high level of MG adducts and low GLO1 activity in high stage tumors compared to low stage ones suggesting a pro-tumor role for dicarbonyl stress. Accordingly, GLO1 depletion in CRC cells promoted tumor growth in vivo that was efficiently reversed using carnosine, a potent MG scavenger. Our study represents the first demonstration that MG adducts accumulation is a consistent feature of high stage CRC tumors. Our data point to MG production and detoxification levels as an important molecular link between exacerbated glycolytic activity and CRC progression.
Project description:Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is the most lethal form of thyroid neoplasia and represents the end stage of thyroid tumor progression. No effective treatment exists so far. ATC frequently derive from papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC), which have a good prognosis. In this study, we analyzed the mRNA expression profiles of 59 thyroid tumors (11 ATC and 48 PTC) by microarrays. ATC and PTC showed largely overlapping mRNA expression profiles with most genes regulated in all ATC being also regulated in several PTC. 43% of the probes regulated in all the PTC are similarly regulated in all ATC. Many genes modulations observed in PTC are amplified in ATC. This illustrates the fact that ATC mostly derived from PTC. A molecular signature of aggressiveness composed of 9 genes clearly separates the two tumors. Moreover, this study demonstrates gene regulations corresponding to the ATC or PTC phenotypes like inflammatory reaction, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion, high proliferation rate, dedifferentiation, calcification and fibrosis processes, high glucose metabolism and glycolysis, lactate generation and chemoresistance. The main qualitative differences between the two tumor types bear on the much stronger EMT, dedifferentiation and glycolytic phenotypes showed by the ATC.
Project description:Glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) is a ubiquitous cellular enzyme that participates in the detoxification of methylglyoxal (MG), a cytotoxic byproduct of glycolysis that induces protein modification (advanced glycation end-products, AGEs), oxidative stress, and apoptosis. The concentration of MG is elevated under high-glucose conditions, such as diabetes. As such, GLO1 and MG have been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. Recently, findings have linked GLO1 to numerous behavioral phenotypes, including psychiatric diseases (anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and autism) and pain. This review highlights GLO1's association with behavioral phenotypes, describes recent discoveries that have elucidated the underlying mechanisms, and identifies opportunities for future research.
Project description:PURPOSE:The majority of poorly differentiated thyroid cancer (PDTC) and anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) are thought to dedifferentiated from differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). PDTC is regarded as an intermediate form, through which DTC dedifferentiates into ATC. Although accumulation of gene mutations has been observed in PDTC and ATC, evidence of a direct link between DTC, PDTC, and ATC is still lacking. This work aims to illustrate if PDTC is the intermediate state between DTC and ATC. PATIENTS AND METHODS:Whole-exome sequencing was performed in a single patient presenting with primary papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) with simultaneous PTC, PDTC, and ATC in metastatic lymph nodes. RESULTS:167 nonsynonymous mutations were identified, and 24 of them were exclusive to metastatic loci. Comparison of mutational spectra revealed following results: 1) PDTC and ATC were associated with PTC-LN2 but not PTC-LN1; 2) the majority (5/6) of non-ubiquitous mutations in ATC were also present in PDTC; and 3) despite one mutation observed simultaneously in PTC-LN2, PDTC and ATC, no other associations were found between the ATC and PTC samples (primary or metastatic). Additionally, we identified five mutations (four mutations present in both PDTC and ATC, and one exclusive to ATC), including TP53 p.N107_S108delinsX, possibly related with DTC dedifferentiation. CONCLUSIONS:We observed an apparent potential, stepwise dedifferentiation process linking DTC, PDTC, and ATC, with PDTC serving as an intermediate state between DTC and ATC in one certain patient. One key mutation, combined with several low-frequency mutations, appears to underlie this dedifferentiation pathway.
Project description:Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rare but highly aggressive form of thyroid cancer. By contrast, differentiated Papillary Thyroid Cancer (PTC) only rarely behave aggressively and develop distant metastasis. Whether distantly metastatic PTC (DM-PTC) and ATC share a common genetic background is still to be defined. We used a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to explore the genetic background of a cohort of ATC and DM-PTC and a group of well-differentiated PTC that did not developed distant metastasis as control (ctrl-PTC). A panel of 128 amplicons within 21 thyroid cancer related genes was analyzed in a set of 151 thyroid cancer samples including 66 ATCs and DM-PTCs. We showed that the ATC/DM-PTC group had an overall mutational load higher than ctrl-PTCs and that ATCs and DM-PTCs are characterized by a different genetic background, with the exception of mutations in the TERT promoter that were overrepresented in both ATCs (61.1%) and DM-PTCs (48.2%) versus non aggressive ctrl-PTCs (7.6%). In ATCs, TERT promoter mutations were frequently associated with p53 mutations, while in the DM-PTCs no significant co-occurrence was observed. No significant association of MED12 mutations with aggressiveness of thyroid cancer was observed in our analysis. Finally, correlation analysis showed that increasing number of mutations negatively impact on patient overall survival also within the ATC and DM-PTC group. Overall our analysis further highlights the relevance of TERT promoter mutations in driving aggressiveness and provides new pieces of information in the definition of aggressiveness evolution of thyroid cancer lesions.
Project description:As a rare but aggressive papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) variant, the genetic changes of hobnail variant of PTC (HVPTC) are still unclear.The prevalence of HVPTC was 1.69% (18/1062) of all PTC diagnosed in our cohort. 73 samples from 55 patients (17 HVPTC, 26 CPTC, 7 PDTC and 5 ATC) were successfully analyzed using targeted NGS with an 18-gene panel. Thirty-seven mutation variant types were identified among 11 genes. BRAF V600E mutation was the most common mutation, which is present in almost all HVPTC samples (16/17, 94%), most CPTC samples (20/26, 77%), and none of the ATC and PDTC samples. TERT promoter mutation (C228T) was identified in 2 ATC and one HVPTC patient. RAS and TP53 mutation are almost exclusively present among ATC and PDTC samples although TP53 mutation was also observed in 3 HVPTC patients. Six different GNAS mutations were identified among 8 CPTC patients (31%) and none of the HVPTC patients. The only patient who died of disease progression harbored concomitant TERT C228T mutation, BRAF V600E mutation and TP53 mutation.HVPTC cases were identified from a group of 1062 consecutive surgical specimens diagnosed as PTC between 2000 and 2010. Targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) was applied to investigate the mutation spectrum of HVPTC, compared to classical PTC (CPTC), poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma (PDTC) and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC).As an aggressive variant of PTC, HVPTC has relatively specific molecular features, which is somewhat different from both CPTC and ATC/PDTC and may underlie its relatively aggressive behavior.
Project description:Anaplastic (ATC) and refractory papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) lack effective treatments. Inhibition of either oncogenic BRAF or SRC has marked anti-tumor effects in mouse models of thyroid cancer, however, neither drug induces notable apoptosis. Here we report that the SRC-inhibitor dasatinib further sensitizes BRAFV600E-positive thyroid cancer cells to the BRAFV600E-inhibitor PLX4720. Combined treatment with PLX4720 and dasatinib synergistically inhibited proliferation and reduced migration in PTC and ATC cells. Whereas PLX4720 did not induce robust apoptosis in thyroid cancer cells, combined treatment with dasatinib induced apoptosis in 4 of 6 lines. In an immunocompetent orthotopic mouse model of ATC, combined PLX4720 and dasatinib treatment significantly reduced tumor volume relative to PLX4720 treatment alone. Immune cell infiltration was increased by PLX4720 treatment and this effect was maintained in mice treated with both PLX4720 and dasatinib. Further, combined treatment significantly increased caspase 3 cleavage in vivo relative to control or either treatment alone. In conclusion, combined PLX4720 and dasatinib treatment induces apoptosis, increases immune cell infiltration and reduces tumor volume in a preclinical model of ATC, suggesting that the combination of these FDA-approved drugs may have potential for the treatment of patients with ATC or refractory PTC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) accounts for only 3% of thyroid cancers, yet strikingly, it accounts for almost 40% of thyroid cancer deaths. Currently, no effective therapies exist. In an effort to identify ATC-specific therapeutic targets, we analyzed global gene expression data from multiple studies to identify ATC-specific dysregulated genes. METHODS:The National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus database was searched for high-throughput gene expression microarray studies from human ATC tissue along with normal thyroid and/or papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) tissue. Gene expression levels in ATC were compared with normal thyroid or PTC using seven separate comparisons, and an ATC-specific gene set common in all seven comparisons was identified. We investigated these genes for their biological functions and pathways. RESULTS:There were three studies meeting inclusion criteria, (including 32 ATC patients, 69 PTC, and 75 normal). There were 259 upregulated genes and 286 downregulated genes in ATC with at least two-fold change in all seven comparisons. Using a five-fold filter, 36 genes were upregulated in ATC, while 40 genes were downregulated. Of the 10 top globally upregulated genes in ATC, 4/10 (MMP1, ANLN, CEP55, and TFPI2) are known to play a role in ATC progression; however, 6/10 genes (TMEM158, CXCL5, E2F7, DLGAP5, MME, and ASPM) had not been specifically implicated in ATC. Similarly, 3/10 (SFTA3, LMO3, and C2orf40) of the most globally downregulated genes were novel in this context, while 7/10 genes (SLC26A7, TG, TSHR, DUOX2, CDH1, PDE8B, and FOXE1) have been previously identified in ATC. We experimentally validated a significant correlation for seven transcription factors (KLF16, SP3, ETV6, FOXC1, SP1, EGFR1, and MAFK) with the ATC-specific genes using microarray analysis of ATC cell lines. Ontology clustering of globally altered genes revealed that "mitotic cell cycle" is highly enriched in the globally upregulated gene set (44% of top upregulated genes, p-value <10-30). CONCLUSIONS:By focusing on globally altered genes, we have identified a set of consistently altered biological processes and pathways in ATC. Our data are consistent with an important role for M-phase cell cycle genes in ATC, and may provide direction for future studies to identify novel therapeutic targets for this disease.
Project description:The dysregulation of PD-1 ligands (PD-L1 and PD-L2) and CTLA-4 ligands (CD80 and CD86) represents a tumor strategy to escape the immune surveillance. Here, the expression of PD-L1, PD-L2, CD80, and CD86 was evaluated at the mRNA level in 94 patients affected by papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and 11 patients affected by anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC). Variations in the mRNAs in PTC patients were then correlated with clinicopathological features. The expression of all genes was deregulated in PTC and ATC tissues compared to normal tissues. In particular, the downregulation of CD80 was observed above all in ATC. In addition, the increased expression of CD80 associated with longer disease-free survival in PTC. Higher expression of PD-L1 associated with the classical histological variant and with the presence of BRAFV600E mutation in PTC. The increased PD-L2 expression correlated with BRAFV600E mutation and lymph node metastasis, while its lower expression correlated with the follicular PTC variant. The latter was also associated with the CD80 downregulation, which was also related to the absence of lymph node metastasis. In conclusion, we documented the overall dysregulation of PD-1 and CTLA-4 ligands in PTC and ATC tissues and a possible prognostic value for CD80 gene expression in PTC.