Betulinic Acid Suppresses Breast Cancer Metastasis by Targeting GRP78-Mediated Glycolysis and ER Stress Apoptotic Pathway.
ABSTRACT: Targeting aberrant metabolism is a promising strategy for inhibiting cancer growth and metastasis. Research is now geared towards investigating the inhibition of glycolysis for anticancer drug development. Betulinic acid (BA) has demonstrated potent anticancer activities in multiple malignancies. However, its regulatory effects on glycolysis and the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. BA inhibited invasion and migration of highly aggressive breast cancer cells. Moreover, BA could suppress aerobic glycolysis of breast cancer cells presenting as a reduction of lactate production, quiescent energy phenotype transition, and downregulation of aerobic glycolysis-related proteins. In this study, glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) was also identified as the molecular target of BA in inhibiting aerobic glycolysis. BA treatment led to GRP78 overexpression, and GRP78 knockdown abrogated the inhibitory effect of BA on glycolysis. Further studies demonstrated that overexpressed GRP78 activated the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor PERK. Subsequent phosphorylation of eIF2? led to the inhibition of ?-catenin expression, which resulted in the inhibition of c-Myc-mediated glycolysis. Coimmunoprecipitation assay revealed that BA interrupted the binding between GRP78 and PERK, thereby initiating the glycolysis inhibition cascade. Finally, the lung colonization model validated that BA inhibited breast cancer metastasis in vivo, as well as suppressed the expression of aerobic glycolysis-related proteins. In conclusion, our study not only provided a promising drug for aerobic glycolysis inhibition but also revealed that GRP78 is a novel molecular link between glycolytic metabolism and ER stress during tumor metastasis.
Project description:Stress-induced cellular defense machinery has a critical role in mediating cancer drug resistance, and targeting stress-related signaling has become a novel strategy to improve chemosensitivity. Betulinic acid (BA) is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid with potent anticancer bioactivities in multiple malignancies, whereas its underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here in, we found that BA has synergistic effects with taxol to induce breast cancer cells G2/M checkpoint arrest and apoptosis induction, but had little cytotoxicity effects on normal mammary epithelial cells. Drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) strategy further identified glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) as the direct interacting target of BA. BA administration significantly elevated GRP78-mediated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and resulted in the activation of protein kinase R-like ER kinase (PERK)/eukaryotic initiation factor 2a/CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein apoptotic pathway. GRP78 silencing or ER stress inhibitor salubrinal administration was revealed to abolish the anticancer effects of BA, indicating the critical role of GRP78 in mediating the bioactivity of BA. Molecular docking and coimmunoprecipitation assay further demonstrated that BA might competitively bind with ATPase domain of GRP78 to interrupt its interaction with ER stress sensor PERK, thereby initiating the downstream apoptosis cascade. In vivo breast cancer xenografts finally validated the chemosensitizing effects of BA and its biofunction in activating GRP78 to trigger ER stress-mediated apoptosis. Taken together, our study not only uncovers GRP78 as a novel target underlying the chemosensitizing effects of BA, but also highlights GRP78-based targeting strategy as a promising approach to improve breast cancer prognosis.
Project description:Aerobic glycolysis plays a decisive role in cancer growth. However, its role in cancer metastasis was rarely understood. Cantharidin a natural compound from an arthropod insect cantharis exerts potent anticancer activity. Here we found cantharidin possesses significant anti-metastatic activity on breast cancer dependent on inhibition of aerobic glycolysis. Cantharidin indicates significant inhibition on migration and invasion of breast cancer cells, angiogenesis in vitro, and inhibits breast cancer cells metastasizing to liver and lung in vivo. Subsequent results revealed that cantharidin decreases the extracellular acidification rates (ECAR) but increases the oxygen consumption rates (OCR) in high metastatic cells, leading to suppression of aerobic glycolysis. This was considered to be due to inhibiting the activity of pyruvate kinase (PK) and further blocking pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) translocation in nucleus. Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) and L-cysteine can significantly reverse cantharidin inhibition on breast cancer cell migration, invasion, and PKM2 translocation. Furthermore, glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) forming a metabolic loop with PKM2 is downregulated, as well as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), the regulator of the glycolytic loop. Totally, cantharidin inhibits the PKM2 nuclear translocation and breaks GLUT1/PKM2 glycolytic loop, resulting in aerobic glycolysis transformation to oxidation and subsequent reversing the metastases in breast cancer. Based on inhibiting multi signals mediated aerobic glycolysis, cantharidin could be prospectively used for prevention of metastasis in breast cancer patients.
Project description:Metabolic rewiring to utilize aerobic glycolysis is a hallmark of cancer. However, recent findings suggest the role of mitochondria in energy generation in cancer cells and the metabolic switch to oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in response to the blockade of glycolysis. We previously demonstrated that the antitumor effect of gracillin occurs through the inhibition of mitochondrial complex II-mediated energy production. Here, we investigated the potential of gracillin as an anticancer agent targeting both glycolysis and OXPHOS in breast and lung cancer cells. Along with the reduction in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, gracillin markedly suppresses the production of several glycolysis-associated metabolites. A docking analysis and enzyme assay suggested phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1) is a potential target for the antiglycolytic effect of gracillin. Gracillin reduced the viability and colony formation ability of breast cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. Gracillin displayed efficacious antitumor effects in mice bearing breast cancer cell line or breast cancer patient-derived tumor xenografts with no overt changes in body weight. An analysis of publicly available datasets further suggested that PGK1 expression is associated with metastasis status and poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer. These results suggest that gracillin is a natural anticancer agent that inhibits both glycolysis and mitochondria-mediated bioenergetics.
Project description:Aberrant energy metabolism is critical for cancer progression. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) can stimulate tumor angiogenesis and enhance cancer metastasis; however, the metabolic interaction between cancer cells and macrophages characterized by lactate shuttles remains unclear. Here, we showed that lactate activated human macrophages to a TAM-like phenotype and stimulated the secretion of CCL5 by activation of Notch signaling in macrophages. Reciprocally, CCL5 increased cell migration, induced cancer cell EMT, and promoted aerobic glycolysis in breast cancer cells, suggesting a positive metabolic feedback loop in the co-culture system. Inhibition of CCR5, the cognate receptor of CCL5, or neutralization of CCL5, broke the metabolic loop and decreased cancer cell migration and EMT. Inhibition of aerobic glycolysis significantly reduced breast cancer cell EMT, indicated that aerobic glycolysis was necessary for the invasive phenotype of cancer cells. We further showed that TGF-? signaling regulated the expression of CCR5 in the co-culture system, and CCL5 induced glycolysis by mediation of AMPK signaling. The expression of CCL5-CCR5 axis was highly associated with macrophage infiltration, TGF-? and p-AMPK in clinical samples. CCL5-CCR5 axis promoted breast cancer metastasis in vivo. Our findings suggested a pivotal role of CCL5-CCR5 axis in the metabolic communication between cancer cells and macrophages.
Project description:Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), playing a central role in regulating aerobic glycolysis, was considered as a promising target for cancer therapy. However, its role in cancer metastasis is rarely known. Here, we found a tight relationship between PKM2 and breast cancer metastasis, demonstrated by the findings that beta-elemene (?-elemene), an approved drug for complementary cancer therapy, exerted distinct anti-metastatic activity dependent on PKM2. The results indicated that ?-elemene inhibited breast cancer cell migration, invasion in vitro as well as metastases in vivo. ?-Elemene further inhibited the process of aerobic glycolysis and decreased the utilization of glucose and the production of pyruvate and lactate through suppressing pyruvate kinase activity by modulating the transformation of dimeric and tetrameric forms of PKM2. Further analysis revealed that ?-elemene suppressed aerobic glycolysis by blocking PKM2 nuclear translocation and the expression of EGFR, GLUT1 and LDHA by influencing the expression of importin ?5. Furthermore, the effect of ?-elemene on migration, invasion, PKM2 transformation, and nuclear translocation could be reversed in part by fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) and L-cysteine. Taken together, tetrameric transformation and nuclear translocation of PKM2 are essential for cancer metastasis, and ?-elemene inhibited breast cancer metastasis via blocking aerobic glycolysis mediated by dimeric PKM2 transformation and nuclear translocation, being a promising anti-metastatic agent from natural compounds.
Project description:Aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect contributes to cancer cell proliferation; however, how this glucose metabolism pathway is precisely regulated remains elusive. Here we show that receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1), a cell death and survival signaling factor, regulates mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and aerobic glycolysis. Loss of RIP1 in lung cancer cells suppressed peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? coactivator-1? (PGC-1?) expression, impairing mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and accelerating glycolysis, resulting in spontaneous DNA damage and p53-mediated cell proliferation inhibition. Thus, although aerobic glycolysis within a certain range favors cancer cell proliferation, excessive glycolysis causes cytostasis. Our data suggest that maintenance of glycolysis by RIP1 is pivotal to cancer cell energy homeostasis and DNA integrity and may be exploited for use in anticancer therapy.
Project description:Warburg effect, one of the hallmarks for cancer cells, is characterized by metabolic switch from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis. In recent years, increased expression level of pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) has been found to be the culprit of enhanced aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells. However, there is no agent inhibiting aerobic glycolysis by targeting PKM2. In this study, we found that Oleanolic acid (OA) induced a switch from PKM2 to PKM1, and consistently, abrogated Warburg effect in cancer cells. Suppression of aerobic glycolysis by OA is mediated by PKM2/PKM1 switch. Furthermore, mTOR signaling was found to be inactivated in OA-treated cancer cells, and mTOR inhibition is required for the effect of OA on PKM2/PKM1 switch. Decreased expression of c-Myc-dependent hnRNPA1 and hnRNPA1 was responsible for OA-induced switch between PKM isoforms. Collectively, we identified that OA is an antitumor compound that suppresses aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells and there is potential that PKM2 may be developed as an important target in aerobic glycolysis pathway for developing novel anticancer agents.
Project description:A shift from oxygen phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis was known as the Warburg effect and a characteristic of cancer cell metabolism facilitating metastasis. Mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), a key ion channel that mediates Ca2+ uptake into mitochondria, was found to promote cancer progression and metastasis. However, its explicit role in shifting metabolism of breast cancer cells has not been defined.We evaluated MCU overexpression or knock-down on migration, invasion and glucose metabolismin breast cancer cells. Mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics were monitored with Rhod-2 fluorescence imaging. Luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm the interaction between miR-340 and 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of MCU gene. Mouse models of lung metastasis were used to determine whether gain-/loss-of-MCU impacts metastasis. MCU expression was assessed in 60 tumor samples from breast cancer patients by immunohistochemistry (IHC).Knockdown of MCU in MDA-MB-231 cells significantly reduced cell migration and invasion in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo; whereas overexpression of MCU in MCF-7 cells significantly increased migration and invasion in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo. Overexpression of MCU promoted lung metastasis by enhancing glycolysis, whereas suppression of MCU abolished this effect. Moreover, a novel mechanism was identified that MCU was a direct target of microRNA-340, which suppressed breast cancer cell motility by inhibiting glycolysis. Consistently, significantly increased MCU protein was found in metastatic breast cancer patients.We identified a novel mechanism that upregulated MCU promotes breast cancer metastasis via enhancing glycolysis, and that this process is posttranscriptionally and negatively regulated by microRNA-340.
Project description:PERK signaling is required for cancer invasion and there is interest in targeting this pathway for therapy. Unfortunately, chemical inhibitors of PERK's kinase activity cause on-target side effects that have precluded their further development. One strategy for resolving this difficulty would be to target downstream components of the pathway that specifically mediate PERK's pro-invasive and metastatic functions. Here we identify the transcription factor CREB3L1 as an essential mediator of PERK's pro-metastatic functions in breast cancer. CREB3L1 acts downstream of PERK, specifically in the mesenchymal subtype of triple-negative tumors, and its inhibition by genetic or pharmacological methods suppresses cancer cell invasion and metastasis. In patients with this tumor subtype, CREB3L1 expression is predictive of distant metastasis. These findings establish CREB3L1 as a key downstream mediator of PERK-driven metastasis and a druggable target for breast cancer therapy.
Project description:Trastuzumab shows remarkable efficacy in treatment of ErbB2-positive breast cancers when used alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutics. However, acquired resistance develops in most treated patients, necessitating alternate treatment strategies. Increased aerobic glycolysis is a hallmark of cancer and inhibition of glycolysis may offer a promising strategy to preferentially kill cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the antitumor effects of trastuzumab in combination with glycolysis inhibitors in ErbB2-positive breast cancer. We found that trastuzumab inhibits glycolysis via downregulation of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) and lactate dehydrogenase A (LDH-A) in ErbB2-positive cancer cells, resulting in tumor growth inhibition. Moreover, increased glycolysis via HSF1 and LDH-A contributes to trastuzumab resistance. Importantly, we found that combining trastuzumab with glycolysis inhibition synergistically inhibited trastuzumab-sensitive and -resistant breast cancers in vitro and in vivo, due to more efficient inhibition of glycolysis. Taken together, our findings show how glycolysis inhibition can dramatically enhance the therapeutic efficacy of trastuzumab in ErbB2-positive breast cancers, potentially useful as a strategy to overcome trastuzumab resistance.