FAK activity sustains intrinsic and acquired ovarian cancer resistance to platinum chemotherapy.
ABSTRACT: Gene copy number alterations, tumor cell stemness, and the development of platinum chemotherapy resistance contribute to high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) recurrence. Stem phenotypes involving Wnt-?-catenin, aldehyde dehydrogenase activities, intrinsic platinum resistance, and tumorsphere formation are here associated with spontaneous gains in Kras, Myc and FAK (KMF) genes in a new aggressive murine model of ovarian cancer. Adhesion-independent FAK signaling sustained KMF and human tumorsphere proliferation as well as resistance to cisplatin cytotoxicity. Platinum-resistant tumorspheres can acquire a dependence on FAK for growth. Accordingly, increased FAK tyrosine phosphorylation was observed within HGSOC patient tumors surviving neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. Combining a FAK inhibitor with platinum overcame chemoresistance and triggered cell apoptosis. FAK transcriptomic analyses across knockout and reconstituted cells identified 135 targets, elevated in HGSOC, that were regulated by FAK activity and ?-catenin including Myc, pluripotency and DNA repair genes. These studies reveal an oncogenic FAK signaling role supporting chemoresistance.
Project description:Gene copy number changes, cancer stem cell (CSC) increases, and platinum chemotherapy resistance contribute to poor prognosis in patients with recurrent high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). CSC phenotypes involving Wnt-b-catenin and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities, platinum resistance, and tumor initiating frequency are here associated with spontaneous genetic gains, including genes encoding KRAS, MYC and FAK, in a new murine model of ovarian cancer (KMF). Noncanonical FAK signaling was sufficient to sustain human and KMF tumorsphere proliferation, CSC survival, and platinum resistance. Increased FAK tyrosine phosphorylation occurred in HGSOC patient tumors surviving neo-adjuvant platinum and paclitaxel chemotherapy and platinum resistant tumorspheres acquired FAK dependence for growth. Importantly, combining a pharmacologic FAK inhibitor with platinum overcame chemoresistance and triggered apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Knockout, rescue, genomic and transcriptomic analyses collectively identified more than 400 genes regulated along a FAK/b-catenin/Myc axis impacting stemness and DNA repair in HGSOC, with 66 genes gained in a majority of Cancer Genome Atlas samples. Together, these results support combinatorial testing of FAK inhibitors for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. Overall design: mRNA profiles of KMF parental, KMF clone KT13 (FAK-/-), KT13 + GFP-FAK, KT13 + GFP-FAK R454, and KT13 + deltaGSK beta-catenin cells were generated in triplicate using an Illumina NovaSeq 6000 Sequencing System
Project description:Gene copy number changes, cancer stem cell (CSC) increases, and platinum chemotherapy resistance contribute to poor prognosis in patients with recurrent high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). CSC phenotypes involving Wnt-b-catenin and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities, platinum resistance, and tumor initiating frequency are here associated with spontaneous genetic gains, including genes encoding KRAS, MYC and FAK, in a new murine model of ovarian cancer (KMF). Noncanonical FAK signaling was sufficient to sustain human and KMF tumorsphere proliferation, CSC survival, and platinum resistance. Increased FAK tyrosine phosphorylation occurred in HGSOC patient tumors surviving neo-adjuvant platinum and paclitaxel chemotherapy and platinum resistant tumorspheres acquired FAK dependence for growth. Importantly, combining a pharmacologic FAK inhibitor with platinum overcame chemoresistance and triggered apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Knockout, rescue, genomic and transcriptomic analyses collectively identified more than 400 genes regulated along a FAK/b-catenin/Myc axis impacting stemness and DNA repair in HGSOC, with 66 genes gained in a majority of Cancer Genome Atlas samples. Together, these results support combinatorial testing of FAK inhibitors for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. Overall design: mRNA profiles of ID8 and ID8-IP / KMF cells were generated in triplicate using an Illumina NovaSeq 6000 Sequencing System
Project description:Resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy is the major barrier to treating epithelial ovarian cancer. To improve patient outcomes, it is critical to identify the underlying mechanisms that promote platinum resistance. Emerging evidence supports the concept that platinum-based therapies are able to eliminate the bulk of differentiated cancer cells, but are unable to eliminate cancer initiating cells (CIC). To date, the relevant pathways that regulate ovarian CICs remain elusive. Several correlative studies have shown that Wnt/?-catenin pathway activation is associated with poor outcomes in patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). However, the functional relevance of these findings remain to be delineated. We have uncovered that Wnt/?-catenin pathway activation is a critical driver of HGSOC chemotherapy resistance, and targeted inhibition of this pathway, which eliminates CICs, represents a novel and effective treatment for chemoresistant HGSOC. Here we show that Wnt/?-catenin signaling is activated in ovarian CICs, and targeted inhibition of ?-catenin potently sensitized cells to cisplatin and decreased CIC tumor sphere formation. Furthermore, the Wnt/?-catenin specific inhibitor iCG-001 potently sensitized cells to cisplatin and decreased stem-cell frequency in platinum resistant cells. Taken together, our data is the first report providing evidence that the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway maintains stem-like properties and drug resistance of primary HGSOC PDX derived platinum resistant models, and therapeutic targeting of this pathway with iCG-001/PRI-724, which has been shown to be well tolerated in Phase I trials, may be an effective treatment option.
Project description:Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecologic malignancy. Although there are various subtypes of ovarian cancer, high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) accounts for 70% of ovarian cancer deaths. Chemoresistance is the primary reason for the unfavourable prognosis of HGSOC. Kallistatin (KAL), also known as SERPINA4, is part of the serpin family. Kallistatin has been discovered to exert multiple effects on angiogenesis, inflammation and tumour progression. However, the roles and clinical significance of kallistatin in HGSOC remain unclear. Here, we showed that kallistatin was significantly downregulated in HGSOC compared to normal fallopian tube (FT) tissues. Low expression of kallistatin was associated with unfavourable prognosis and platinum resistance in HGSOC. Overexpression of kallistatin significantly inhibited proliferation and metastasis, and enhanced platinum sensitivity and apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that kallistatin serves as a prognostic predictor and provide a potential therapeutic target for HGSOC.
Project description:PurposeHigh-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the leading cause of death among gynecological malignancies. This is mainly attributed to its high rates of chemoresistance. To date, few studies have investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying this resistance to treatment in ovarian cancer patients. In this study, we aimed to explore these molecular mechanisms using bioinformatics analysis.MethodsWe analyzed microarray data set GSE51373, which included 16 platinum-sensitive HGSOC samples and 12 platinum-resistant control samples. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified using RStudio. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses were performed using DAVID, and a DEG-associated protein–protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed using STRING. Hub genes in the PPI network were identified, and the prognostic value of the top ten hub genes was evaluated. MGP, one of the hub genes, was verified by immunohistochemistry.ResultsAll samples were confirmed to be of high quality. A total of 109 DEGs were identified, and the top ten enriched GO terms and four KEGG pathways were obtained. Specifically, the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway and the Rap1 signaling pathway were identified as having significant roles in chemoresistance in HGSOC. Furthermore, based on the PPI network, KIT, FOXM1, FGF2, HIST1H4D, ZFPM2, IFIT2, CCNO, MGP, RHOBTB3, and CDC7 were identified as hub genes. Five of these hub genes could predict the prognosis of HGSOC patients. Positive immunostaining signals for MGP were observed in the chemoresistant samples.ConclusionTaken together, the findings of this study may provide novel insights into HGSOC chemoresistance and identify important therapeutic targets.
Project description:High grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and aggressive ovarian cancer subtype with the worst clinical outcome due to intrinsic or acquired drug resistance. Standard treatment involves platinum compounds. Cancer development and chemoresistance is often associated with an increase in histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) to increase platinum potency in HGSOC. Four HGSOC cell lines with different cisplatin sensitivity were treated with combinations of cisplatin and entinostat (class I HDACi), panobinostat (pan-HDACi), or nexturastat A (class IIb HDACi), respectively. Inhibition of class I HDACs by entinostat turned out superior in increasing cisplatin potency than pan-HDAC inhibition in cell viability assays (MTT), apoptosis induction (subG1), and caspase 3/7 activation. Entinostat was synergistic with cisplatin in all cell lines in MTT and caspase activation assays. MTT assays gave combination indices (CI values) < 0.9 indicating synergism. The effect of HDAC inhibitors could be attributed to the upregulation of pro-apoptotic genes (CDNK1A, APAF1, PUMA, BAK1) and downregulation of survivin. In conclusion, the combination of entinostat and cisplatin is synergistic in HGSOC and could be an effective strategy for the treatment of aggressive ovarian cancer.
Project description:Integrins, a family of heterodimeric receptors for extracellular matrix, are promising therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer, particularly high-grade serous-type (HGSOC), as they drive tumor cell attachment, migration, proliferation and survival by activating focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-dependent signaling. Owing to the potential off-target effects of FAK inhibitors, disruption of the integrin signaling axis remains to be a challenge. Here, we tackled this barrier by screening for inhibitors being functionally cooperative with small-molecule VS-6063, a phase II FAK inhibitor. From this screening, JQ1, a potent inhibitor of Myc oncogenic network, emerged as the most robust collaborator. Treatment with a combination of VS-6063 and JQ1 synergistically caused an arrest of tumor cells at the G2/M phase and a decrease in the XIAP-linked cell survival. Our subsequent mechanistic analyses indicate that this functional cooperation was strongly associated with the concomitant disruption of activation or expression of FAK and c-Myc as well as their downstream signaling through the PI3K/Akt pathway. In line with these observations, we detected a strong co-amplification or upregulation at genomic or protein level for FAK and c-Myc in a large portion of primary tumors in the TCGA or a local HGSOC patient cohort. Taken together, our results suggest that the integrin-FAK signaling axis and c-Myc synergistically drive cell proliferation, survival and oncogenic potential in HGSOC. As such, our study provides key genetic, functional and signaling bases for the small-molecule-based co-targeting of these two distinct oncogenic drivers as a new line of targeted therapy against human ovarian cancer.
Project description:High-grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOC) are genomically complex, heterogeneous cancers with a high mortality rate, due to acquired chemoresistance and lack of targeted therapy options. Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKi) target the retinoblastoma (RB) signaling network, and have been successfully incorporated into treatment regimens for breast and other cancers. Here, we have compared mechanisms of response and resistance to three CDKi that target either CDK4/6 or CDK2 and abrogate E2F target gene expression. We identify CCNE1 gain and RB1 loss as mechanisms of resistance to CDK4/6 inhibition, whereas receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) and RAS signaling is associated with CDK2 inhibitor resistance. Mechanistically, we show that ETS factors are mediators of RTK/RAS signaling that cooperate with E2F in cell cycle progression. Consequently, CDK2 inhibition sensitizes cyclin E1-driven but not RAS-driven ovarian cancer cells to platinum-based chemotherapy. In summary, this study outlines a rational approach for incorporating CDKi into treatment regimens for HGSOC.
Project description:Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) has one of the highest death to incidence ratios among all cancers. High grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is the most common and deadliest EOC histotype due to the lack of therapeutic options following debulking surgery and platinum/taxane-based chemotherapies. For recurrent chemosensitive HGSOC, poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase inhibitors (PARPi; olaparib, rucaparib, or niraparib) represent an emerging treatment strategy. While PARPi are most effective in homologous recombination DNA repair-deficient (HRD) HGSOCs, recent studies have observed a significant benefit in non-HRD HGSOCs. However, all HGSOC patients are likely to acquire resistance. Therefore, there is an urgent clinical need to understand PARPi resistance and to introduce novel combinatorial therapies to manage PARPi resistance and extend HGSOC disease-free intervals. In a panel of HGSOC cell lines, we established matched olaparib sensitive and resistant cells. Transcriptome analysis of the matched olaparib-sensitive vs -resistant cells revealed activation of the Wnt signaling pathway and consequently increased TCF transcriptional activity in PARPi-resistant cells. Forced activation of canonical Wnt signaling in several PARPi-sensitive cells via WNT3A reduced olaparib and rucaparib sensitivity. PARPi resistant cells were sensitive to inhibition of Wnt signaling using the FDA-approved compound, pyrvinium pamoate, which has been shown to promote downregulation of ?-catenin. In both an HGSOC cell line and a patient-derived xenograft model, we observed that combining pyrvinium pamoate with olaparib resulted in a significant decrease in tumor burden. This study demonstrates that Wnt signaling can mediate PARPi resistance in HGSOC and provides a clinical rationale for combining PARP and Wnt inhibitors.
Project description:High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is the most prevalent and malignant ovarian tumor.To identify co-expression modules and hub genes correlated with platinum-based chemotherapy resistant and sensitive HGSOC, we performed weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) on microarray data of HGSOC with 12 resistant samples and 16 sensitive samples of GSE51373 dataset.A total of 5122 genes were included in WGCNA, and 16 modules were identified. Module-trait analysis identified that the module salmon (cor?=?0.50), magenta (cor?=?0.49), and black (cor?=?0.45) were discovered associated with chemotherapy resistant, and the significance for these platinum-resistant modules were validated in the GSE63885 dataset. Given that the black module was validated to be the most related one, hub genes of this module, alcohol dehydrogenase 1B, cadherin 11, and vestigial like family member 3were revealed to be expressional related with platinum resistance, and could serve as prognostic markers for ovarian cancer.Our analysis might provide insight for molecular mechanisms of platinum-based chemotherapy resistance and treatment response in ovarian cancer.