Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase by PX-866 suppresses temozolomide-induced autophagy and promotes apoptosis in glioblastoma cells.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Temozolomide (TMZ) is the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agent used to treat glioblastoma (GBM), which causes significant DNA damage to highly proliferative cells. Our observations have added to accumulating evidence that TMZ induces stress-responsive cellular programs known to promote cell survival, including autophagy. As such, targeting these survival pathways may represent new vulnerabilities of GBM after treatment with TMZ. METHODS:Using the T98G human glioma cell line, we assessed the molecular signaling associated with TMZ treatment, the cellular consequences of using the pan-PI3K inhibitor PX-866, and performed clonogenic assays to determine the effect sequential treatment of TMZ and PX-866 had on colony formation. Additionally, we also use subcutaneous GBM patient derived xenograft (PDX) tumors to show relative LC3 protein expression and correlations between survival pathways and molecular markers which dictate clinical responsiveness to TMZ. RESULTS:Here, we report that TMZ can induce autophagic flux in T98G glioma cells. GBM patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumors treated with TMZ also display an increase in the autophagosome marker LC3 II. Additionally, O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) expression correlates with PI3K/AKT activity, suggesting that patients with inherent resistance to TMZ (MGMT-high) would benefit from PI3K/AKT inhibitors in addition to TMZ. Accordingly, we have identified that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetrant pan-PI3K inhibitor, PX-866, is an early-stage inhibitor of autophagic flux, while maintaining its ability to inhibit PI3K/AKT signaling in glioma cells. Lastly, due to the induction of autophagic flux by TMZ, we provide evidence for sequential treatment of TMZ followed by PX-866, rather than combined co-treatment, as a means to shut down autophagy-induced survival in GBM cells and to enhance apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS:The understanding of how TMZ induces survival pathways, such as autophagy, may offer new therapeutic vulnerabilities and opportunities to use sequential inhibition of alternate pro-survival pathways that regulate autophagy. As such, identification of additional ways to inhibit TMZ-induced autophagy could enhance the efficacy of TMZ.
Project description:The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt oncogenic pathway is critical in glioblastomas. Loss of PTEN, a negative regulator of the PI3K pathway or activated PI3K/Akt pathway that drive increased proliferation, survival, neovascularization, glycolysis, and invasion is found in 70%-80% of malignant gliomas. Thus, PI3K is an attractive therapeutic target for malignant glioma. We report that a new irreversible PI3K inhibitor, PX-866, shows potent inhibitory effects on the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in glioblastoma. PX-866 did not induce any apoptosis in glioma cells; however, an increase in autophagy was observed. PX-866 inhibited the invasive and angiogenic capabilities of cultured glioblastoma cells. In vivo, PX-866 inhibited subcutaneous tumor growth and increased the median survival time of animals with intracranial tumors. We also assessed the potential of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) as a noninvasive method to monitor response to PX-866. Our findings show that PX-866 treatment causes a drop in the MRS-detectable choline-to-NAA, ratio and identify this partial normalization of the tumor metabolic profile as a biomarker of molecular drug action. Our studies affirm that the PI3K pathway is a highly specific molecular target for therapies for glioblastoma and other cancers with aberrant PI3K/PTEN expression.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Despite aggressive treatment with radiation therapy and concurrent adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ), glioblastoma multiform (GBM) still has a dismal prognosis. We aimed to identify strategies to improve the therapeutic outcome of combined radiotherapy and TMZ in GBM by targeting pro-survival signaling from the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).<h4>Methods</h4>Glioma cell lines U251, T98G were used. Colony formation, DNA damage repair, mode of cell death, invasion, migration and vasculogenic mimicry as well as protein expression were determined.<h4>Results</h4>U251 cells showing a low level of methyl guanine transferase (MGMT) were highly responsive to the radiosensitizing effect of TMZ compared to T98G cells having a high level of MGMT. Treatment with a dual inhibitor of Class I PI3K/mTOR, PI103; a HSP90 inhibitor, 17-DMAG; or a HDAC inhibitor, LBH589, further increased the cytotoxic effect of radiation therapy plus TMZ in U251 cells than in T98G cells. However, treatment with a mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin, did not discernibly potentiate the radiosensitizing effect of TMZ in either cell line. The mechanism of enhanced radiosensitizing effects of TMZ was multifactorial, involving impaired DNA damage repair, induction of autophagy or apoptosis, and reversion of EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results suggest possible strategies for counteracting the pro-survival signaling from EGFR to improve the therapeutic outcome of combined radiotherapy and TMZ for high-grade gliomas.
Project description:Polynuclear platinum compounds are more effective at killing glioblastoma cells than cisplatin, work by a different mechanism, and typically do not induce high levels of apoptosis at early time points after exposure. Here, we tested the hypothesis that combining BBR3610, the most potent polynuclear platinum, with a phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor would promote apoptosis and enhance the impact on glioblastoma cells. The PI3K pathway is commonly activated in glioblastoma and promotes tumor cell survival, suggesting that its inhibition would make cells more sensitive to cytotoxic agents. We chose PX-866 as a PI3K inhibitor as it is a clinically promising agent being evaluated for brain tumor therapy. Combining BBR3610 and PX-866 resulted in synergistic killing of cultured glioma cells and an extension of survival in an orthotopic xenograft animal model. Both agents alone induced autophagy, and this appeared to be saturated, because when they were combined no additional autophagy was observed. However, the combination of PX-866 and BBR3610 did induce statistically significant increases in the level of apoptosis, associated with a reduction in pAkt and pBad, as well as inhibition of transwell migration. We conclude that combining polynuclear platinums with PI3K inhibitors has translational potential and alters the cellular response to include early apoptosis.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) carries a dismal prognosis largely due to acquired resistance to the standard treatment, which incorporates the chemotherapy temozolomide (TMZ). Inhibiting the proteasomal pathway is an emerging strategy, where combination treatments are under clinical investigation. We hypothesized that pre-treatment of GBM with bortezomib (BTZ) might sensitize glioblastoma to TMZ by abolishing autophagy survival signals to augment DNA damage and apoptosis. P3 patient-derived GBM cells as well as the tumor cell lines U87, HF66, A172 and T98G were investigated for clonogenic survival after single or combined treatment with TMZ and BTZ in vitro. Change in autophagic flux was examined after experimental treatments in conjunction with inhibitors of autophagy or downregulation of autophagy-related genes -5 and -7 (ATG5 and ATG7, respectively). Autophagic flux was increased in TMZ-resistant P3 and T98G cells as indicated by diminished levels of the autophagy markers LC3A/B-II and increased STX17, higher protein degradation and no formation of p62 bodies nor induction of apoptosis. In contrast, BTZ treatment attenuated ULK1 mRNA, total and phosphorylated protein, and accumulated LC3A/B-II, p62 and autophagosomes analogously to Baf1 and chloroquine autophagy inhibitors. These autophagosomes did not fuse with lysosomes, indicated by attenuated STX17 expression and reduced degradation of long-lived proteins, which culminated in enhanced caspase-3/8 dependent apoptosis. BTZ synergistically enhanced TMZ efficacy, attenuated tumor cell proliferation, triggered ATM/Chk2 DNA damage signalling to further augment caspase-3/8 mediated apoptosis in the TMZ resistant P3 and T98G GBM cells. Genetic or chemical inhibition of autophagy (with CRISPR-CAs9 ATG5, ATG7 shRNA, MRT68921 or VPS34-IN1) abrogated BTZ efficacy and rescued BTZ+ TMZ treated GBM cells from death. We conclude that Bortezomib ameliorates temozolomide resistance through ATG5/7-dependent abrogated autophagic flux and may be amenable in combination treatment regimens for TMZ refractory GBM patients.
Project description:Several small molecules that inhibit the PI3 kinase (PI3K)-Akt signaling pathway are in clinical development. Although many of these molecules have been effective in preclinical models, it remains unclear whether this strategy alone will be sufficient to interrupt the molecular events initiated and maintained by signaling along the pathways because of the activation of other pathways that compensate for the inhibition of the targeted kinase. In this study, we performed a synthetic lethality screen to identify genes or pathways whose inactivation, in combination with the PI3K inhibitors PX-866 and NVPBEZ-235, might result in a lethal phenotype in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells. We screened GBM cells (U87, U251, and T98G) with a large-scale, short hairpin RNA library (GeneNet), which contains 43 800 small interfering RNA sequences targeting 8500 well-characterized human genes. To decrease off-target effects, we selected overlapping genes among the 3 cell lines that synergized with PX-866 to induce cell death. To facilitate the identification of potential targets, we used a GSE4290 dataset and The Cancer Genome Atlas GBM dataset, identifying 15 target genes overexpressed in GBM tissues. We further analyzed the selected genes using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software and showed that the 15 genes were closely related to cancer-promoting pathways, and a highly interconnected network of aberrations along the MYC, P38MAPK, and ERK signaling pathways were identified. Our findings suggest that inhibition of these pathways might increase tumor sensitivity to PX-866 and therefore represent a potential clinical therapeutic strategy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The regulatory roles of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) CRNDE in temozolomide (TMZ) chemoresistance to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are still poorly understood. Therefore, the function, characteristics, and possible mechanism of CRNDE in TMZ-induced chemoresistance to GBM were explored.<h4>Methods</h4>Firstly, the expression level of CRNDE in 58 cases of glioma tissue specimens and 30 cases of normal brain tissues were tested by qRT-PCR. Meanwhile, the correlation between CRNDE expression level, the clinicopathological characteristics, and survival time of patients with glioma were analyzed. Then, the CRNDE expression in various glioma cell lines was detected, and CRNDE knockdown cell models were constructed. Subsequently, to explore the effect of CRNDE on chemosensitivity to TMZ, cell viability was detected by the CCK-8 assay and IC<sub>50</sub> values, and cell proliferation was detected by cell clone assay and EdU assay, as well as cell survival was detected by apoptosis with flow cytometry under TMZ treatment. Further, the expression of drug-resistance protein ABCG2, autophagy related proteins, and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway were measured by western blot or qRT-PCR in TMZ-treated glioma cells. Finally, the mouse tumor xenograft model was established and the tumor volume and weight were measured, and ABCG2 expression was conducted by immunohistochemistry assay.<h4>Results</h4>The integrated results demonstrated lncRNA CRNDE was a poor prognosis factor for GBM patient, which was upregulated in patients who were resistant to TMZ, and closely associated with chemotherapeutic response status to TMZ treatment. Further, functional assays revealed that knockdown of CRNDE could notably reduce glioma cell viability and proliferation, and elevate cell apoptosis to enhance the chemosensitivity to TMZ in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, the depression of CRNDE could diminish the expression of LC3 II/I, Beclin1 and Atg5 and increase the p62 expression level to inhibit autophagy due to the activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway as well as highly correlated with ABCG2 expression.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Overall, the study provided that lncRNA CRNDE is a reliable clinical predictor of outcome and prognosis and a potential biomarker for predicting TMZ treatment response in GBM by modulating the autophagy through PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and ABCG2 expression which may be a novel therapeutic target for regulating TMZ sensitivity to GBM.
Project description:Background:Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an inflammation-associated enzyme, has been implicated in tumorigenesis and progression of glioblastoma (GBM). The poor survival of GBM was mainly associated with the presence of glioma stem cells (GSC) and the markedly inflammatory microenvironment. To further explore the involvement of COX-2 in glioma biology, the effects of NS398, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, were evaluated on GSC derived from COX-2 expressing GBM cell lines, i.e., U87MG and T98G, in terms of neurospheres' growth, autophagy, and extracellular vesicle (EV) release. Methods:Neurospheres' growth and morphology were evaluated by optical and scanning electron microscopy. Autophagy was measured by staining acidic vesicular organelles. Extracellular vesicles (EV), released from neurospheres, were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The autophagic proteins Beclin-1 and LC3B, as well as the EV markers CD63 and CD81, were analyzed by western blotting. The scratch assay test was used to evaluate the NS398 influence on GBM cell migration. Results:Both cell lines were strongly influenced by NS398 exposure, as showed by morphological changes, reduced growth rate, and appearance of autophagy. Furthermore, the inhibitor led to a functional change of EV released by neurospheres. Indeed, EV secreted by NS398-treated GSC, but not those from control cells, were able to significantly inhibit adherent U87MG and T98G cell migration and induced autophagy in recipient cells, thus leading to effects quite similar to those directly caused by NS398 in the same cells. Conclusion:Despite the intrinsic diversity and individual genetic features of U87MG and T98G, comparable effects were exerted by the COX-2 inhibitor NS398 on both GBM cell lines. Overall, our findings support the crucial role of the inflammatory-associated COX-2/PGE2 system in glioma and glioma stem cell biology.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive primary brain tumor with poor survival. Cytoreduction in association with radiotherapy and temozolomide (TMZ) is the standard therapy, but response is heterogeneous and life expectancy is limited. The combined use of chemotherapeutic agents with drugs targeting cell metabolism is becoming an interesting therapeutic option for cancer treatment. Here, we found that metformin (MET) enhances TMZ effect on TMZ-sensitive cell line (U251) and overcomes TMZ-resistance in T98G GBM cell line. In particular, combined-treatment modulated apoptosis by increasing Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, and reduced Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production. We also observed that MET associated with TMZ was able to reduce the expression of glioma stem cells (GSC) marker CD90 particularly in T98G cells but not that of CD133. In vivo experiments showed that combined treatment with TMZ and MET significantly slowed down growth of TMZ-resistant tumors but did not affect overall survival of TMZ-sensitive tumor bearing mice. In conclusion, our results showed that metformin is able to enhance TMZ effect in TMZ-resistant cell line suggesting its potential use in TMZ refractory GBM patients. However, the lack of effect on a GBM malignancy marker like CD133 requires further evaluation since it might influence response duration.
Project description:GLS-encoded glutaminase promotes tumorigenesis, while GLS2-encoded glutaminase displays tumor-suppressive properties. In glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive brain tumor, GLS is highly expressed and in most cases GLS2 is silenced. Previously, it was shown that transfection with a sequence encoding GAB, the main GLS2 isoform, decreased the survival, growth, and ability to migrate of human GBM cells T98G and increased their sensitivity towards an alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ) and oxidative stress compared to the controls, by a not well-defined mechanism. In this study we report that GAB transfection inhibits growth and increases susceptibility towards TMZ and H?O?-mediated oxidative stress of two other GBM cell lines, U87MG and LN229. We also show that in GAB-transfected cells treated with H?O?, the PI3K/AKT pathway is less induced compared to the pcDNA-transfected counterparts and that pretreatment with PDGF-BB, an activator of AKT, protects GAB-transfected cells from death caused by the H?O? treatment. In conclusion, our results show that (i) GAB suppresses the malignant phenotype of the GBM cells of different tumorigenic potentials and genetic backgrounds and (ii) the GAB-mediated increase of sensitivity to oxidative stress is causally related to the inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway. The upregulation of the GLS2 expression and the inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway may become a novel combined therapeutic strategy for anti-glioma preclinical investigations.
Project description:DNA damage-inducible transcript 4 (DDIT4) is known to participate in various cancers, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, contradictory roles of DDIT4 exist in inducing cell death and possessing anti-apoptotic functions against cancer progression. Herein, we investigated DDIT4 signaling in GBM and temozolomide (TMZ) drug resistance. We identified that TMZ induced DDIT4 upregulation, leading to desensitization against TMZ cytotoxicity in GBM cells. Higher DDIT4 levels were found in glioma cells and mesenchymal-type GBM patients, and these higher levels were positively correlated with mesenchymal markers. Furthermore, patients with lower DDIT4 levels, especially O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT)-methylated patients, exhibited better TMZ therapeutic efficacy. We determined that higher levels of 5 DDIT4-associated downstream genes, including SLC2A3 (also known as glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3)), can be used to predict a poor prognosis. Among these 5 genes, only GLUT3 was upregulated in both TMZ-treated and DDIT4-overexpressing cells. DDIT4-mediated GLUT3 expression was also identified, and its expression decreased TMZ's cytotoxicity. A significant correlation existed between DDIT4 and GLUT3. DDIT4 signaling was found to be involved in both glycolytic and autophagic pathways. However, GLUT3 only participated in the exhibition of DDIT4-mediated stemness, resulting from glycolytic regulation, but not in DDIT4-mediated autophagic signaling. Finally, we identified TMZ-upregulated activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) as an upstream regulator of DDIT4-mediated GLUT3/stemness signaling and autophagy. Consequently, ATF4/DDIT4 signaling was connected to both autophagy and GLUT3-regulated stemness, which are involved in TMZ drug resistance and the poor prognoses of GBM patients. Targeting DDIT4/GLUT3 signaling might be a new direction for glioma therapy.