Blocking Aerobic Glycolysis by Targeting Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinase in Combination with EGFR TKI and Ionizing Radiation Increases Therapeutic Effect in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells.
ABSTRACT: Increased glycolytic activity is a hallmark of cancer initiation and progression and is often observed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex acts as a gatekeeper between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, and activation of PDH is known to inhibit glycolytic activity. As part of a standard therapeutic regimen, patients with NSCLC harboring oncogenic mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs). Independent of good initial response, development of resistance to this therapy is inevitable. In the presented work, we propose that inhibition of glycolysis will add to the therapeutic effects and possibly prevent development of resistance against both EGFR TKIs and ionizing radiation in NSCLC. Analysis of transcriptome data from two independent NSCLC patient cohorts identified increased expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDHK1) as well as upregulated expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism in tumors compared to normal tissue. We established in vitro models of development of resistance to EGFR TKIs to study metabolism and determine if targeting PDHK would prevent development of resistance to EGFR TKIs in NSCLC cells. The PDHK1 inhibitor dichloroacetate (DCA) in combination with EGFR TKIs and/or ionizing radiation was shown to increase the therapeutic effect in our NSCLC cell models. This mechanism was associated with redirected metabolism towards pyruvate oxidation and reduced lactate production, both in EGFR TKI sensitive and resistant NSCLC cells. Using DCA, the intracellular pool of pyruvate available for lactic fermentation becomes limited. Consequently, pyruvate is redirected to the mitochondria, and reinforces mitochondrial activity. Addition of DCA to cell culture deacidifies the extracellular microenvironment as less lactate is produced and excreted. In our study, we find that this redirection of metabolism adds to the therapeutic effect of EGFR TKI and ionizing radiation in NSCLC.
Project description:It is unclear how the Warburg effect that exemplifies enhanced glycolysis in the cytosol is coordinated with suppressed mitochondrial pyruvate metabolism. We demonstrate here that hypoxia, EGFR activation, and expression of K-Ras G12V and B-Raf V600E induce mitochondrial translocation of phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1); this is mediated by ERK-dependent PGK1 S203 phosphorylation and subsequent PIN1-mediated cis-trans isomerization. Mitochondrial PGK1 acts as a protein kinase to phosphorylate pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDHK1) at T338, which activates PDHK1 to phosphorylate and inhibit the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex. This reduces mitochondrial pyruvate utilization, suppresses reactive oxygen species production, increases lactate production, and promotes brain tumorigenesis. Furthermore, PGK1 S203 and PDHK1 T338 phosphorylation levels correlate with PDH S293 inactivating phosphorylation levels and poor prognosis in glioblastoma patients. This work highlights that PGK1 acts as a protein kinase in coordinating glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, which is instrumental in cancer metabolism and tumorigenesis.
Project description:Many tumor cells rely on aerobic glycolysis instead of oxidative phosphorylation for their continued proliferation and survival. Myc and HIF-1 are believed to promote such a metabolic switch by, in part, upregulating gene expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) kinase 1 (PDHK1), which phosphorylates and inactivates mitochondrial PDH and consequently pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). Here we report that tyrosine phosphorylation enhances PDHK1 kinase activity by promoting ATP and PDC binding. Functional PDC can form in mitochondria outside of the matrix in some cancer cells and PDHK1 is commonly tyrosine phosphorylated in human cancers by diverse oncogenic tyrosine kinases localized to different mitochondrial compartments. Expression of phosphorylation-deficient, catalytic hypomorph PDHK1 mutants in cancer cells leads to decreased cell proliferation under hypoxia and increased oxidative phosphorylation with enhanced mitochondrial utilization of pyruvate and reduced tumor growth in xenograft nude mice. Together, tyrosine phosphorylation activates PDHK1 to promote the Warburg effect and tumor growth.
Project description:Tumour cells fulfil the bioenergetic and biosynthetic needs of proliferation using the available environmental metabolites. Metabolic adaptation to hypoxia causes decreased mitochondrial function and increased lactate production. This work examines the biological importance of the hypoxia-inducible inhibitory phosphorylations on the pyruvate dehydrogenase E1? subunit. Pancreatic cancer cell lines were genetically manipulated to alter the net phosphorylation of PDH E1? through reduced kinase expression or enhanced phosphatase expression. The modified cells were tested for hypoxic changes in phosphorylated E1?, mitochondrial metabolism and growth as xenografted tumours. Even though there are four PDHK genes, PDHK1 is essential for inhibitory PDH phosphorylation of E1? at serine 232, is partially responsible for modification of serines 293 and 300, and these phosphorylations are necessary for model tumour growth. In order to determine the clinical relevance, a cohort of head and neck cancer patient biopsies was examined for phosphorylated E1? and expression of PDHK1. Patients with detectable 232 phosphorylation or expression of PDHK1 tend to have worse clinical outcome. These data show that PDHK1 activity is unique and non-redundant in the family of PHDK enzymes and a PDHK1 specific inhibitor would therefore have anti-cancer activity with reduced chance of side effects from inhibition of other PDHKs.
Project description:Activation of CD4+ T cells results in rapid proliferation and differentiation into effector and regulatory subsets. CD4+ effector T cell (Teff) (Th1 and Th17) and Treg subsets are metabolically distinct, yet the specific metabolic differences that modify T cell populations are uncertain. Here, we evaluated CD4+ T cell populations in murine models and determined that inflammatory Teffs maintain high expression of glycolytic genes and rely on high glycolytic rates, while Tregs are oxidative and require mitochondrial electron transport to proliferate, differentiate, and survive. Metabolic profiling revealed that pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is a key bifurcation point between T cell glycolytic and oxidative metabolism. PDH function is inhibited by PDH kinases (PDHKs). PDHK1 was expressed in Th17 cells, but not Th1 cells, and at low levels in Tregs, and inhibition or knockdown of PDHK1 selectively suppressed Th17 cells and increased Tregs. This alteration in the CD4+ T cell populations was mediated in part through ROS, as N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) treatment restored Th17 cell generation. Moreover, inhibition of PDHK1 modulated immunity and protected animals against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, decreasing Th17 cells and increasing Tregs. Together, these data show that CD4+ subsets utilize and require distinct metabolic programs that can be targeted to control specific T cell populations in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) catalyzes the production of 2-hydroxyglutarate but also elicits additional metabolic changes. Levels of both glutamate and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity have been shown to be affected in U87 glioblastoma cells or normal human astrocyte (NHA) cells expressing mutant IDH1, as compared with cells expressing wild-type IDH1. In this study, we show how these phenomena are linked through the effects of IDH1 mutation, which also reprograms pyruvate metabolism. Reduced PDH activity in U87 glioblastoma and NHA IDH1 mutant cells was associated with relative increases in PDH inhibitory phosphorylation, expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-3, and levels of hypoxia inducible factor-1?. PDH activity was monitored in these cells by hyperpolarized (13)C-magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((13)C-MRS), which revealed a reduction in metabolism of hyperpolarized 2-(13)C-pyruvate to 5-(13)C-glutamate, relative to cells expressing wild-type IDH1. (13)C-MRS also revealed a reduction in glucose flux to glutamate in IDH1 mutant cells. Notably, pharmacological activation of PDH by cell exposure to dichloroacetate (DCA) increased production of hyperpolarized 5-(13)C-glutamate in IDH1 mutant cells. Furthermore, DCA treatment also abrogated the clonogenic advantage conferred by IDH1 mutation. Using patient-derived mutant IDH1 neurosphere models, we showed that PDH activity was essential for cell proliferation. Taken together, our results established that the IDH1 mutation induces an MRS-detectable reprogramming of pyruvate metabolism, which is essential for cell proliferation and clonogenicity, with immediate therapeutic implications.
Project description:Activation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex (PDHC) promotes glucose disposal, whereas inactivation conserves glucose. The PDH kinases (PDHKs) regulate glucose oxidation through inhibitory phosphorylation of PDHC. The adult rat heart contains three PDHK isoforms PDHK1, PDHK2 and PDHK4. Using Western-blot analysis, with specific antibodies raised against individual recombinant PDHK1, PDHK2 and PDHK4, the present study investigated PDHK isoform expression in the developing rat heart and adulthood. We identified clear differences in the patterns of protein expression of each of these PDHK isoforms during the first 3 weeks of post-natal development, with most marked up-regulation of isoforms PDHK1 and PDHK4. Distinctions between the three cardiac PDHK isoforms were also demonstrated with respect to post-neonatal maturational up-regulation; with greatest up-regulation of PDHK1 and least up-regulation of PDHK4 from the post-neonatal period until maturity. The study also examined the role of thyroid hormone status and lipid supply on PDHK isoform expression. We observed marked selective increases in the amount of PDHK4 protein present relative to total cardiac protein in both hyperthyroidism and high-fat feeding. Overall, our data identify PDHK isoform PDHK1 as being of more potential regulatory importance for glucose oxidation in the adult compared with the neonatal heart, and cardiac PDHK4 as a PDHK isoform whose expression is specifically responsive to changes in lipid supply, suggesting that its up-regulation during early post-natal life may be the perinatal switch to use fatty acids as the energy source. We also identify regulation of pyruvate sensitivity of cardiac PDHK as a physiological variable, a change in which requires factors in addition to a change in lipid supply.
Project description:Lung cancer is one of the most common malignant tumor in the world, severely threatening human life. Recently, targeted therapy such as the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) made huge progress in treatment of lung cancer. EGFR-TKIs, with its high selectivity and low toxicity, is the first choice for EGFR-mutated patients in stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, secondary drug resistance becomes a clinical problem to be urgently resolved. In recent years, a series of preclinical studies showed that EGFR-TKI can enhance the antitumor activity of ionizing radiation. Therefore, EGFR-TKI combined with radiation is extremely promising therapy pattern for advanced NSCLC. This review will discuss the research status in EGFR-TKI and radiotherapy for advanced NSCLC.
Project description:Alterations in cardiac metabolism accompany many diseases of the heart. The advent of cardiac hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), via dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), has enabled a greater understanding of the in vivo metabolic changes that occur as a consequence of myocardial infarction, hypertrophy and diabetes. However, all cardiac studies performed to date have focused on rats and larger animals, whereas more information could be gained through the study of transgenic mouse models of heart disease. Translation from the rat to the mouse is challenging, due in part to the reduced heart size (1/10(th)) and the increased heart rate (50%) in the mouse compared to the rat.In this study, we have investigated the in vivo metabolism of [1-(13)C]pyruvate in the mouse heart. To demonstrate the sensitivity of the method to detect alterations in pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) flux, two well characterised methods of PDH modulation were performed; overnight fasting and infusion of sodium dichloroacetate (DCA). Fasting resulted in an 85% reduction in PDH flux, whilst DCA infusion increased PDH flux by 123%. A comparison of three commonly used control mouse strains was performed revealing significant metabolic differences between strains.We have successfully demonstrated a hyperpolarized DNP protocol to investigate in vivo alterations within the diseased mouse heart. This technique offers a significant advantage over existing in vitro techniques as it reduces animal numbers and decreases biological variability. Thus [1-(13)C]pyruvate can be used to provide an in vivo cardiac metabolic profile of transgenic mice.
Project description:Mitochondrial metabolism is an attractive target for cancer therapy. Reprogramming metabolic pathways can potentially sensitize tumors with limited treatment options, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), to chemo- and/or radiotherapy. Dichloroacetate (DCA) is a specific inhibitor of the pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK), which leads to enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. ROS are the primary effector molecules of radiation and an increase hereof will enhance the radioresponse. In this study, we evaluated the effects of DCA and radiotherapy on two TNBC cell lines, namely EMT6 and 4T1, under aerobic and hypoxic conditions. As expected, DCA treatment decreased phosphorylated pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) and lowered both extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) and lactate production. Remarkably, DCA treatment led to a significant increase in ROS production (up to 15-fold) in hypoxic cancer cells but not in aerobic cells. Consistently, DCA radiosensitized hypoxic tumor cells and 3D spheroids while leaving the intrinsic radiosensitivity of the tumor cells unchanged. Our results suggest that although described as an oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS)-promoting drug, DCA can also increase hypoxic radioresponses. This study therefore paves the way for the targeting of mitochondrial metabolism of hypoxic cancer cells, in particular to combat radioresistance.
Project description:Sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitalized patients and beyond the hospital stay and these long-term sequelae are due in part to unresolved inflammation. Metabolic shift from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis links metabolism to inflammation and such a shift is commonly observed in sepsis under normoxic conditions. By shifting the metabolic state from aerobic glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation, we hypothesized it would reverse unresolved inflammation and subsequently improve outcome. We propose a shift from aerobic glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation as a sepsis therapy by targeting the pathways involved in the conversion of pyruvate into acetyl-CoA via pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). Chemical manipulation of PDH using dichloroacetic acid (DCA) will promote oxidative phosphorylation over glycolysis and decrease inflammation. We tested our hypothesis in a Drosophila melanogaster model of surviving sepsis infected with Staphylococcus aureus. Drosophila were divided into 3 groups: unmanipulated, sham and sepsis survivors, all treated with linezolid; each group was either treated or not with DCA for one week following sepsis. We followed lifespan, measured gene expression of Toll, defensin, cecropin A, and drosomycin, and levels of lactate, pyruvate, acetyl-CoA as well as TCA metabolites. In our model, metabolic effects of sepsis are modified by DCA with normalized lactate, TCA metabolites, and was associated with improved lifespan of sepsis survivors, yet had no lifespan effects on unmanipulated and sham flies. While Drosomycin and cecropin A expression increased in sepsis survivors, DCA treatment decreased both and selectively increased defensin.