Metabolic dysregulation promotes cancer growth through not only energy production, but also epigenetic reprogramming. Here, we report that a critical node in methyl donor metabolism, nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), ranked among the most consistently overexpressed metabolism genes in glioblastoma relative to normal brain. NNMT was preferentially expressed by mesenchymal glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs). NNMT depletes S-adenosyl methionine (SAM), a methyl donor generated from methionine. GSCs contained lower levels of methionine, SAM, and nicotinamide, but they contained higher levels of oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) than differentiated tumor cells. In concordance with the poor prognosis associated with DNA hypomethylation in glioblastoma, depletion of methionine, a key upstream methyl group donor, shifted tumors toward a mesenchymal phenotype and accelerated tumor growth. Targeting NNMT expression reduced cellular proliferation, self-renewal, and in vivo tumor growth of mesenchymal GSCs. Supporting a mechanistic link between NNMT and DNA methylation, targeting NNMT reduced methyl donor availability, methionine levels, and unmethylated cytosine, with increased levels of DNA methyltransferases, DNMT1 and DNMT3A. Supporting the clinical significance of these findings, NNMT portended poor prognosis for glioblastoma patients. Collectively, our findings support NNMT as a GSC-specific therapeutic target in glioblastoma by disrupting oncogenic DNA hypomethylation.
Jinkyu Jung, Leo J.Y. Kim, Xiuxing Wang, Qiulian Wu, Tanwarat Sanvoranart, Christopher G. Hubert, Briana C. Prager, Lisa C. Wallace, Xun Jin, Stephen C. Mack, Jeremy N. Rich
Advanced cancer induces fundamental changes in metabolism and promotes cardiac atrophy and heart failure. We discovered systemic insulin deficiency in cachectic cancer patients. Similarly, mice with advanced B16F10 melanoma (B16F10-TM) or colon 26 carcinoma (C26-TM) displayed decreased systemic insulin associated with marked cardiac atrophy, metabolic impairment, and function. B16F10 and C26 tumors decrease systemic insulin via high glucose consumption, lowering pancreatic insulin production and producing insulin-degrading enzyme. As tumor cells consume glucose in an insulin-independent manner, they shift glucose away from cardiomyocytes. Since cardiomyocytes in both tumor models remained insulin responsive, low-dose insulin supplementation by subcutaneous implantation of insulin-releasing pellets improved cardiac glucose uptake, atrophy, and function, with no adverse side effects. In addition, by redirecting glucose to the heart in addition to other organs, the systemic insulin treatment lowered glucose usage by the tumor and thereby decreased tumor growth and volume. Insulin corrected the cancer-induced reduction in cardiac Akt activation and the subsequent overactivation of the proteasome and autophagy. Thus, cancer-induced systemic insulin depletion contributes to cardiac wasting and failure and may promote tumor growth. Low-dose insulin supplementation attenuates these processes and may be supportive in cardio-oncologic treatment concepts.
James T. Thackeray, Stefan Pietzsch, Britta Stapel, Melanie Ricke-Hoch, Chun-Wei Lee, Jens P. Bankstahl, Michaela Scherr, Jörg Heineke, Gesine Scharf, Arash Haghikia, Frank M. Bengel, Denise Hilfiker-Kleiner
Brateil Badal, Alexander Solovyov, Serena Di Cecilia, Joseph Minhow Chan, Li-Wei Chang, Ramiz Iqbal, Iraz T. Aydin, Geena S. Rajan, Chen Chen, Franco Abbate, Kshitij S. Arora, Antoine Tanne, Stephen B. Gruber, Timothy M. Johnson, Douglas R. Fullen, Leon Raskin, Robert Phelps, Nina Bhardwaj, Emily Bernstein, David T. Ting, Georg Brunner, Eric E. Schadt, Benjamin D. Greenbaum, Julide Tok Celebi
Vivek Subbiah, Muhammad Rizwan Khawaja, David S. Hong, Behrang Amini, Jiang Yungfang, Hui Liu, Adrienne Johnson, Alexa B. Schrock, Siraj M. Ali, James X. Sun, David Fabrizio, Sarina Piha-Paul, Siqing Fu, Apostolia M. Tsimberidou, Aung Naing, Filip Janku, Daniel D. Karp, Michael Overman, Cathy Eng, Scott Kopetz, Funda Meric-Bernstam, Gerald S. Falchook
ICOS costimulation generates Th17 cells with durable memory responses to tumor. Herein, we found that ICOS induces PI3K/p110δ/Akt and Wnt/β-catenin pathways in Th17 cells. Coinhibiting PI3Kδ and β-catenin altered the biological fate of Th17 cells. Th17 cells inhibited of both pathways expressed less RORγt, which, in turn, reduced their ability to secrete IL-17. Unexpectedly, these cells were more effective (than uninhibited cells) at regressing tumor when infused into mice, leading to long-term curative responses. PI3Kδ inhibition expanded precursor Th17 cells with a central memory phenotype that expressed nominal regulatory properties (low FoxP3), while β-catenin inhibition enhanced Th17 multifunctionality in vivo. Remarkably, upon TCR restimulation, RORγt and IL-17 rebounded in Th17 cells treated with PI3Kδ and β-catenin inhibitors. Moreover, these cells regained β-catenin, Tcf7, and Akt expression, licensing them to secrete heightened IL-2, persist, and eradicate solid tumors without help from endogenous NK and CD8 T cells. This finding shines a light on ways to repurpose FDA-approved drugs to augment T cell–based cancer immunotherapies.
Kinga Majchrzak, Michelle H. Nelson, Jacob S. Bowers, Stefanie R. Bailey, Megan M. Wyatt, John M. Wrangle, Mark P. Rubinstein, Juan C. Varela, Zihai Li, Richard A. Himes, Sherine S.L. Chan, Chrystal M. Paulos
Women diagnosed with breast cancer within 5 years of childbirth have poorer prognosis than nulliparous or pregnant women. Weaning-induced breast involution is implicated, as the collagen-rich, immunosuppressive microenvironment of the involuting mammary gland is tumor promotional in mice. To investigate the role of mammary fibroblasts, isolated mammary PDGFRα+ cells from nulliparous and postweaning mice were assessed for activation phenotype and protumorigenic function. Fibroblast activation during involution was evident by increased expression of fibrillar collagens, lysyl oxidase,
Qiuchen Guo, Jessica Minnier, Julja Burchard, Kami Chiotti, Paul Spellman, Pepper Schedin
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) frequently harbors genetic alterations that activate the B cell receptor (BCR) and TLR pathways, which converge to activate NF-κB. While selective inhibition of BTK with ibrutinib causes clinical responses in relapsed DLBCL patients, most responses are partial and of a short duration. Here, we demonstrated that MyD88 silencing enhanced ibrutinib efficacy in DLBCL cells harboring MyD88 L265P mutations. Chemical downregulation of MyD88 expression with HDAC inhibitors also synergized with ibrutinib. We demonstrate that HDAC inhibitor regulation of MyD88 expression is mediated by STAT3. In turn, STAT3 silencing caused a decrease in MyD88 mRNA and protein levels, and enhanced the ibrutinib antilymphoma effect in MyD88 mutant DLBCL cells. Induced mutations in the STAT3 binding site in the MyD88 promotor region was associated with a decrease in MyD88 transcriptional activity. We also demonstrate that treatment with the HDAC inhibitor panobinostat decreased phosphorylated STAT3 binding to the MyD88 promotor. Accordingly, combined treatment with panobinostat and ibrutinib resulted in enhanced inhibition of NF-κB activity and caused regression of DLBCL xenografts. Our data provide a mechanistic rationale for combining HDAC inhibitors and ibrutinib for the treatment of DLBCL.
Patrizia Mondello, Elliott J. Brea, Elisa De Stanchina, Eneda Toska, Aaron Y. Chang, Myles Fennell, Venkatraman Seshan, Ralph Garippa, David A. Scheinberg, José Baselga, Hans-Guido Wendel, Anas Younes
Julie E. Bauman, Umamaheswar Duvvuri, William E. Gooding, Tanya J. Rath, Neil D. Gross, John Song, Antonio Jimeno, Wendell G. Yarbrough, Faye M. Johnson, Lin Wang, Simion Chiosea, Malabika Sen, Jason Kass, Jonas T. Johnson, Robert L. Ferris, Seungwon Kim, Fred R. Hirsch, Kimberly Ellison, John T. Flaherty, Gordon B. Mills, Jennifer R. Grandis
Focal therapies play an important role in the treatment of cancers where palliation is desired, local control is needed, or surgical resection is not feasible. Pairing immunotherapy with such focal treatments is particularly attractive; however, there is emerging evidence that focal therapy can have a positive or negative impact on the efficacy of immunotherapy. Thermal ablation is an appealing modality to pair with such protocols, as tumors can be rapidly debulked (cell death occurring within minutes to hours), tumor antigens can be released locally, and treatment can be conducted and repeated without the concerns of radiation-based therapies. In a syngeneic model of epithelial cancer, we found that 7 days of immunotherapy (TLR9 agonist and checkpoint blockade), prior to thermal ablation, reduced macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells and enhanced IFN-γ–producing CD8+ T cells, the M1 macrophage fraction, and PD-L1 expression on CD45+ cells. Continued treatment with immunotherapy alone or with immunotherapy combined with ablation (primed ablation) then resulted in a complete response in 80% of treated mice at day 90, and primed ablation expanded CD8+ T cells as compared with all control groups. When the tumor burden was increased by implantation of 3 orthotopic tumors, successive primed ablation of 2 discrete lesions resulted in survival of 60% of treated mice as compared with 25% of mice treated with immunotherapy alone. Alternatively, when immunotherapy was begun immediately after thermal ablation, the abscopal effect was diminished and none of the mice within the cohort exhibited a complete response. In summary, we found that immunotherapy begun before ablation can be curative and can enhance efficacy in the presence of a high tumor burden. Two mechanisms have potential to impact the efficacy of immunotherapy when begun immediately after thermal ablation: mechanical changes in the tumor microenvironment and inflammatory-mediated changes in immune phenotype.
Matthew T. Silvestrini, Elizabeth S. Ingham, Lisa M. Mahakian, Azadeh Kheirolomoom, Yu Liu, Brett Z. Fite, Sarah M. Tam, Samantha T. Tucci, Katherine D. Watson, Andrew W. Wong, Arta M. Monjazeb, Neil E. Hubbard, William J. Murphy, Alexander D. Borowsky, Katherine W. Ferrara
Parathyroid carcinoma (PC) is an extremely rare malignancy lacking effective therapeutic intervention. We generated and analyzed whole-exome sequencing data from 17 patients to identify somatic and germline genetic alterations. A panel of selected genes was sequenced in a 7-tumor expansion cohort. We show that 47% (8 of 17) of the tumors harbor somatic mutations in the
Chetanya Pandya, Andrew V. Uzilov, Justin Bellizzi, Chun Yee Lau, Aye S. Moe, Maya Strahl, Wissam Hamou, Leah C. Newman, Marc Y. Fink, Yevgeniy Antipin, Willie Yu, Mark Stevenson, Branca M. Cavaco, Bin T. Teh, Rajesh V. Thakker, Hans Morreau, Eric E. Schadt, Robert Sebra, Shuyu D. Li, Andrew Arnold, Rong Chen
Loss of LKB1 activity is prevalent in
Melissa Gilbert-Ross, Jessica Konen, Junghui Koo, John Shupe, Brian S. Robinson, Walter Guy Wiles IV, Chunzi Huang, W. David Martin, Madhusmita Behera, Geoffrey H. Smith, Charles E. Hill, Michael R. Rossi, Gabriel L. Sica, Manali Rupji, Zhengjia Chen, Jeanne Kowalski, Andrea L. Kasinski, Suresh S. Ramalingam, Haian Fu, Fadlo R. Khuri, Wei Zhou, Adam I. Marcus
Metastasis suppressors are key regulators of tumor growth, invasion, and metastases. Loss of metastasis suppressors has been associated with aggressive tumor behaviors and metastatic progression. We previously showed that regulator of calcineurin 1, isoform 4 (RCAN1-4) was upregulated by the KiSS1 metastatic suppression pathway and could inhibit cell motility when overexpressed in cancer cells. To test the effects of endogenous RCAN1-4 loss on thyroid cancer in vivo, we developed RCAN1-4 knockdown stable cells. Subcutaneous xenograft models demonstrated that RCAN1-4 knockdown promotes tumor growth. Intravenous metastasis models demonstrated that RCAN1-4 loss promotes tumor metastases to the lungs and their subsequent growth. Finally, stable induction of RCAN1-4 expression reduced thyroid cancer cell growth and invasion. Microarray analysis predicted that nuclear factor, erythroid 2-like 3 (NFE2L3) was a pivotal downstream effector of RCAN1-4. NFE2L3 overexpression was shown to be necessary for RCAN1-4–mediated enhanced growth and invasiveness and NEF2L3 overexpression independently increased cell invasion. In human samples, NFE2L3 was overexpressed in TCGA thyroid cancer samples versus normal tissues and NFE2L3 overexpression was demonstrated in distant metastasis samples from thyroid cancer patients. In conclusion, we provide the first evidence to our knowledge that RCAN1-4 is a growth and metastasis suppressor in vivo and that it functions in part through NFE2L3.
Chaojie Wang, Motoyasu Saji, Steven E. Justiniano, Adlina Mohd Yusof, Xiaoli Zhang, Lianbo Yu, Soledad Fernández, Paul Wakely Jr., Krista La Perle, Hiroshi Nakanishi, Neal Pohlman, Matthew D. Ringel
Adoptive immunotherapy for solid tumors relies on infusing large numbers of T cells to mediate successful antitumor responses in patients. While long-term rapid-expansion protocols (REPs) produce sufficient numbers of CD8+ T cells for treatment, they also cause decline in the cell’s therapeutic fitness. In contrast, we discovered that IL-17–producing CD4+ T cells (Th17 cells) do not require REPs to expand 5,000-fold over 3 weeks. Also, unlike Th1 cells, Th17 cells do not exhibit hallmarks of senescence or apoptosis, retaining robust antitumor efficacy in vivo. Three-week-expanded Th17 cells eliminated melanoma as effectively as Th17 cells expanded for 1 week when infused in equal numbers into mice. However, treating mice with large recalcitrant tumors required the infusion of all cells generated after 2 or 3 weeks of expansion, while the cell yield obtained after 1-week expansion was insufficient. Long-term-expanded Th17 cells also protected mice from tumor rechallenge including lung metastasis. Importantly, 2-week-expanded human chimeric antigen receptor–positive (CAR+) Th17 cells also retained their ability to regress human mesothelioma, while CAR+ Th1 cells did not. Our results indicate that tumor-reactive Th17 cells are an effective cell therapy for cancer, remaining uncompromised when expanded for a long duration owing to their resistance to senescence.
Jacob S. Bowers, Michelle H. Nelson, Kinga Majchrzak, Stefanie R. Bailey, Baerbel Rohrer, Andrew D.M. Kaiser, Carl Atkinson, Luca Gattinoni, Chrystal M. Paulos
Elucidating the molecular basis of tumor metastasis is pivotal for eradicating cancer-related mortality. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) encompasses a class of aggressive tumors characterized by high rates of recurrence and metastasis, as well as poor overall survival. Here, we find that the promyelocytic leukemia protein PML exerts a prometastatic function in TNBC that can be targeted by arsenic trioxide. We found that, in TNBC patients, constitutive HIF1A activity induces high expression of PML, along with a number of HIF1A target genes that promote metastasis at multiple levels. Intriguingly, PML controls the expression of these genes by binding to their regulatory regions along with HIF1A. This mechanism is specific to TNBC cells and does not occur in other subtypes of breast cancer where PML and prometastatic HIF1A target genes are underexpressed. As a consequence, PML promotes cell migration, invasion, and metastasis in TNBC cell and mouse models. Notably, pharmacological inhibition of PML with arsenic trioxide, a PML-degrading agent used to treat promyelocytic leukemia patients, delays tumor growth, impairs TNBC metastasis, and cooperates with chemotherapy by preventing metastatic dissemination. In conclusion, we report identification of a prometastatic pathway in TNBC and suggest clinical development toward the use of arsenic trioxide for TNBC patients.
Manfredi Ponente, Letizia Campanini, Roberto Cuttano, Andrea Piunti, Giacomo A. Delledonne, Nadia Coltella, Roberta Valsecchi, Alessandra Villa, Ugo Cavallaro, Linda Pattini, Claudio Doglioni, Rosa Bernardi
In breast cancer, a key feature of peritumoral adipocytes is their loss of lipid content observed both in vitro and in human tumors. The free fatty acids (FFAs), released by adipocytes after lipolysis induced by tumor secretions, are transferred and stored in tumor cells as triglycerides in lipid droplets. In tumor cell lines, we demonstrate that FFAs can be released over time from lipid droplets through an adipose triglyceride lipase–dependent (ATGL-dependent) lipolytic pathway. In vivo, ATGL is expressed in human tumors where its expression correlates with tumor aggressiveness and is upregulated by contact with adipocytes. The released FFAs are then used for fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO), an active process in cancer but not normal breast epithelial cells, and regulated by coculture with adipocytes. However, in cocultivated cells, FAO is uncoupled from ATP production, leading to AMPK/acetyl-CoA carboxylase activation, a circle that maintains this state of metabolic remodeling. The increased invasive capacities of tumor cells induced by coculture are completely abrogated by inhibition of the coupled ATGL-dependent lipolysis/FAO pathways. These results show a complex metabolic symbiosis between tumor-surrounding adipocytes and cancer cells that stimulate their invasiveness, highlighting ATGL as a potential therapeutic target to impede breast cancer progression.
Yuan Yuan Wang, Camille Attané, Delphine Milhas, Béatrice Dirat, Stéphanie Dauvillier, Adrien Guerard, Julia Gilhodes, Ikrame Lazar, Nathalie Alet, Victor Laurent, Sophie Le Gonidec, Denis Biard, Caroline Hervé, Frédéric Bost, Guo Sheng Ren, Françoise Bono, Ghislaine Escourrou, Marc Prentki, Laurence Nieto, Philippe Valet, Catherine Muller
The fibrotic reaction, which can account for over 70%–80% of the tumor mass, is a characteristic feature of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tumors. It is associated with activation and proliferation of pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs), which are key regulators of collagen I production and fibrosis in vivo. In this report, we show that members of the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family of proteins are expressed in primary PSCs isolated from human PDAC tumors, with BRD4 positively regulating, and BRD2 and BRD3 negatively regulating, collagen I expression in primary cancer-associated PSCs. We show that the inhibitory effect of pan-BET inhibitors on collagen I expression in primary cancer-associated PSCs is through blocking of BRD4 function. Importantly, we show that FOSL1 is repressed by BRD4 in primary cancer-associated PSCs and negatively regulates collagen I expression. While BET inhibitors do not affect viability or induce PSC apoptosis or senescence, BET inhibitors induce primary cancer-associated PSCs to become quiescent. Finally, we show that BET inhibitors attenuate stellate cell activation, fibrosis, and collagen I production in the EL-KrasG12D transgenic mouse model of pancreatic tumorigenesis. Our results demonstrate that BET inhibitors regulate fibrosis by modulating the activation and function of cancer-associated PSCs.
Krishan Kumar, Brian T. DeCant, Paul J. Grippo, Rosa F. Hwang, David J. Bentrem, Kazumi Ebine, Hidayatullah G. Munshi
Many patients with histiocytic disorders such as Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) or Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD) have treatment-refractory disease or suffer recurrences. Recent findings of gene mutations in histiocytoses have generated options for targeted therapies. We sought to determine the utility of prospective sequencing of select genes to further characterize mutations and identify targeted therapies for patients with histiocytoses. Biopsies of 72 patients with a variety of histiocytoses underwent comprehensive genomic profiling with targeted DNA and RNA sequencing. Fifteen patients (21%) carried the known
Lynn H. Lee, Anjelika Gasilina, Jayeeta Roychoudhury, Jason Clark, Francis X. McCormack, Joseph Pressey, Michael S. Grimley, Robert Lorsbach, Siraj Ali, Mark Bailey, Philip Stephens, Jeffrey S. Ross, Vincent A. Miller, Nicolas N. Nassar, Ashish R. Kumar
Matthew J. Hartwell, Umut Özbek, Ernst Holler, Anne S. Renteria, Hannah Major-Monfried, Pavan Reddy, Mina Aziz, William J. Hogan, Francis Ayuk, Yvonne A. Efebera, Elizabeth O. Hexner, Udomsak Bunworasate, Muna Qayed, Rainer Ordemann, Matthias Wölfl, Stephan Mielke, Attaphol Pawarode, Yi-Bin Chen, Steven Devine, Andrew C. Harris, Madan Jagasia, Carrie L. Kitko, Mark R. Litzow, Nicolaus Kröger, Franco Locatelli, George Morales, Ryotaro Nakamura, Ran Reshef, Wolf Rösler, Daniela Weber, Kitsada Wudhikarn, Gregory A. Yanik, John E. Levine, James L.M. Ferrara
There is tremendous excitement for the potential of epigenetic therapies in cancer, but the ability to predict and monitor response to these drugs remains elusive. This is in part due to the inability to differentiate the direct cytotoxic and the immunomodulatory effects of these drugs. The DNA-hypomethylating agent 5-azacitidine (AZA) has shown these distinct effects in colon cancer and appears to be linked to the derepression of repeat RNAs. LINE and HERV are two of the largest classes of repeats in the genome, and despite many commonalities, we found that there is heterogeneity in behavior among repeat subtypes. Specifically, the LINE-1 and HERV-H subtypes detected by RNA sequencing and RNA in situ hybridization in colon cancers had distinct expression patterns, which suggested that these repeats are correlated to transcriptional programs marking different biological states. We found that low LINE-1 expression correlates with global DNA hypermethylation, wild-type
Niyati Desai, Dipti Sajed, Kshitij S. Arora, Alexander Solovyov, Mihir Rajurkar, Jacob R. Bledsoe, Srinjoy Sil, Ramzi Amri, Eric Tai, Olivia C. MacKenzie, Mari Mino-Kenudson, Martin J. Aryee, Cristina R. Ferrone, David L. Berger, Miguel N. Rivera, Benjamin D. Greenbaum, Vikram Deshpande, David T. Ting
Clinical trials revealed limited response duration of glioblastomas to VEGF-neutralizing antibody bevacizumab. Thriving in the devascularized microenvironment occurring after antiangiogenic therapy requires tumor cell adaptation to decreased glucose, with 50% less glucose identified in bevacizumab-treated xenografts. Compared with bevacizumab-responsive xenograft cells, resistant cells exhibited increased glucose uptake, glycolysis, 13C NMR pyruvate to lactate conversion, and survival in low glucose. Glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) was upregulated in bevacizumab-resistant versus sensitive xenografts and patient specimens in a HIF-1α–dependent manner. Resistant versus sensitive cell mitochondria in oxidative phosphorylation–selective conditions produced less ATP. Despite unchanged mitochondrial numbers, normoxic resistant cells had lower mitochondrial membrane potential than sensitive cells, confirming poorer mitochondrial health, but avoided the mitochondrial dysfunction of hypoxic sensitive cells. Thin-layer chromatography revealed increased triglycerides in bevacizumab-resistant versus sensitive xenografts, a change driven by mitochondrial stress. A glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibitor suppressing GLUT3 transcription caused greater cell death in bevacizumab-resistant than -responsive cells. Overexpressing GLUT3 in tumor cells recapitulated bevacizumab-resistant cell features: survival and proliferation in low glucose, increased glycolysis, impaired oxidative phosphorylation, and rapid in vivo proliferation only slowed by bevacizumab to that of untreated bevacizumab-responsive tumors. Targeting GLUT3 or the increased glycolysis reliance in resistant tumors could unlock the potential of antiangiogenic treatments.
Ruby Kuang, Arman Jahangiri, Smita Mascharak, Alan Nguyen, Ankush Chandra, Patrick M. Flanigan, Garima Yagnik, Jeffrey R. Wagner, Michael De Lay, Diego Carrera, Brandyn A. Castro, Josie Hayes, Maxim Sidorov, Jose Luiz Izquierdo Garcia, Pia Eriksson, Sabrina Ronen, Joanna Phillips, Annette Molinaro, Suneil Koliwad, Manish K. Aghi
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