HFE polymorphisms influence the response to chemotherapeutic agents via induction of p16INK4A

Department of Neurosurgery, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, MS Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA 17033-0850, USA.
International Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.09). 11/2011; 129(9):2104-14. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.25888
Source: PubMed


HFE is a protein that impacts cellular iron uptake. HFE gene variants are identified as risk factors or modifiers for multiple diseases. Using HFE stably transfected human neuroblastoma cells, we found that cells carrying the C282Y HFE variant do not differentiate when exposed to retinoic acid. Therefore, we hypothesized HFE variants would impact response to therapeutic agents. Both the human neuroblastoma and glioma cells that express the C282Y HFE variant are resistant to Temodar, geldanamycin and γ-radiation. A gene array analysis revealed that p16INK4A (p16) expression was increased in association with C282Y expression. Decreasing p16 protein by siRNA resulted in increased vulnerability to all of the therapeutic agents suggesting that p16 is responsible for the resistance. Decreasing HFE expression by siRNA resulted in a 85% decrease in p16 expression in the neuroblastoma cells but not the astrocytoma cells. These data suggest a potential direct relationship between HFE and p16 that may be cell specific or mediated by different pathways in the different cell types. In conclusion, the C282Y HFE variant impacts the vulnerability of cancer cells to current treatment strategies apparently by increasing expression of p16. Although best known as a tumor suppressor, there are multiple reports that p16 is elevated in some forms of cancer. Given the frequency of the HFE gene variants, as high as 10% of the Caucasian population, these data provide compelling evidence that the C282Y HFE variant should be part of a pharmacogenetic strategy for evaluating treatment efficacy in cancer cells.

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Available from: Sang Lee, Sep 30, 2014
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    • "We have previously reported that human neuroblastoma cells and human astrocytoma cells lines expressing commonly occurring polymorphisms in the HFE gene were resistant to chemotherapy and radiation [26]. The HFE gene product is involved in iron homeostasis and the common HFE polymorphisms, H63D and C282Y, lead to a number of changes in cells such as increased endoplasmic reticulum stress and increased oxidative stress [27]–[29]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The standard chemotherapy for brain tumors is temozolomide (TMZ), however, as many as 50% of brain tumors are reportedly TMZ resistant leaving patients without a chemotherapeutic option. We performed serial screening of TMZ resistant astrocytoma cell lines, and identified compounds that are cytotoxic to these cells. The most cytotoxic compound was an analog of thiobarbituric acid that we refer to as CC-I. There is a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect of CC-I in TMZ resistant astrocytoma cells. Cell death appears to occur via apoptosis. Following CC-I exposure, there was an increase in astrocytoma cells in the S and G2/M phases. In in vivo athymic (nu/nu) nude mice subcutaneous and intracranial tumor models, CC-I completely inhibited tumor growth without liver or kidney toxicity. Molecular modeling and enzyme activity assays indicate that CC-I selectively inhibits topoisomerase IIα similar to other drugs in its class, but its cytotoxic effects on astrocytoma cells are stronger than these compounds. The cytotoxic effect of CC-I is stronger in cells expressing unmethylated O6-methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) but is still toxic to cells with methylated MGMT. CC-I can also enhance the toxic effect of TMZ on astrocytoma when the two compounds are combined. In conclusion, we have identified a compound that is effective against astrocytomas including TMZ resistant astrocytomas in both cell culture and in vivo brain tumor models. The enhanced cytotoxicity of CC-I and the safety profile of this family of drugs could provide an interesting tool for broader evaluation against brain tumors.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e108166. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0108166 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "For example, expression of C282Y-HFE in human neuroblastoma cells resulted in increases in intracellular iron, lipid peroxidation, and cell proliferation [5]. In addition, cells expressing C282Y-HFE are resistant to the differentiation agent retinoic acid and to several chemotherapeutic drugs (e.g., doxorubicin) [11]. It is likely that the mechanism of this resistance involves induction of expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p16INK4A [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although disruptions in the maintenance of iron and cholesterol metabolism have been implicated in several cancers, the association between variants in the HFE gene that is associated with cellular iron uptake and cholesterol metabolism has not been studied. The C282Y-HFE variant is a risk factor for different cancers, is known to affect sphingolipid metabolism, and to result in increased cellular iron uptake. The effect of this variant on cholesterol metabolism and its possible relevance to cancer phenotype was investigated using wild type (WT) and C282Y-HFE transfected human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Expression of C282Y-HFE in SH-SY5Y cells resulted in a significant increase in total cholesterol as well as increased transcription of a number of genes involved in its metabolism compared to cells expressing WT-HFE. The marked increase in expression of NPC1L1 relative to that of most other genes, was accompanied by a significant increase in expression of NPC1, a protein that functions in cholesterol uptake by cells. Because inhibitors of cholesterol metabolism have been proposed to be beneficial for treating certain cancers, their effect on the viability of C282Y-HFE neuroblastoma cells was ascertained. C282Y-HFE cells were significantly more sensitive than WT-HFE cells to U18666A, an inhibitor of desmosterol Δ24-reductase the enzyme catalyzing the last step in cholesterol biosynthesis. This was not seen for simvastatin, ezetimibe, or a sphingosine kinase inhibitor. These studies indicate that cancers presenting in carriers of the C282Y-HFE allele might be responsive to treatment designed to selectively reduce cholesterol content in their tumor cells.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88724. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088724 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Classical population genetics shows that varying permutations of genes and risk factors permit or disallow the effects of causative agents, depending on circumstance. For example, genes and environment determine whether a fox kills black or white rabbits on snow or black ash covered islands. Risk promoting effects are different on each island, but obscured by meta-analysis or GWAS data from both islands, unless partitioned by different contributory factors. In Alzheimer's disease, the foxes appear to be herpes, borrelia or chlamydial infection, hypercholesterolemia, hyperhomocysteinaemia, diabetes, cerebral hypoperfusion, oestrogen depletion, or vitamin A deficiency, all of which promote beta-amyloid deposition in animal models—without the aid of gene variants. All relate to risk factors and subsets of susceptibility genes, which condition their effects. All are less prevalent in convents, where nuns appear less susceptible to the ravages of ageing. Antagonism of the antimicrobial properties of beta-amyloid by Abeta autoantibodies in the ageing population, likely generated by antibodies raised to beta-amyloid/pathogen protein homologues, may play a role in this scenario. These agents are treatable by diet and drugs, vitamin supplementation, pathogen detection and elimination, and autoantibody removal, although again, the beneficial effects of individual treatments may be tempered by genes and environment.
    01/2011; DOI:10.5402/2011/394678
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