Dysregulated pH: a perfect storm for cancer progression
ABSTRACT Although cancer is a diverse set of diseases, cancer cells share a number of adaptive hallmarks. Dysregulated pH is emerging as a hallmark of cancer because cancers show a 'reversed' pH gradient with a constitutively increased intracellular pH that is higher than the extracellular pH. This gradient enables cancer progression by promoting proliferation, the evasion of apoptosis, metabolic adaptation, migration and invasion. Several new advances, including an increased understanding of pH sensors, have provided insight into the molecular basis for pH-dependent cell behaviours that are relevant to cancer cell biology. We highlight the central role of pH sensors in cancer cell adaptations and suggest how dysregulated pH could be exploited to develop cancer-specific therapeutics.
- SourceAvailable from: Christina Surulescu[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cancer research is not only a fast growing field involving many branches of science, but also an intricate and diversified field rife with anomalies. One such anomaly is the consistent reliance of cancer cells on glucose metabolism for energy production even in a normoxic environment. Glycolysis is an inefficient pathway for energy production and normally is used during hypoxic conditions. Since cancer cells have a high demand for energy (e.g. for proliferation) it is somehow paradoxical for them to rely on such a mechanism. An emerging conjecture aiming to explain this behavior is that cancer cells preserve this aerobic glycolytic phenotype for its use in invasion and metastasis (see, e.g., Gatenby and Gillies (2004) , Racker (1976) ). We follow this hypothesis and propose a new model for cancer invasion, depending on the dynamics of extra- and intracellular protons, by building upon the existing ones. We incorporate random perturbations in the intracellular proton dynamics to account for uncertainties affecting the cellular machinery. Finally, we address the well-posedness of our setting and use numerical simulations to illustrate the model predictions.Nonlinear Analysis Real World Applications 04/2015; 22:176–205. DOI:10.1016/j.nonrwa.2014.08.008 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cancer occurs when cells acquire genomic instability and inflammation, produce abnormal levels of epigenetic factors/proteins and tumor suppressors, reprogram the energy metabolism and evade immune destruction, leading to the disruption of cell cycle/normal growth. An early event in carcinogenesis is loss of polarity and detachment from the natural basement membrane, allowing cells to form distinct three-dimensional (3D) structures that interact with each other and with the surrounding microenvironment. Although valuable information has been accumulated from traditional in vitro studies in which cells are grown on flat and hard plastic surfaces (2D culture), this culture condition does not reflect the essential features of tumor tissues. Further, fundamental understanding of cancer metastasis cannot be obtained readily from 2D studies because they lack the complex and dynamic cell-cell communications and cell-matrix interactions that occur during cancer metastasis. These shortcomings, along with lack of spatial depth and cell connectivity, limit the applicability of 2D cultures to accurate testing of pharmacologically active compounds, free or sequestered in nanoparticles. To recapitulate features of native tumor microenvironments, various biomimetic 3D tumor models have been developed to incorporate cancer and stromal cells, relevant matrix components, and biochemical and biophysical cues, into one spatially and temporally integrated system. In this article, we review recent advances in creating 3D tumor models employing tissue engineering principles. We then evaluate the utilities of these novel models for the testing of anticancer drugs and their delivery systems. We highlight the profound differences in responses from 3D in vitro tumors and conventional monolayer cultures. Overall, strategic integration of biological principles and engineering approaches will both improve understanding of tumor progression and invasion and support discovery of more personalized first line treatments for cancer patients.Biotechnology Advances 11/2014; 32(7). DOI:10.1016/j.biotechadv.2014.07.009 · 8.91 Impact Factor
Article: pH sensing and regulation in cancer[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cells maintain intracellular pH (pHi) within a narrow range (7.1-7.2) by controlling membrane proton pumps and transporters whose activity is set by intra-cytoplasmic pH sensors. These sensors have the ability to recognize and induce cellular responses to maintain the pHi, often at the expense of acidifying the extracellular pH. In turn, extracellular acidification impacts cells via specific acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) and proton-sensing G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). In this review, we will discuss some of the major players in proton sensing at the plasma membrane and their downstream consequences in cancer cells and how these pH-mediated changes affect processes such as migration and metastasis. The complex mechanisms by which they transduce acid pH signals to the cytoplasm and nucleus are not well understood. However, there is evidence that expression of proton-sensing GPCRs such as GPR4, TDAG8, and OGR1 can regulate aspects of tumorigenesis and invasion, including cofilin and talin regulated actin (de-)polymerization. Major mechanisms for maintenance of pHi homeostasis include monocarboxylate, bicarbonate, and proton transporters. Notably, there is little evidence suggesting a link between their activities and those of the extracellular H(+)-sensors, suggesting a mechanistic disconnect between intra- and extracellular pH. Understanding the mechanisms of pH sensing and regulation may lead to novel and informed therapeutic strategies that can target acidosis, a common physical hallmark of solid tumors.Frontiers in Physiology 12/2013; 4:370. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2013.00370 · 3.50 Impact Factor