[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
We utilized targeted mass-spectrometry to study the metabolic fingerprint of urothelial cancer and in order to determine whether the biochemical pathway analysis gene signature would have a predictive value in independent bladder cancer patient cohorts.
Patient and methods:
Pathologically evaluated bladder-derived tissues (benign adjacent n = 14 and bladder cancer n = 46) were analyzed using liquid chromatography based targeted mass spectrometry. Differential metabolites associated with tumors samples in comparison to benign tissue were identified by adjusting the p-values for multiple testing at an FDR threshold of 15%. Enrichment of pathways and processes associated with the metabolic signature were determined using Gene Ontology and Molecular Signature Databases. Integration of metabolite alterations with transcriptome data from TCGA was utilized to identify a molecular signature of 30 metabolic genes. Available outcome data from the TCGA portal was used to determine the association with survival.
We identified 145 metabolites in the analysis of which 31 metabolites were differential when comparing benign and tumor tissue samples. Using the KEGG Database we identified a total of 174 genes correlated with altered metabolic pathways involved. By integrating these genes with the transcriptomic data from the corresponding TCGA dataset we identified a metabolic signature consisting of 30 genes that was significant in its prediction of survival between patients with a low (n=95) versus a high signature score (n=282) (p = 0.0458).
Targeted mass spectrometry of bladder cancer is highly sensitive to detect metabolic alterations. Application of transcriptome data allows for integration into larger datasets and identification of relevant metabolic pathways in bladder cancer progression.
Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The Journal of urology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smokers develop metastatic prostate cancer more frequently than nonsmokers, suggesting that a tobacco-derived factor is driving metastatic progression. To identify smoking-induced alterations in human prostate cancer, we analyzed gene and protein expression patterns in tumors collected from current, past, and never smokers. By this route, we elucidated a distinct pattern of molecular alterations characterized by an immune and inflammation signature in tumors from current smokers that were either attenuated or absent in past and never smokers. Specifically, this signature included elevated immunoglobulin expression by tumor-infiltrating B cells, NF-κB activation, and increased chemokine expression. In an alternate approach to characterize smoking-induced oncogenic alterations, we also explored the effects of nicotine in human prostate cancer cells and prostate cancer-prone TRAMP mice. These investigations showed that nicotine increased glutamine consumption and invasiveness of cancer cells in vitro and accelerated metastatic progression in tumor-bearing TRAMP mice. Overall, our findings suggested that nicotine was sufficient to induce a phenotype resembling the epidemiology of smoking-associated prostate cancer progression, illuminating a novel candidate driver underlying metastatic prostate cancer in current smokers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) is primarily an androgen-dependent disease, which is treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Tumors usually develop resistance (castration-resistant PCa [CRPC]), but remain androgen receptor (AR) dependent. Numerous mechanisms for AR-dependent resistance have been identified including expression of constitutively active AR splice variants lacking the hormone-binding domain. Recent clinical studies show that expression of the best-characterized AR variant, AR-V7, correlates with resistance to ADT and poor outcome. Whether AR-V7 is simply a constitutively active substitute for AR or has novel gene targets that cause unique downstream changes is unresolved. Several studies have shown that AR activation alters cell metabolism. Using LNCaP cells with inducible expression of AR-V7 as a model system, we found that AR-V7 stimulated growth, migration, and glycolysis measured by ECAR (extracellular acidification rate) similar to AR. However, further analyses using metabolomics and metabolic flux assays revealed several differences. Whereas AR increased citrate levels, AR-V7 reduced citrate mirroring metabolic shifts observed in CRPC patients. Flux analyses indicate that the low citrate is a result of enhanced utilization rather than a failure to synthesize citrate. Moreover, flux assays suggested that compared to AR, AR-V7 exhibits increased dependence on glutaminolysis and reductive carboxylation to produce some of the TCA (tricarboxylic acid cycle) metabolites. These findings suggest that these unique actions represent potential therapeutic targets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induces cancer stem cell (CSC) characteristics and promotes tumor invasiveness; however relatively little is known about the metabolic reprogramming in EMT. Here we show that breast epithelial cells undergo metabolic reprogramming following EMT. Relative to control, cell lines expressing EMT transcription factors show ≥1.5-fold accumulation of glutamine, glutamate, beta-alanine and glycylleucine as well as ≥1.5-fold reduction of phosphoenolpyruvate, urate, and deoxycarnitine. Moreover, these metabolic alterations were found to be predictive of overall survival (hazard ratio = 2.3 (95% confidence interval: 1.31-4.2), logrank p-value = 0.03) and define breast cancer molecular subtypes. EMT-associated metabolites are primarily composed of anapleurotic precursors, suggesting that cells undergoing EMT have a shift in energy production. In summary, we describe a unique panel of metabolites associated with EMT and demonstrate that these metabolites have the potential for predicting clinical and biological characteristics associated with patient survival.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Owing to their capacity for self-renewal and pluripotency, stem cells possess untold potential for revolutionizing the field of regenerative medicine through the development of novel therapeutic strategies for treating cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Central to developing these strategies is improving our understanding of biological mechanisms responsible for governing stem cell fate and self-renewal. Increasing attention is being given to the significance of metabolism, through the production of energy and generation of small molecules, as a critical regulator of stem cell functioning. Rapid advances in the field of metabolomics now allow for in-depth profiling of stem cells both in vitro and in vivo, providing a systems perspective on key metabolic and molecular pathways which influence stem cell biology. Understanding the analytical platforms and techniques that are currently used to study stem cell metabolomics, as well as how new insights can be derived from this knowledge, will accelerate new research in the field and improve future efforts to expand our understanding of the interplay between metabolism and stem cell biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ever since we developed mitochondria to generate ATP, eukaryotes required intimate mito-nuclear communication. In addition, since reactive oxygen species are a cost of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, this demands safeguards as protection from these harmful byproducts. Here we identified a critical transcriptional integrator which eukaryotes share to orchestrate both nutrient-induced mitochondrial energy metabolism and stress-induced nuclear responses, thereby maintaining carbon-nitrogen balance, and preserving life span and reproductive capacity. Inhibition of nutrient-induced expression of CAPER arrests nutrient-dependent cell proliferation and ATP generation and induces autophagy-mediated vacuolization. Nutrient signaling to CAPER induces mitochondrial transcription and glucose-dependent mitochondrial respiration via coactivation of nuclear receptor ERR-α-mediated Gabpa transcription. CAPER is also a coactivator for NF-κB that directly regulates c-Myc to coordinate nuclear transcriptome responses to mitochondrial stress. Finally, CAPER is responsible for anaplerotic carbon flux into TCA cycles from glycolysis, amino acids and fatty acids in order to maintain cellular energy metabolism to counter mitochondrial stress. Collectively, our studies reveal CAPER as an evolutionarily conserved 'master' regulatory mechanism by which eukaryotic cells control vital homeostasis for both ATP and antioxidants via CAPER-dependent coordinated control of nuclear and mitochondrial transcriptomic programs and their metabolisms. These CAPER dependent bioenergetic programs are highly conserved, as we demonstrated that they are essential to preserving life span and reproductive capacity in human cells-and even in C. elegans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolic pathway reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer cell growth and survival and supports the anabolic and energetic demands of these rapidly dividing cells. The underlying regulators of the tumor metabolic program are not completely understood; however, these factors have potential as cancer therapy targets. Here, we determined that upregulation of the oncogenic transcriptional coregulator steroid receptor coactivator 2 (SRC-2), also known as NCOA2, drives glutamine-dependent de novo lipogenesis, which supports tumor cell survival and eventual metastasis. SRC-2 was highly elevated in a variety of tumors, especially in prostate cancer, in which SRC-2 was amplified and overexpressed in 37% of the metastatic tumors evaluated. In prostate cancer cells, SRC-2 stimulated reductive carboxylation of α-ketoglutarate to generate citrate via retrograde TCA cycling, promoting lipogenesis and reprogramming of glutamine metabolism. Glutamine-mediated nutrient signaling activated SRC-2 via mTORC1-dependent phosphorylation, which then triggered downstream transcriptional responses by coactivating SREBP-1, which subsequently enhanced lipogenic enzyme expression. Metabolic profiling of human prostate tumors identified a massive increase in the SRC-2-driven metabolic signature in metastatic tumors compared with that seen in localized tumors, further implicating SRC-2 as a prominent metabolic coordinator of cancer metastasis. Moreover, SRC-2 inhibition in murine models severely attenuated the survival, growth, and metastasis of prostate cancer. Together, these results suggest that the SRC-2 pathway has potential as a therapeutic target for prostate cancer.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A central problem in biology is to identify gene function. One approach is to infer function in large supergenomic networks of interactions and ancestral relationships among genes; however, their analysis can be computationally prohibitive. We show here that these biological networks are compressible. They can be shrunk dramatically by eliminating redundant evolutionary relationships, and this process is efficient because in these networks the number of compressible elements rises linearly rather than exponentially as in other complex networks. Compression enables global network analysis to computationally harness hundreds of interconnected genomes and to produce functional predictions. As a demonstration, we show that the essential, but functionally uncharacterized Plasmodium falciparum antigen EXP1 is a membrane glutathione S-transferase. EXP1 efficiently degrades cytotoxic hematin, is potently inhibited by artesunate, and is associated with artesunate metabolism and susceptibility in drug-pressured malaria parasites. These data implicate EXP1 in the mode of action of a frontline antimalarial drug.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer (BCa) molecular subtypes include luminal A, luminal B, normal-like, HER-2–enriched, and basal-like tumors, among which luminal B and basal-like cancers are highly aggressive. Biochemical pathways associated with patient survival or treatment response in these more aggressive subtypes are not well understood. With the limited availability of pathologically verified clinical specimens, cell line models are routinely used for pathway-centric studies. We measured the metabolome of luminal and basal-like BCa cell lines using mass spectrometry, linked metabolites to biochemical pathways using Gene Set Analysis, and developed a novel rank-based method to select pathways on the basis of their enrichment in patient-derived omics data sets and prognostic relevance. Key mediators of the pathway were then characterized for their role in disease progression. Pyrimidine metabolism was altered in luminal versus basal BCa, whereas the combined expression of its associated genes or expression of one key gene, ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2 (RRM2) alone, associated significantly with decreased survival across all BCa subtypes, as well as in luminal patients resistant to tamoxifen. Increased RRM2 expression in tamoxifen-resistant patients was verified using tissue microarrays, whereas the metabolic products of RRM2 were higher in tamoxifen-resistant cells and in xenograft tumors. Both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of this key enzyme in tamoxifen-resistant cells significantly decreased proliferation, reduced expression of cell cycle genes, and sensitized the cells to tamoxifen treatment. Our study suggests for evaluating RRM2-associated metabolites as noninvasive markers for tamoxifen resistance and its pharmacological inhibition as a novel approach to overcome tamoxifen resistance in BCa.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)