Spencer B Gibson

CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Publications (121)688.03 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Lysosome membrane permeabilization (LMP) mediates cell death in a variety of cancer cells. However, little is known about lysosomes and LMP in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Due to drug resistance and toxicity in CLL patients, better treatment strategies are required. Our results show that CLL cells were sensitive to the lysosomotropic agent siramesine. Furthermore, this drug was more effective in CLL cells, regardless of prognostic factors, compared to normal B cells. Siramesine caused LMP, lipid peroxidation, and TFEB nuclear translocation followed by mitochondrial membrane potential loss and reactive oxygen species release. Siramesine-induced cell death was blocked by lipid antioxidants, but not by soluble antioxidants or protease inhibitors. To determine if CLL cells had altered lysosomes, we investigated sphingolipid metabolism as the lysosome is a hub for lipid metabolism. We found that CLL cells had more lysosomes, increased sphingosine 1 phosphate phosphatase 1 (SPP1) expression, and increased levels of sphingosine compared to normal B cells. Raising sphingosine levels increased LMP and cell death in CLL cells, but not in normal B cells. Together these results show that excess sphingosine in CLL cells could contribute to their sensitivity toward LMP. Thus, targeting the lysosome could be a novel therapeutic strategy in CLL.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Leukemia
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    ABSTRACT: Cell migration is controlled by PI3Ks, which generate lipid messengers phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate and phosphatidylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate [PI(3,4)P2] and consequently recruit pleckstrin homology (PH) domain-containing signaling proteins. PI3K inhibition impairs migration of normal and transformed B cells, an effect thought to partly underlie the therapeutic efficacy of PI3K inhibitors in treatment of B cell malignancies such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Although a number of studies have implicated phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate in cell migration, it remains unknown whether PI(3,4)P2 plays a distinct role. Using the PI(3,4)P2-specific phosphatase inositol polyphosphate 4-phosphatase, we investigate the impact of depleting PI(3,4)P2 on migration behavior of malignant B cells. We find that cells expressing wild-type, but not phosphatase dead, inositol polyphosphate 4-phosphatase show impaired SDF-induced PI(3,4)P2 responses and reduced migration in Transwell chamber assays. Moreover, PI(3,4)P2 depletion in primary chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells significantly impaired their migration capacity. PI(3,4)P2 depletion reduced both overall motility and migration directionality in the presence of a stable chemokine gradient. Within chemotaxing B cells, the PI(3,4)P2-binding cytoskeletal regulator lamellipodin (Lpd) was found to colocalize with PI(3,4)P2 on the plasma membrane via its PH domain. Overexpression and knockdown studies indicated that Lpd levels significantly impact migration capacity. Moreover, the ability of Lpd to promote directional migration of B cells in an SDF-1 gradient was dependent on its PI(3,4)P2-binding PH domain. These results demonstrate that PI(3,4)P2 plays a significant role in cell migration via binding to specific cytoskeletal regulators such as Lpd, and they suggest that impairment of PI(3,4)P2-dependent processes may contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of PI3K inhibitors in B cell malignancies.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
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    Y. Chen · E. Henson · E. Shome · W. Xiao · D. Eisenstat · S. Gibson

    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Neuro-Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Mcl-1 is an anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member that is often over-expressed in the malignant brain tumor glioblastoma (GBM). It has been previously shown that epidermal growth factor receptors up-regulate Mcl-1 contributing to a cell survival response. Hypoxia is a poor prognostic marker in glioblastoma despite the fact that hypoxic regions have areas of necrosis. Hypoxic regions of GBM also highly express the pro-cell death Bcl-2 family member BNIP3, yet when BNIP3 is over-expressed in glioma cells, it induces cell death. The reasons for this discrepancy are unclear. Herein we have found that Mcl-1 expression is reduced under hypoxia due to degradation by the E3 ligase FBW7 leading to increased hypoxia induced cell death. This cell death is augmented by EGFR activation leading to increased Mcl-1 expression under hypoxia. Conversely, BNIP3 is over-expressed in hypoxia at times when Mcl-1 expression is decreased. Knocking down BNIP3 expression reduces hypoxia cell death and Mcl-1 expression effectively blocks BNIP3 induced cell death. Of significance, BNIP3 and Mcl-1 are co-localized under hypoxia in glioma cells. These results suggest that Mcl-1 can block the ability of BNIP3 to induce cell death under hypoxia in GBM tumors.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Cancer biology & therapy
  • Spencer B. Gibson · Yongqiang Chen · Elizabeth S. Henson · Daniel Huang

    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cancer Research

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cancer Research

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cancer Research

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a malignancy driven by abberant B cell signaling and survival. Leukemic B cells accumulate in the peripheral blood and the lymphoid organs where contact with stromal cells and T cells provide critical survival signals. Clinical severity of CLL is associated with several prognostic markers including expression of the kinase ZAP-70. ZAP-70 expression enhances signaling via the B cell antigen receptor and is associated with increased cell adhesion and migration capacity. Here we report that ZAP-70-positive CLL patients display significantly higher expression of the TNF superfamily receptor and memory marker CD27 than do ZAP-70 negative patients. CD27 expression by CLL was acutely elevated upon BCR cross-linking, or upon ectopic expression of ZAP-70. CD27 expression correlated with functional capacity to adhere to stromal cells and antibody blockade of CD27 impaired CLL binding to stroma. These results provide the first evidence for differential expression of CD27 among CLL prognostic groups, suggest a role for ZAP-70 dependent signaling in CD27 induction and implicate CD27 in cell-cell interactions with the lymphoid tissue microenvironment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Leukemia research
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can be divided into groups based on biomarkers of poor prognosis. The expression of the tyrosine kinase ZAP-70 (member of the Syk tyrosine kinase family) in CLL cells is associated with shorter overall survival in CLL patients. Currently, there is a lack of targeted therapies for patients with ZAP-70 expression in CLL cells. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib has been shown to be effective at induce apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia through inhibition of Syk. In this study, we sought to test the efficacy of gefitinib in primary human ZAP-70+ CLL cells. We demonstrate that gefitinib preferentially induces cell death in ZAP-70-expressing CLL cells with a median IC50 of 4.5 μM. In addition, gefitinib decreases the viability of ZAP-70+ Jurkat T leukemia cells but fails to affect T cells from CLL patients. Western blot analysis shows gefitinib reduces both basal and B-cell receptor (BCR)-stimulated phosphorylation of Syk/ZAP-70, ERK, and Akt in ZAP-70+ CLL cells. Moreover, gefitinib inhibits the pro-survival response from BCR stimulation and decreases pro-survival proteins such as Mcl-1. Finally, ZAP-70 expression sensitizes Raji cells to gefitinib treatment. These results demonstrate that gefitinib specifically targets ZAP-70+ CLL cells and inhibits the BCR cell survival pathway leading to apoptosis. This represents the likelihood of tyrosine kinase inhibitors being effective targeted treatments for ZAP-70+ CLL cells.Cell Death and Disease (2014) 5, e1439; doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.391; published online 2 October 2014.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Cell Death & Disease
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    E Shome · A Lott · M Pitz · S Gibson · D Eisenstat

    Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Cancer Research
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    Ruoyang Shi · Shenghua Zhu · Victor Li · Spencer B. Gibson · Xingshun Xu · Jiming Kong
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: A basal level of mitophagy is essential in mitochondrial quality control in physiological conditions, while excessive mitophagy contributes to cell death in a number of diseases including ischemic stroke. Signals regulating this process remain unknown. BNIP3, a pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein, has been implicated as a regulator of mitophagy. Aims: Both in vivo and in vitro models of stroke, as well as BNIP3 wild-type and knock out mice were used in this study. Results: We show that BNIP3 and its homologue BNIP3L (NIX) are highly expressed in a "delayed" manner and contribute to delayed neuronal loss following stroke. Deficiency in BNIP3 significantly decreases both neuronal mitophagy and apoptosis but increases nonselective autophagy following ischemic/hypoxic insults. The mitochondria-localized BNIP3 interacts with the autophagosome-localized LC3, suggesting that BNIP3, similar to NIX, functions as a LC3-binding receptor on mitochondria. Although NIX expression is upregulated when BNIP3 is silenced, up-regulation of NIX cannot functionally compensate for the loss of BNIP3 in activating excessive mitophagy. Conclusions: NIX primarily regulates basal level of mitophagy in physiological conditions, whereas BNIP3 exclusively activates excessive mitophagy leading to cell death.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Inherent or acquired drug resistance is a major contributor to epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) mortality. Novel drugs or drug combinations that produce EOC cell death or resensitize drug resistant cells to standard chemotherapy may improve patient treatment. After conducting drug tolerability studies for the multikinase inhibitors dorsomorphin (DM) and it's structural analogue LDN-193189 (LDN), these drugs were tested in a mouse intraperitoneal xenograft model of EOC. DM significantly increased survival, whereas LDN showed a trend toward increased survival. In vitro experiments using cisplatin-resistant EOC cell lines, A2780-cp or SKOV3, we determined that pretreatment or co-treatment with DM or LDN resensitized cells to the killing effect of cisplatin or carboplatin. DM was capable of blocking EOC cell cycle and migration, whereas LDN produced a less pronounced effect on cell cycle and no effect on migration. Subsequent analyses using primary human EOC cell samples or additional established EOC cells lines, showed that DM or LDN induced a dose-dependent autophagic or cell death response, respectively. DM induced a characteristic morphological change with the appearance of numerous LC3B-containing acidic vacuoles and an increase in LC3BII levels. This was coincident with a decrease in cell growth and the altered cell cycle consistent with DM-induced cytostasis. By contrast, LDN produced a caspase 3-independent, ROS-dependent cell death. Overall, DM and LDN possess drug characteristics suitable for adjuvant agents used to treat chemotherapy-sensitive and –resistant EOC. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · International Journal of Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains incurable despite advances in therapy. In this study, we characterize the effect of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) inhibition by FK866 in primary CLL cells from patients with various clinical prognostic markers. Experimental design: CLL cells were treated with FK866 to assess viability by Annexin V/PI staining. Functional analysis of FK866 included time- and concentration-dependent evaluation of cellular NAD, ATP, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and apoptotic signaling. Chemosensitization potential by FK866 to fludarabine was also assessed. Prognostic markers were correlated with drug response. Results: FK866 induced CLL cell death by depleting cellular NAD content by day 1, followed by a drop in ATP on day 2. We observed loss of MMP, ROS increase, and induction of apoptotic signaling at day 3. On-target activity of FK866 was confirmed by NAD-mediated rescue of NAD and ATP loss, apoptotic signaling, and viability. The response to FK866 was independent of most prognostic markers. Higher doses were required with short lymphocyte doubling time and positive CD38 status, whereas CLL cells resistant to fludarabine in vitro and from patients with del17p13.1 were equally sensitive to FK866. FK866 did not upregulate the p53-target p21, nor did the p53 activator Nutlin improve FK866-mediated cell death. Furthermore, fludarabine and FK866 were synergistic at clinically relevant concentrations. Conclusions: NAMPT inhibition by FK866 may be a potential treatment for CLL, including patients with del17p13.1 or other high-risk features. FK866 may complement standard agents to enhance their efficacy and/or allow dose reduction for improved tolerability.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Clinical Cancer Research
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    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · British Journal of Haematology
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    Jennifer L Schacter · Elizabeth S Henson · Spencer B Gibson
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogen is implicated as an important factor in stimulating breast cancer cell proliferation, and presence of estrogen receptor (ER) is an indication of a good prognosis in breast cancer patients. Mcl-1 is an anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member that is often over expressed in breast tumors, correlating with poor survival. In breast cancer, it was been previously shown that epidermal growth factor receptors up-regulate Mcl-1 but the role of estrogen in increasing Mcl-1 expression was unknown. In ERα positive cell lines MCF-7 and ZR-75, estrogen treatment increased Mcl-1 expression at both the protein and mRNA level. In two ERα negative cell lines, SK-BR-3 and MDA-MB-231, estrogen failed to increase in Mcl-1 protein expression. We found that ERα antagonists decreased estrogen mediated Mcl-1 expression at both the protein and mRNA level. Upon knockdown of ERα, Mcl-1 mRNA expression after estrogen treatment was also decreased. We also found that ERα binds to the Mcl-1 promoter at a region upstream of the translation start site containing a half ERE site. Streptavidin-pull down assay showed that both ERα and transcription factor Sp1 bind to this region. These results suggest that estrogen is involved in regulating Mcl-1 expression specifically through a mechanism involving ERα.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Whether chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections contribute to the pathogenesis and⁄or course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia is unclear. To document the prevalences of HBV and HCV infections in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients, and to determine whether infected patients experience more aggressive disease than those without infection. Patient sera were screened for antibodies to HBV core antigen and HCV (anti-HCV) using ELISA; both sera and peripheral blood lymphocytes were further tested (regardless of antibody results) for HBV-DNA and HCV-RNA using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Prognostic markers for chronic lymphocytic leukemia included Rai stage, IgVH mutational status, β2-microglobulin levels, Zap-70 and CD38 status. Fourteen of 222 (6.3%) chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients and two of 72 (2.8%) healthy controls tested positive for previous or ongoing HBV infection (OR 2.4 [95% CI 0.5 to 7.7]; P=0.25) while four of 222 (1.8%) chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients and one of 72 (1.4%) controls tested positive for HCV markers (OR 1.3 [95% CI 0.2 to 6.4]; P=0.81). The levels and distribution of the various indicators of aggressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia disease were similar among HBV- and HCV-infected and uninfected patients. Survival times were also similar. Occult HBV and HCV infection (HBV-DNA or HCV-RNA positive in the absence of diagnostic serological markers) were uncommon in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients (0.5% and 1.8%, respectively). The results of the present study do not support the hypothesis that HBV or HCV infections play an important role in the pathogenesis or course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Research in autophagy continues to accelerate,(1) and as a result many new scientists are entering the field. Accordingly, it is important to establish a standard set of criteria for monitoring macroautophagy in different organisms. Recent reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose.(2,3) There are many useful and convenient methods that can be used to monitor macroautophagy in yeast, but relatively few in other model systems, and there is much confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure macroautophagy in higher eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers of autophagosomes versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway; thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from fully functional autophagy that includes delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of the methods that can be used by investigators who are attempting to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as by reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that investigate these processes. This set of guidelines is not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to verify an autophagic response.
    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Fludarabine, a nucleoside analogue, is commonly used in combination with other agents for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). In previous studies, valproic acid (VPA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylases, combined with fludarabine to synergistically increase apoptotic cell death in CLL cells. In the present study, we found that the combination of fludarabine and VPA decreases the level of the anti-apoptotic proteins Mcl-1 and XIAP in primary CLL cells. Treatment with fludarabine alone, or in combination with VPA, led to the loss of lysosome integrity, and chemical inhibition of the lysosomal protease cathepsin B, using CA074-Me, was sufficient to reduce apoptosis. VPA treatment increased cathepsin B levels and activities in primary CLL cells, thereby priming CLL cells for lysosome-mediated cell death. Six previously treated patients with relapsed CLL were treated with VPA, followed by VPA/fludarabine combination. The combined therapy resulted in reduced lymphocyte count in five out of six and reduced lymph node sizes in four out of six patients. In vivo VPA treatment increased histone-3 acetylation and cathepsin B expression levels. Thus, the synergistic apoptotic response with VPA and fludarabine in CLL is mediated by cathepsin B activation leading to a decrease in the anti-apoptotic proteins.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Blood Cancer Journal

Publication Stats

10k Citations
688.03 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005-2015
    • CancerCare Manitoba
      Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2002-2015
    • University of Manitoba
      • • Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
      Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2012
    • University of Michigan
      • Life Sciences Institute
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States