[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysregulated choline metabolism is a well-known feature of breast cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, the metabolomic and transcriptomic characteristics of a large panel of human breast cancer xenograft models were mapped, with focus on choline metabolism.
Tumor specimens from 34 patient-derived xenograft models were collected and divided in two. One part was examined using high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) MR spectroscopy while another part was analysed using gene expression microarrays. Expression data of genes encoding proteins in the choline metabolism pathway were analysed and correlated to the levels of choline (Cho), phosphocholine (PCho) and glycerophosphocholine (GPC) using Pearson's correlation analysis. For comparison purposes, metabolic and gene expression data were collected from human breast tumors belonging to corresponding molecular subgroups.
Most of the xenograft models were classified as basal-like (N = 19) or luminal B (N = 7). These two subgroups showed significantly different choline metabolic and gene expression profiles. The luminal B xenografts were characterized by a high PCho/GPC ratio while the basal-like xenografts were characterized by highly variable PCho/GPC ratio. Also, Cho, PCho and GPC levels were correlated to expression of several genes encoding proteins in the choline metabolism pathway, including choline kinase alpha (CHKA) and glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase domain containing 5 (GDPD5). These characteristics were similar to those found in human tumor samples.
The higher PCho/GPC ratio found in luminal B compared with most basal-like breast cancer xenograft models and human tissue samples do not correspond to results observed from in vitro studies. It is likely that microenvironmental factors play a role in the in vivo regulation of choline metabolism. Cho, PCho and GPC were correlated to different choline pathway-encoding genes in luminal B compared with basal-like xenografts, suggesting that regulation of choline metabolism may vary between different breast cancer subgroups. The concordance between the metabolic and gene expression profiles from xenograft models with breast cancer tissue samples from patients indicates that these xenografts are representative models of human breast cancer and represent relevant models to study tumor metabolism in vivo.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Breast cancer research: BCR
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antiangiogenic therapy with bevacizumab has shown varying results in breast cancer clinical trials. Identifying robust biomarkers for selecting patients who may benefit from such treatment and for monitoring response is important for the future use of bevacizumab. Two established xenograft models representing basal-like and luminal-like breast cancer were used to study bevacizumab treatment response on the metabolic and gene expression levels. Tumor samples were obtained from mice treated with bevacizumab, doxorubicin or a combination of the two drugs, and high resolution magic angle spinning magnetic resonance spectroscopy and gene expression microarray analysis was performed. Combination treatment with bevacizumab showed the strongest growth inhibiting effect in basal-like tumors, and this was reflected by a significant change in the metabolomic and transcriptomic profiles. In the luminal-like xenografts, addition of bevacizumab did not improve the effect of doxorubicin. On the global transcriptomic level, the largest gene expression changes were observed for the most efficient treatment in both models. Glycerophosphocholine showed opposite response in the treated xenografts compared with untreated controls; lower in basal-like and higher in luminal-like tumors. Comparing combination therapy with doxorubicin monotherapy in basal-like xenografts, 14 genes showed significant differential expression, including very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) and hemoglobin, theta 1 (HBQ1). Bevacizumab-treated tumors were associated with a more hypoxic phenotype, while no evidence was found for associations between bevacizumab treatment and vascular invasion or tumor grade. This study underlines the importance of characterizing biological differences between subtypes of breast cancer to identify personalized biomarkers for improved patient stratification and evaluation of response to therapy.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Molecular oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor cells have increased glycolytic activity, and glucose is mainly used to form lactate and alanine, even when high concentrations of oxygen are present (Warburg effect). The purpose of the present study was to investigate glucose metabolism in two xenograft models representing basal-like and luminal-like breast cancer using (13) C high-resolution-magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) MRS and gene expression analysis. Tumor tissue was collected from two groups for each model: untreated mice (n=19) and a group of mice (n=16) that received an injection of [1-(13) C]-glucose 10 or 15 min before harvesting the tissue. (13) C HR-MAS MRS was performed on the tumor samples and differences in the glucose/alanine (Glc/Ala), glucose/lactate (Glc/Lac) and alanine/lactate (Ala/Lac) ratios between the models were studied. The expression of glycolytic genes was studied using tumor tissue from the same models. In the natural abundance MR spectra, a significantly lower Glc/Ala and Glc/Lac ratio (p<0.001) was observed in the luminal-like model compared with the basal-like model. In the labeled samples, the predominant glucose metabolites were lactate and alanine. Significantly lower Glc/Ala and Glc/Lac ratios were observed in the luminal-like model (p<0.05). Most genes contributing to glycolysis were expressed at higher levels in the luminal-like model (fdr<0.001). The lower Glc/Ala and Glc/Lac ratios and higher glycolytic gene expression observed in the luminal-like model indicates that the transformation of glucose to lactate and alanine occurred faster in this model than in the basal-like model, which has a growth rate several times faster than that of the luminal-like model. The results from the present study suggest that the tumor growth rate is not necessarily a determinant of glycolytic activity.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · NMR in Biomedicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Time to freezing tumor tissue for RNA expression analysis will always vary to some extent. To evaluate the effect of ischemia time, tumor tissue from ten breast cancer patients was collected and aliquots of tissue were snap frozen at different time points after surgery (0, 0.5, 1, 3 and 6 h). Using miRNA and mRNA expression microarrays and statistical analysis, 56 miRNAs and 1788 mRNAs were found to be significantly altered with ischemia time up to six hours. Several of the 56 miRNAs have been reported to play a role in cancer, such as hsa-miR-663 and hsa-miR-125a-3p. Known stress response genes such as GADD45B, JUND and FOSB were among the mRNAs most significantly affected by time to freezing. A novel statistical method for identification of consistently correlated miRNA-mRNA pairs and miRNA-associated biological processes in time course data is presented. Application of this method revealed that several miRNAs, including hsa-miR-1228, hsa-miR-1225-5p and hsa-miR-574-5p, were associated through their correlation to mRNAs to biological processes such as "response to stimulus" and "stress response". These miRNAs also showed enrichment of predicted targets among either their positively or negatively correlated mRNAs. The induced miRNAs may play both direct and indirect roles in biological responses. Caution should be taken when the miRNAs and mRNAs reported to be affected by ischemia time are included in a prognostic or predictive signature.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Molecular oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Combining gene expression microarrays and high resolution magic angle spinning magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR MAS MRS) of the same tissue samples enables comparison of the transcriptional and metabolic profiles of breast cancer. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of combining these two different types of information.
Breast cancer tissue from 46 patients was analyzed by HR MAS MRS followed by gene expression microarrays. Two strategies were used to combine the gene expression and metabolic data; first using multivariate analyses to identify different groups based on gene expression and metabolic data; second correlating levels of specific metabolites to transcripts to suggest new hypotheses of connections between metabolite levels and the underlying biological processes. A parallel study was designed to address experimental issues of combining microarrays and HR MAS MRS.
In the first strategy, using the microarray data and previously reported molecular classification methods, the majority of samples were classified as luminal A. Three subgroups of luminal A tumors were identified based on hierarchical clustering of the HR MAS MR spectra. The samples in one of the subgroups, designated A2, showed significantly lower glucose and higher alanine levels than the other luminal A samples, suggesting a higher glycolytic activity in these tumors. This group was also enriched for genes annotated with Gene Ontology (GO) terms related to cell cycle and DNA repair. In the second strategy, the correlations between concentrations of myo-inositol, glycine, taurine, glycerophosphocholine, phosphocholine, choline and creatine and all transcripts in the filtered microarray data were investigated. GO-terms related to the extracellular matrix were enriched among the genes that correlated the most to myo-inositol and taurine, while cell cycle related GO-terms were enriched for the genes that correlated the most to choline. Additionally, a subset of transcripts was identified to have slightly altered expression after HR MAS MRS and was therefore removed from all other analyses.
Combining transcriptional and metabolic data from the same breast carcinoma sample is feasible and may contribute to a more refined subclassification of breast cancers as well as reveal relations between metabolic and transcriptional levels. See Commentary: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/8/73.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased concentrations of choline-containing compounds are frequently observed in breast carcinomas, and may serve as biomarkers for both diagnostic and treatment monitoring purposes. However, underlying mechanisms for the abnormal choline metabolism are poorly understood.
The concentrations of choline-derived metabolites were determined in xenografted primary human breast carcinomas, representing basal-like and luminal-like subtypes. Quantification of metabolites in fresh frozen tissue was performed using high-resolution magic angle spinning magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR MAS MRS). The expression of genes involved in phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) metabolism was retrieved from whole genome expression microarray analyses. The metabolite profiles from xenografts were compared with profiles from human breast cancer, sampled from patients with estrogen/progesterone receptor positive (ER+/PgR+) or triple negative (ER-/PgR-/HER2-) breast cancer.
In basal-like xenografts, glycerophosphocholine (GPC) concentrations were higher than phosphocholine (PCho) concentrations, whereas this pattern was reversed in luminal-like xenografts. These differences may be explained by lower choline kinase (CHKA, CHKB) expression as well as higher PtdCho degradation mediated by higher expression of phospholipase A2 group 4A (PLA2G4A) and phospholipase B1 (PLB1) in the basal-like model. The glycine concentration was higher in the basal-like model. Although glycine could be derived from energy metabolism pathways, the gene expression data suggested a metabolic shift from PtdCho synthesis to glycine formation in basal-like xenografts. In agreement with results from the xenograft models, tissue samples from triple negative breast carcinomas had higher GPC/PCho ratio than samples from ER+/PgR+ carcinomas, suggesting that the choline metabolism in the experimental models is representative for luminal-like and basal-like human breast cancer.
The differences in choline metabolite concentrations corresponded well with differences in gene expression, demonstrating distinct metabolic profiles in the xenograft models representing basal-like and luminal-like breast cancer. The same characteristics of choline metabolite profiles were also observed in patient material from ER+/PgR+ and triple-negative breast cancer, suggesting that the xenografts are relevant model systems for studies of choline metabolism in luminal-like and basal-like breast cancer.