Therapy resistance represents a clinical challenge for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which still remains an incurable disease. There is growing evidence that cancer-initiating or cancer stem cells (CSCs) provide a reservoir of slow-growing dormant populations of cells with tumor-initiating and unlimited self-renewal ability that are left behind by conventional therapies reigniting post-therapy relapse and metastatic dissemination. The metabolic pathways required for the expansion of CSCs are incompletely defined, but their understanding will likely open new therapeutic opportunities. We show here that lung CSCs rely upon oxidative phosphorylation for energy production and survival through the activity of the mitochondrial citrate transporter, SLC25A1. We demonstrate that SLC25A1 plays a key role in maintaining the mitochondrial pool of citrate and redox balance in CSCs, whereas its inhibition leads to reactive oxygen species build-up thereby inhibiting the self-renewal capability of CSCs. Moreover, in different patient-derived tumors, resistance to cisplatin or to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor treatment is acquired through SLC25A1-mediated implementation of mitochondrial activity and induction of a stemness phenotype. Hence, a newly identified specific SLC25A1 inhibitor is synthetic lethal with cisplatin or with EGFR inhibitor co-treatment and restores antitumor responses to these agents in vitro and in animal models. These data have potential clinical implications in that they unravel a metabolic vulnerability of drug-resistant lung CSCs, identify a novel SLC25A1 inhibitor and, lastly, provide the first line of evidence that drugs, which block SLC25A1 activity, when employed in combination with selected conventional antitumor agents, lead to a therapeutic benefit.

The mitochondrial citrate carrier, SLC25A1, drives stemness and therapy resistance in non-small cell lung cancer

Petrini, Iacopo;Pacini, Simone;
2018

Abstract

Therapy resistance represents a clinical challenge for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which still remains an incurable disease. There is growing evidence that cancer-initiating or cancer stem cells (CSCs) provide a reservoir of slow-growing dormant populations of cells with tumor-initiating and unlimited self-renewal ability that are left behind by conventional therapies reigniting post-therapy relapse and metastatic dissemination. The metabolic pathways required for the expansion of CSCs are incompletely defined, but their understanding will likely open new therapeutic opportunities. We show here that lung CSCs rely upon oxidative phosphorylation for energy production and survival through the activity of the mitochondrial citrate transporter, SLC25A1. We demonstrate that SLC25A1 plays a key role in maintaining the mitochondrial pool of citrate and redox balance in CSCs, whereas its inhibition leads to reactive oxygen species build-up thereby inhibiting the self-renewal capability of CSCs. Moreover, in different patient-derived tumors, resistance to cisplatin or to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor treatment is acquired through SLC25A1-mediated implementation of mitochondrial activity and induction of a stemness phenotype. Hence, a newly identified specific SLC25A1 inhibitor is synthetic lethal with cisplatin or with EGFR inhibitor co-treatment and restores antitumor responses to these agents in vitro and in animal models. These data have potential clinical implications in that they unravel a metabolic vulnerability of drug-resistant lung CSCs, identify a novel SLC25A1 inhibitor and, lastly, provide the first line of evidence that drugs, which block SLC25A1 activity, when employed in combination with selected conventional antitumor agents, lead to a therapeutic benefit.
Fernandez, Harvey R.; Gadre, Shreyas M.; Tan, Mingjun; Graham, Garrett T.; Mosaoa, Rami; Ongkeko, Martin S.; Kim, Kyu Ah; Riggins, Rebecca B.; Parasido, Erika; Petrini, Iacopo; Pacini, Simone; Cheema, Amrita; Varghese, Rency; Ressom, Habtom W.; Zhang, Yuwen; Albanese, Christopher; Üren, Aykut; Paige, Mikell; Giaccone, Giuseppe; Avantaggiati, Maria Laura
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/939905
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