Gene Summary

Gene:SLC2A3; solute carrier family 2 member 3
Aliases: GLUT3
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:solute carrier family 2, facilitated glucose transporter member 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 10 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 10 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SLC2A3 (cancer-related)

Miyake KK, Nakamoto Y, Kataoka TR, et al.
Clinical, Morphologic, and Pathologic Features Associated With Increased FDG Uptake in Schwannoma.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2016; 207(6):1288-1296 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical, morphologic, and pathologic features associated with increased (18)F-FDG uptake in benign schwannomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-two schwannomas in 22 patients (age range, 25-81 years) who had FDG PET or PET/CT scans and subsequently underwent surgical re-section were retrospectively analyzed. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was compared with patient age, sex, tumor location (gastrointestinal vs nongastrointestinal origin), tumor size, gross appearance, intratumoral cellularity, intratumoral infiltration of inflammatory cells, presence of peritumoral lymphoid cuffs, and expression status of glucose transporters 1 and 3 on tumor cells.
RESULTS: The SUVmax of schwannomas ranged from 1.5 to 17.3 (median, 3.7). Significantly higher SUVmax was observed in gastrointestinal schwannomas (n = 4) compared with nongastrointestinal schwannomas (n = 18, p = 0.007) and in schwannomas with peritumoral lymphoid cuffs (n = 5) compared with those without peritumoral lymphoid cuffs (n = 17, p = 0.001). A significant correlation was seen between tumor location and the presence of peritumoral lymphoid cuffs (p < 0.001). Age, sex, tumor size, gross appearance, intratumoral cellularity, intratumoral inflammatory cell infiltration, and expression status of glucose transporters 1 and 3 on tumor cells had no significant correlation with SUVmax.
CONCLUSION: Gastrointestinal schwannomas and schwannomas with peritumoral lymphoid cuffs may be associated with elevated FDG uptake. Knowledge of the features of schwannomas associated with increased uptake may be helpful to avoid misinterpretation of benign schwannomas as malignancy.

You HJ, Park HY, Kim J, et al.
Integrative radiogenomic analysis for genomic signatures in glioblastomas presenting leptomeningeal dissemination.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(27):e4109 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite therapeutic advances, the prognosis for glioblastoma (GBM) remains poor. In particular, leptomeningeal dissemination (LMD) has a dismal prognosis. The aim of this study was to identify tumor molecular phenotype, which has a great propensity to develop LMD. Between May 2004 and December 2012, a total of 145 GBM tumor samples were obtained from data registry. A total of 20 of the 145 patients with GBM were found to develop LMD. A specialized radiologist confirmed the diagnosis of LMD on magnetic resonance imaging. To clarify the genomic signatures in GBM with LMD, we performed integrative analysis of whole transcriptome sequencing and copy number alteration in the radiological features indicating LMD phenotypes in GBM. Eleven newly diagnosed patients with GBM with LMD had worse prognosis than those without LMD (median 5.55 vs. 12.94 months, P < 0.0001). Integrating analysis using gene expression based on the change of copy number revealed that SPOCK1, EHD2, SLC2A3, and ANXA11 were highly expressed with the gain of copy number, compared with the gene expression in the non-LMD group. In addition, it was demonstrated that NME2, TMEM100, and SIVA1 were downregulated with the loss of copy number. We also found that mesenchymal subtype accounted for 50% in LMD group, whereas mesenchymal subtype consisted of 29% in non-LMD group, even though there was no statistical significance (P = 0.06). Through this radiogenomic analysis, we suggested the possibility of finding candidate genes associated with LMD and highlighted the significance of integrating approach to clarify the molecular characteristics in LMD.

Massari F, Ciccarese C, Santoni M, et al.
Metabolic phenotype of bladder cancer.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2016; 45:46-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metabolism of bladder cancer represents a key issue for cancer research. Several metabolic altered pathways are involved in bladder tumorigenesis, representing therefore interesting targets for therapy. Tumor cells, including urothelial cancer cells, rely on a peculiar shift to aerobic glycolysis-dependent metabolism (the Warburg-effect) as the main energy source to sustain their uncontrolled growth and proliferation. Therefore, the high glycolytic flux depends on the overexpression of glycolysis-related genes (SRC-3, glucose transporter type 1 [GLUT1], GLUT3, lactic dehydrogenase A [LDHA], LDHB, hexokinase 1 [HK1], HK2, pyruvate kinase type M [PKM], and hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha [HIF-1α]), resulting in an overproduction of pyruvate, alanine and lactate. Concurrently, bladder cancer metabolism displays an increased expression of genes favoring the pentose phosphate pathway (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase [G6PD]) and the fatty-acid synthesis (fatty acid synthase [FASN]), along with a decrease of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and Krebs cycle activities. Moreover, the PTEN/PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, hyper-activated in bladder cancer, acts as central regulator of aerobic glycolysis, hence contributing to cancer metabolic switch and tumor cell proliferation. Besides glycolysis, glycogen metabolism pathway plays a robust role in bladder cancer development. In particular, the overexpression of GLUT-1, the loss of the tumor suppressor glycogen debranching enzyme amylo-α-1,6-glucosidase, 4-α-glucanotransferase (AGL), and the increased activity of the tumor promoter enzyme glycogen phosphorylase impair glycogen metabolism. An increase in glucose uptake, decrease in normal cellular glycogen storage, and overproduction of lactate are consequences of decreased oxidative phosphorylation and inability to reuse glucose into the pentose phosphate and de novo fatty acid synthesis pathways. Moreover, AGL loss determines augmented levels of the serine-to-glycine enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase-2 (SHMT2), resulting in an increased glycine and purine ring of nucleotides synthesis, thus supporting cells proliferation. A deep understanding of the metabolic phenotype of bladder cancer will provide novel opportunities for targeted therapeutic strategies.

Xu QQ, Xiao FJ, Sun HY, et al.
Ptpmt1 induced by HIF-2α regulates the proliferation and glucose metabolism in erythroleukemia cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 471(4):459-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia provokes metabolism misbalance, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in both human and animal cells. However, the mechanisms which hypoxia causes mitochondrial dysfunction and energy metabolism misbalance still remain unclear. In this study, we presented evidence that mitochondrial phosphatase Ptpmt1 is a hypoxia response molecule that regulates cell proliferation, survival and glucose metabolism in human erythroleukemia TF-1 cells. Exposure to hypoxia or DFO treatment results in upregulation of HIF1-α, HIF-2α and Ptpmt1. Only inhibition of HIF-2α by shRNA transduction reduces Ptpmt1 expression in TF-1 cells under hypoxia. Ptpmt1 inhibitor suppresses the growth and induces apoptosis of TF-1 cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Ptpmt1 inhibition reduces the Glut1 and Glut3 expression and decreases the glucose consumption in TF-1 cells. In additional, Ptpmt1 knockdown also results in the mitochondrial dysfunction determined by JC1 staining. These results delineate a key role for HIF-2α-induced Ptpmt1 upregulation in proliferation, survival and glucose metabolism of erythroleukemia cells. It is indicated that Ptpmt1 plays important roles in hypoxia-induced cell metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Whyard T, Waltzer WC, Waltzer D, Romanov V
Metabolic alterations in bladder cancer: applications for cancer imaging.
Exp Cell Res. 2016; 341(1):77-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Treatment planning, outcome and prognosis are strongly related to the adequate tumor staging for bladder cancer (BC). Unfortunately, a large discrepancy exists between the preoperative clinical and final pathologic staging. Therefore, an advanced imaging-based technique is crucial for adequate staging. Although Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is currently the best in vivo imaging technique for BC staging because of its excellent soft-tissue contrast and absence of ionizing radiation it lacks cancer-specificity. Tumor-specific positron emission tomography (PET), which is based on the Warburg effect (preferential uptake of glucose by cancer cells), exploits the radioactively-labeled glucose analogs, i.e., FDG. Although FDG-PET is highly cancer specific, it lacks resolution and contrast quality comparable with MRI. Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) MRI enables the detection of low concentrations of metabolites containing protons. BC is an attractive target for glucose CEST MRI because, in addition to the typical systemic administration, glucose might also be directly applied into the bladder to reduce toxicity-related complications. As a first stage of the development of a contrast-specific BC imaging technique we have studied glucose uptake by bladder epithelial cells and have observed that glucose is, indeed, consumed by BC cells with higher intensity than by non-transformed urothelial cells. This effect might be partly explained by increased expression of glucose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT3 in transformed cells as compared to normal urothelium. We also detected higher lactate production by BC cells which is another cancer-specific manifestation of the Warburg effect. In addition, we have observed other metabolic alterations in BC cells as compared to non-transformed cells: in particular, increased pyruvate synthesis. When glucose was substituted by glutamine in culture media, preferential uptake of glutamine by BC cells was observed. The preferential uptake of glucose by BC cells gives an opportunity to develop NMR based imaging procedures where glucose or its derivatives can serve as a contrasting agent. In addition, metabolic alterations observed in BC cells could provide the basis for development of new anti-cancer therapeutics.

Barron CC, Bilan PJ, Tsakiridis T, Tsiani E
Facilitative glucose transporters: Implications for cancer detection, prognosis and treatment.
Metabolism. 2016; 65(2):124-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is long recognized that cancer cells display increased glucose uptake and metabolism. In a rate-limiting step for glucose metabolism, the glucose transporter (GLUT) proteins facilitate glucose uptake across the plasma membrane. Fourteen members of the GLUT protein family have been identified in humans. This review describes the major characteristics of each member of the GLUT family and highlights evidence of abnormal expression in tumors and cancer cells. The regulation of GLUTs by key proliferation and pro-survival pathways including the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt, hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), Ras, c-Myc and p53 pathways is discussed. The clinical utility of GLUT expression in cancer has been recognized and evidence regarding the use of GLUTs as prognostic or predictive biomarkers is presented. GLUTs represent attractive targets for cancer therapy and this review summarizes recent studies in which GLUT1, GLUT3, GLUT5 and others are inhibited to decrease cancer growth.

Schlößer HA, Drebber U, Urbanski A, et al.
Glucose transporters 1, 3, 6, and 10 are expressed in gastric cancer and glucose transporter 3 is associated with UICC stage and survival.
Gastric Cancer. 2017; 20(1):83-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Due to proliferation and increased metabolism, cancer cells have high glucose requirements. The glucose uptake of cells is influenced by a group of membrane proteins denoted the glucose transporter family (Glut-1 to -12). Whereas increased expression and a negative correlation with survival have been described for Glut-1 in several types of cancer, the impact of other glucose transporters on tumor biology is widely unknown.
METHODS: In this retrospective study, gastric cancer specimens of 150 patients who underwent total gastrectomy between 2005 and 2010 were stained for Glut-1, -3, -6, and -10 by immunohistochemistry. Expression of Glut-1, -3, -6, and 10 was correlated to prognosis as well as clinical and pathological parameters.
RESULTS: Glut-1, Glut-3, Glut-6, and Glut-10 were expressed in 22.0, 66.0, 38.0, and 43.3 % of the analyzed samples. Whereas Glut-1, -6, and -10 did not show a correlation with prognosis, positive staining for Glut-3 was associated with higher UICC stage and inferior prognosis. The mean overall survival was 38.6 months for Glut-3 positive patients, as compared to 51.2 months for Glut-3 negative patients (p < 0.05). Coexpression of two or more of the analyzed glucose transporters was correlated to inferior prognosis. Glut-3 and UICC stage were significant prognostic factors in multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: All of the analyzed glucose transporters were expressed in a significant proportion of the gastric cancer samples. Glut-3 was associated with higher UICC stage and inferior prognosis. These findings are relevant to therapeutic approaches that target glucose metabolism as well as to imaging using radioactively labeled glucose.

Vaz CV, Marques R, Cardoso HJ, et al.
Suppressed glycolytic metabolism in the prostate of transgenic rats overexpressing calcium-binding protein regucalcin underpins reduced cell proliferation.
Transgenic Res. 2016; 25(2):139-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Regucalcin (RGN) is a calcium-binding protein underexpressed in human prostate cancer cases, and it has been associated with the suppression of cell proliferation and the regulation of several metabolic pathways. On the other hand, it is known that the metabolic reprogramming with augmented glycolytic metabolism and enhanced proliferative capability is a characteristic of prostate cancer cells. The present study investigated the influence of RGN on the glycolytic metabolism of rat prostate by comparing transgenic adult animals overexpressing RGN (Tg-RGN) with their wild-type counterparts. Glucose consumption was significantly decreased in the prostate of Tg-RGN animals relatively to wild-type, and accompanied by the diminished expression of glucose transporter 3 and glycolytic enzyme phosphofructokinase. Also, prostates of Tg-RGN animals displayed lower lactate levels, which resulted from the diminished expression/activity of lactate dehydrogenase. The expression of the monocarboxylate transporter 4 responsible for the export of lactate to the extracellular space was also diminished with RGN overexpression. These results showed the effect of RGN in inhibiting the glycolytic metabolism in rat prostate, which was underpinned by a reduced cell proliferation index. The present findings also suggest that the loss of RGN may predispose to a hyper glycolytic profile and fostered proliferation of prostate cells.

Yoon M, Jung SJ, Kim TH, et al.
Relationships between transporter expression and the status of BRAF V600E mutation and F-18 FDG uptake in papillary thyroid carcinomas.
Endocr Res. 2016; 41(1):64-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the expression of the glucose transporters GLUT1 and GLUT3 in papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs) and to elucidate their relationship with the BRAF V600E mutation and F-18 FDG uptake.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data of 52 PTC patients (41 women and 11 men; mean age, 52.4 ± 14.5 years). F-18 FDG PET/CT was performed preoperatively, and the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was calculated. GLUT1/GLUT3 expression was determined immunohistochemically, and the BRAF V600E mutation was detected using DNA sequencing.
RESULTS: GLUT1 and GLUT3 were expressed in 82.7% (43/52) and 59.6% (31/52) PTCs, respectively. The BRAF V600E mutation was detected in 65.4% (34/52) PTCs. The odds ratio between GLUT1 expression and the BRAF V600E mutation was 5.2 (95% CI, 1.11-24.05; p < 0.05), and that between GLUT3 expression and the BRAF V600E mutation was 3.8 (95% CI, 1.14-12.53; p < 0.05). The SUVmax of PTCs was significantly higher if they carried the BRAF V600E mutation (11.3 ± 2.0, compared with 5.7 ± 1.4 for wild type BRAF tumors, Mann-Whitney test, p = 0.016). Neither GLUT1 nor GLUT3 expression was significantly associated with the SUVmax of F-18 FDG PET/CT in PTCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirmed that both GLUT1 and GLUT3 are strongly expressed by PTCs, although their expression was not significantly associated with the SUVmax of F-18 FDG PET/CT. However, GLUT1 and GLUT3 expressions were significantly associated with the presence of the BRAF V600E mutation, and the SUVmax of tumors was significantly higher in the presence of the mutated BRAF gene.

Zornhagen KW, Hansen AE, Oxboel J, et al.
Micro Regional Heterogeneity of 64Cu-ATSM and 18F-FDG Uptake in Canine Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Relation to Cell Proliferation, Hypoxia and Glycolysis.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0141379 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Tumour microenvironment heterogeneity is believed to play a key role in cancer progression and therapy resistance. However, little is known about micro regional distribution of hypoxia, glycolysis and proliferation in spontaneous solid tumours. The overall aim was simultaneous investigation of micro regional heterogeneity of 64Cu-ATSM (hypoxia) and 18F-FDG (glycolysis) uptake and correlation to endogenous markers of hypoxia, glycolysis, proliferation and angiogenesis to better therapeutically target aggressive tumour regions and prognosticate outcome.
METHODS: Exploiting the different half-lives of 64Cu-ATSM (13 h) and 18F-FDG (2 h) enabled simultaneous investigation of micro regional distribution of hypoxia and glycolysis in 145 tumour pieces from four spontaneous canine soft tissue sarcomas. Pairwise measurements of radioactivity and gene expression of endogenous markers of hypoxia (HIF-1α, CAIX), glycolysis (HK2, GLUT1 and GLUT3), proliferation (Ki-67) and angiogenesis (VEGFA and TF) were performed. Dual tracer autoradiography was compared with Ki-67 immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Micro regional heterogeneity in hypoxia and glycolysis within and between tumour sections of each tumour piece was observed. The spatial distribution of 64Cu-ATSM and 18F-FDG was rather similar within each tumour section as reflected in moderate positive significant correlations between the two tracers (ρ = 0.3920-0.7807; p = 0.0180 -<0.0001) based on pixel-to-pixel comparisons of autoradiographies and gamma counting of tumour pieces. 64Cu-ATSM and 18F-FDG correlated positively with gene expression of GLUT1 and GLUT3, but negatively with HIF-1α and CAIX. Significant positive correlations were seen between Ki-67 gene expression and 64Cu-ATSM (ρ = 0.5578, p = 0.0004) and 18F-FDG (ρ = 0.4629-0.7001, p = 0.0001-0.0151). Ki-67 gene expression more consistently correlated with 18F-FDG than with 64Cu-ATSM.
CONCLUSIONS: Micro regional heterogeneity of hypoxia and glycolysis was documented in spontaneous canine soft tissue sarcomas. 64Cu-ATSM and 18F-FDG uptakes and distributions showed significant moderate correlations at the micro regional level indicating overlapping, yet different information from the tracers.18F-FDG better reflected cell proliferation as measured by Ki-67 gene expression than 64Cu-ATSM.

Choi WH, Yoo IeR, O JH, et al.
Is the Glut expression related to FDG uptake in PET/CT of non-small cell lung cancer patients?
Technol Health Care. 2015; 23 Suppl 2:S311-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Though 18F-FDG PET/CT scans are widely used in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the mechanism of FDG uptake by lung cancer cells has not yet been fully elucidated. This study evaluated the relationship between FDG uptake and the expression of glucose transporters in NSCLC. Sixty-four NSCLC patients who underwent both preoperative 18F-FDG PET/CT scanning and thoracotomy were included. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of the primary lung cancer was compared to the immunohistochemistry results for Glut expression and tumor size. In all the NSCLC cases, degree of FDG uptake significantly correlated with both Glut-1 and Glut-3 expression. When stratified by the histology, squamous cell carcinomas showed higher mean SUVmax, Glut-1 expression intensity, and percentage of area positive for Glut-1 expression than adenocarcinomas. Glut-1 and Glut-3 expressions correlated with SUVmax in adenocarcinomas, but there was no significant correlation in squamous cell carcinomas. No significant correlation was observed between tumor size and FDG uptake or Glut expression. These results show that Glut expression was significantly correlated with SUVmax in NSCLC, especially in adenocarcinomas, and that neither FDG uptake nor the expression of Glut was associated with tumor size.

Patel D, Gara SK, Ellis RJ, et al.
FDG PET/CT Scan and Functional Adrenal Tumors: A Pilot Study for Lateralization.
World J Surg. 2016; 40(3):683-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with Cushing's Syndrome (CS) and Conn's Syndrome with bilateral adrenal masses pose a dilemma. Uptake of 18F-FDG by hyperfunctioning adrenal glands has not been previously reported and may help lateralize. The aim was to determine if 18F-FDG PET/CT scan could identify hyperfunctioning adrenal masses and determine a biological basis for uptake.
METHODS: Patients with nonfunctional adenomas (n = 9), CS (n = 11), and Conn's syndrome (n = 4) underwent an 18F-FDG PET/CT scan with a volume of interest circumscribing each mass to obtain a maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax). Thirty-two adrenal masses were analyzed. Genome-wide expression data from an independent cohort were analyzed in nonfunctioning adenomas (n = 20), Conn's syndrome (n = 29), and CS (n = 24) focusing on GLUT genes. For genes differentially expressed, immunohistochemistry was performed on tissue samples.
RESULTS: Cortisol-secreting masses (n = 16) had a higher average SUVmax of 5.9 compared to nonfunctioning masses (n = 11, average SUVmax 4.2) and aldosterone-hypersecreting masses (n = 5, average SUVmax 3.2) (p = 0.007). SUVmax cut-off of 5.33 had 50.0% sensitivity and 81.8% specificity in localizing a cortisol-secreting mass. GLUT3 expression was 2.19-fold higher in patients with CS compared to patients with nonfunctioning adenomas (p = 0.003) and 2.16-fold higher in patients with CS compared to Conn's syndrome (p = 0.006). GLUT3 immunohistochemistry showed 2.2-fold higher staining in CS tumor samples compared to nonfunctioning adenomas.
CONCLUSIONS: Differential 18F-FDG PET/CT uptake was observed in patients with nonfunctioning, aldosterone-hypersecreting, and cortisol-secreting masses. GLUT3 overexpression in cortisol-secreting tumor likely accounts for the differential uptake. Future larger cohort studies will need to be conducted to determine if 18F-FDG PET/CT uptake can lateralize cortisol-secreting adrenal masses in patients with bilateral adrenal masses.

Salto R, Vílchez JD, Girón MD, et al.
β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Promotes Neurite Outgrowth in Neuro2a Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135614 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) has been shown to enhance cell survival, differentiation and protein turnover in muscle, mainly activating phosphoinositide-3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) and mitogen-activated protein kinases/ extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (MAPK/ERK) signaling pathways. Since these two pathways are related to neuronal survival and differentiation, in this study, we have investigated the neurotrophic effects of HMB in mouse neuroblastoma Neuro2a cells. In Neuro2a cells, HMB promotes differentiation to neurites independent from any effects on proliferation. These effects are mediated by activation of both the PI3K/Akt and the extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) signaling as demonstrated by the use of specific inhibitors of these two pathways. As myocyte-enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) family of transcription factors are involved in neuronal survival and plasticity, the transcriptional activity and protein levels of MEF2 were also evaluated. HMB promoted MEF2-dependent transcriptional activity mediated by the activation of Akt and ERK1/2 pathways. Furthermore, HMB increases the expression of brain glucose transporters 1 (GLUT1) and 3 (GLUT3), and mTOR phosphorylation, which translates in a higher protein synthesis in Neuro2a cells. Furthermore, Torin1 and rapamycin effects on MEF2 transcriptional activity and HMB-dependent neurite outgrowth support that HMB acts through mTORC2. Together, these findings provide clear evidence to support an important role of HMB in neurite outgrowth.

Vaz CV, Marques R, Alves MG, et al.
Androgens enhance the glycolytic metabolism and lactate export in prostate cancer cells by modulating the expression of GLUT1, GLUT3, PFK, LDH and MCT4 genes.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(1):5-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The present study aims to investigate the role of androgens in controlling the glycolytic metabolism and lactate efflux in prostate cancer (PCa) cells.
METHODS: Androgen-responsive LNCaP cells were treated with 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT, 10 nM) for 12-48 h, and their glycolytic metabolism, lactate production and viability were analyzed. Intracellular and extracellular levels of glucose and lactate were determined spectrophotometrically, and the expression of glucose transporters (GLUT1/GLUT3), phosphofructokinase 1, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and monocarboxylate transporter (MCT4) was analyzed by real-time PCR and Western blot. The enzymatic activity of LDH was determined by means of a colorimetric assay. Experiments were reproduced in androgen-non-responsive DU145 and PC3 cells.
RESULTS: Androgens stimulated glucose consumption in LNCaP cells by increasing the expression of GLUT3, GLUT1 and PFK, which was underpinned by increased cell viability. Accordingly, lactate production by LNCaP cells was enhanced upon DHT stimulation as evidenced by the increased levels of lactate found in cell culture medium. Although LDH enzymatic activity decreased in LNCaP cells treated with DHT, the expression of MCT4 was significantly increased with androgenic treatment, which sustains the increase on lactate export. Glucose consumption and the expression of GLUTs and PFK remained unchanged in DHT-treated DU145 and PC3 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained establish androgens as modulators of glycolytic metabolism in PCa cells by stimulating glucose consumption, as well as the production and export of lactate, which may represent a crucial issue-driven prostate tumor development. These findings also highlight the importance of PCa therapies targeting AR and metabolism-related proteins.

Su H, Ganapathy S, Li X, et al.
p53-Based Strategy for Protection of Bone Marrow From Y-90 Ibritumomab Tiuxetan.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 92(5):1116-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The main drawbacks of radioimmunotherapy have been severe hematological toxicity and potential development of myelodysplastic syndrome and secondary leukemia. Activation of p53 follows a major pathway by which normal tissues respond to DNA-damaging agents, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, that result in injuries and pathological consequences. This pathway is separate from the tumor suppressor pathway of p53. We have previously reported that use of low-dose arsenic (LDA) temporarily and reversibly suppresses p53 activation, thereby ameliorating normal tissue toxicity from exposure to 5-fluorouracil and X rays. We have also demonstrated that LDA-mediated protection requires functional p53 and thus is selective to normal tissues, as essentially every cancer cell has dysfunctional p53. Here we tested the protective efficacy of LDA for bone marrow tissue against radioimmunotherapy through animal experiments.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Mice were subjected to LDA pretreatment for 3 days, followed by treatment with Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan. Both dose course (10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 μCi) and time course (6, 24, and 72 hours and 1 and 2 weeks) experiments were performed. The response of bone marrow cells to LDA was determined by examining the expression of NFκB, Glut1, and Glut3. Staining with hematoxylin and eosin, γ-H2AX, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) was used to examine morphology, DNA damage response, and apoptotic cell populations.
RESULTS: Elevated levels of NFκB, Glut1, and Glut3 were observed in bone marrow cells after LDA treatment. Bone marrow damage levels induced by Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan were greatly reduced by LDA pretreatment. Consistent with this observation, significantly less DNA damage and fewer apoptotic cells were accumulated after Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan treatment in LDA-pretreated mice. Furthermore, in the mouse xenograft model implanted with human Karpas-422 lymphoma cells, LDA pretreatment did not have any detectable effect on either tumor growth or Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan (200 μCi)-induced tumor suppression.
CONCLUSIONS: LDA pretreatment protected bone marrow without compromising tumor control caused by Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan.

Conde VR, Oliveira PF, Nunes AR, et al.
The progression from a lower to a higher invasive stage of bladder cancer is associated with severe alterations in glucose and pyruvate metabolism.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 335(1):91-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer cells present a particular metabolic behavior. We hypothesized that the progression of bladder cancer could be accompanied by changes in cells glycolytic profile. We studied two human bladder cancer cells, RT4 and TCCSUP, in which the latter represents a more invasive stage. The levels of glucose, pyruvate, alanine and lactate in the extracellular media were measured by Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. The protein expression levels of glucose transporters 1 (GLUT1) and 3 (GLUT3), monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4), phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK1), glutamic-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were determined. Our data showed that glucose consumption and GLUT3 levels were similar in both cell lines, but TCCSUP cells displayed lower levels of GLUT1 and PFK expression. An increase in pyruvate consumption, concordant with the higher levels of lactate and alanine production, was also detected in TCCSUP cells. Moreover, TCCSUP cells presented lower protein expression levels of GPT and LDH. These results illustrate that bladder cancer progression is associated with alterations in cells glycolytic profile, namely the switch from glucose to pyruvate consumption in the more aggressive stage. This may be useful to develop new therapies and to identify biomarkers for cancer progression.

Xu CF, Liu Y, Shen S, et al.
Targeting glucose uptake with siRNA-based nanomedicine for cancer therapy.
Biomaterials. 2015; 51:1-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Targeting cancer metabolism is emerging as a successful strategy for cancer therapy. However, most of the marketed anti-metabolism drugs in cancer therapy do not distinguish normal cells from cancer cells, leading to severe side effects. In this study, we report an effective strategy for cancer therapy through targeting glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3) with siRNA-based nanomedicine to simultaneously inhibit the self-renewal of glioma stem cells and bulk glioma cells in a glucose restricted tumor micro-environment. We have demonstrated that cationic lipid-assisted poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(d,l-lactide) (PEG-PLA) nanoparticles can efficiently deliver siRNA into U87MG and U251 glioma stem cells and bulk glioma cells. Nanoparticles carrying specific siRNA targeting GLUT3 (NPsiGLUT3) were able to significantly reduce the expression of GLUT3 in glioma stem cells and bulk glioma cells, while GLUT3 knockdown results in obvious cell metabolism and proliferation inhibition, and further glioma stem cells percentage down-regulation. Moreover, systemic delivery of NPsiGLUT3, via intravenous injection, significantly inhibited tumor growth in a U87MG xenograft model, due to the reduced expression of GLUT3 and down-regulated stemness of glioma cells.

Ruan M, Liu M, Dong Q, Chen L
Iodide- and glucose-handling gene expression regulated by sorafenib or cabozantinib in papillary thyroid cancer.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 100(5):1771-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: The aberrant silencing of iodide-handling genes accompanied by up-regulation of glucose metabolism presents a major challenge for radioiodine treatment of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitors on iodide-handling and glucose-handling gene expression in BHP 2-7 cells harboring RET/PTC1 rearrangement.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: In this in vitro study, the effects of sorafenib or cabozantinib on cell growth, cycles, and apoptosis were investigated by cell proliferation assay, cell cycle analysis, and Annexin V-FITC apoptosis assay, respectively. The effect of both agents on signal transduction pathways was evaluated using the Western blot. Quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence, and radioisotope uptake assays were used to assess iodide-handling and glucose-handling gene expression.
RESULTS: Both compounds inhibited cell proliferation in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner and caused cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase. Sorafenib blocked RET, AKT, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas cabozantinib blocked RET and AKT phosphorylation. The restoration of iodide-handling gene expression and inhibition of glucose transporter 1 and 3 expression could be induced by either drug. The robust expression of sodium/iodide symporter induced by either agent was confirmed, and (125)I uptake was correspondingly enhanced. (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose accumulation was significantly decreased after treatment by either sorafenib or cabozantinib.
CONCLUSIONS: Sorafenib and cabozantinib had marked effects on cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest, and signal transduction pathways in PTC cells harboring RET/PTC1 rearrangement. Both agents could be potentially used to enhance the expression of iodide-handling genes and inhibit the expression of glucose transporter genes.

Wang W, Xiao ZD, Li X, et al.
AMPK modulates Hippo pathway activity to regulate energy homeostasis.
Nat Cell Biol. 2015; 17(4):490-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Hippo pathway was discovered as a conserved tumour suppressor pathway restricting cell proliferation and apoptosis. However, the upstream signals that regulate the Hippo pathway in the context of organ size control and cancer prevention are largely unknown. Here, we report that glucose, the ubiquitous energy source used for ATP generation, regulates the Hippo pathway downstream effector YAP. We show that both the Hippo pathway and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) were activated during glucose starvation, resulting in phosphorylation of YAP and contributing to its inactivation. We also identified glucose-transporter 3 (GLUT3) as a YAP-regulated gene involved in glucose metabolism. Together, these results demonstrate that glucose-mediated energy homeostasis is an upstream event involved in regulation of the Hippo pathway and, potentially, an oncogenic function of YAP in promoting glycolysis, thereby providing an exciting link between glucose metabolism and the Hippo pathway in tissue maintenance and cancer prevention.

Xie Q, Wu Q, Horbinski CM, et al.
Mitochondrial control by DRP1 in brain tumor initiating cells.
Nat Neurosci. 2015; 18(4):501-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) co-opt the neuronal high affinity glucose transporter, GLUT3, to withstand metabolic stress. We investigated another mechanism critical to brain metabolism, mitochondrial morphology, in BTICs. BTIC mitochondria were fragmented relative to non-BTIC tumor cell mitochondria, suggesting that BTICs increase mitochondrial fission. The essential mediator of mitochondrial fission, dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), showed activating phosphorylation in BTICs and inhibitory phosphorylation in non-BTIC tumor cells. Targeting DRP1 using RNA interference or pharmacologic inhibition induced BTIC apoptosis and inhibited tumor growth. Downstream, DRP1 activity regulated the essential metabolic stress sensor, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and targeting AMPK rescued the effects of DRP1 disruption. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) phosphorylated DRP1 to increase its activity in BTICs, whereas Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase 2 (CAMK2) inhibited DRP1 in non-BTIC tumor cells, suggesting that tumor cell differentiation induces a regulatory switch in mitochondrial morphology. DRP1 activation correlated with poor prognosis in glioblastoma, suggesting that mitochondrial dynamics may represent a therapeutic target for BTICs.

Zha X, Hu Z, Ji S, et al.
NFκB up-regulation of glucose transporter 3 is essential for hyperactive mammalian target of rapamycin-induced aerobic glycolysis and tumor growth.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 359(1):97-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence indicates that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) exerts a crucial role in aerobic glycolysis and tumorigenesis, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely obscure. Results from Tsc1- or Tsc2-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and human cancer cell lines consistently indicate that the expression of glucose transporter 3 (Glut3) is dramatically up-regulated by mTOR. The rapamycin-sensitive mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), but not the rapamycin-insensitive mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2), was involved in the regulation of Glut3 expression. Moreover, mTORC1 enhances Glut3 expression through the activation of the IKK/NFκB pathway. Depletion of Glut3 led to the suppression of aerobic glycolysis, the inhibition of cell proliferation and colony formation, and the attenuation of the tumorigenic potential of the cells with aberrantly hyper-activated mTORC1 signaling in nude mice. We conclude that Glut3 is a downstream target of mTORC1, and it is critical for oncogenic mTORC1-mediated aerobic glycolysis and tumorigenesis. Hence Glut3 may be a potential target for therapy against cancers caused by the aberrantly activated mTORC1 signaling.

de Waal EG, Slart RH, Leene MJ, et al.
18F-FDG PET increases visibility of bone lesions in relapsed multiple myeloma: is this hypoxia-driven?
Clin Nucl Med. 2015; 40(4):291-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Whole-body x-ray (WBX) is used for detecting skeleton abnormalities in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). An alternative might be 18F-FDG PET, which makes use of metabolic changes of malignant cells. The aims of this study were to evaluate whether 18F-FDG PET detects more lesions compared with WBX in patients with relapsing MM and to define its prognostic value. In addition 1-α-D-(5-deoxy-5-[F]-fluoroarabinofuranosyl)-2-nitroimidazole (18F-FAZA) scan and immunohistochemical staining on bone marrow were performed to define whether FDG uptake coincides with angiogenesis-related tumor hypoxia.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: 18F-FDG PET (n = 44) and 18F-FAZA-PET (n = 5) were performed in patients with relapsed MM. Bone marrow biopsies (n = 20) were evaluated for hypoxia inducible factors (HIF) 1α and 2α, vascular endothelial growth factor, glucose transport proteins 1 and 3, and the microvessel density.
RESULTS: New lesions were more frequently demonstrated on 18F-FDG PET than on WBX (P = 0.000001). 18F-FDG PET was not predictive for progression-free survival and overall survival. Immunohistochemical staining on bone marrow biopsies demonstrated a significant increase in microvessel density and elevated expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, HIF-2α, and glucose transport protein 3 by the malignant plasma cells. However, HIF-1α expression and 18F-FAZA scan results were negative.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that 18F-FDG PET is relevant for diagnostic purposes compared with WBX in relapsing MM. The enhanced uptake of 18F-FDG PET is likely related to the activation of the HIF-2α signaling pathway but probably independent of hypoxia-induced signaling in view of the negative findings on both 18F-FAZA-PET and HIF-1α expression.

Demeda CF, Carvalho CH, Aquino AR, et al.
Expression of glucose transporters 1 and 3 in metastatic and non-metastatic lower lip squamous cell carcinoma.
Braz Dent J. 2014 Sep-Oct; 25(5):372-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to evaluate the immunoexpression of glucose transporters 1 (GLUT-1) and 3 (GLUT-3) in metastatic and non-metastatic lower lip squamous cell carcinoma (LLSCC). Twenty LLSCCs with regional nodal metastasis and 20 LLSCCs without metastasis were selected. The distribution of staining and the percentage of GLUT-1 and GLUT-3 staining in each tumor core and at the deep invasive front were assessed. Most tumors (70%) exhibited peripheral staining for GLUT-1 in nests, sheets and islands of neoplastic cells, whereas predominantly central staining was observed for GLUT-3 (72.5%). A high percentage of GLUT-1-positive cells was observed at the deep invasive front and in the tumor core of metastatic and non-metastatic tumors (p>0.05). The percentage of GLUT-1-positive cells was much higher than that of GLUT-3-positive cells both in the deep invasive front (p<0.001) and in the tumor core (p<0.001) of LLSCCs. No significant differences in the percentage of GLUT-1- and GLUT-3-positive cells were observed according to nodal metastasis, clinical stage or histological grade of malignancy (p>0.05). In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest an important role of GLUT-1 in glucose uptake in LLSCCs, although this protein does not seem to be involved in the progression of these tumors. On the other hand, GLUT-3 expression may represent a secondary glucose uptake mechanism in LLSCCs.

Cheong SJ, Lee CM, Kim EM, et al.
The effect of PPAR-γ agonist on (18)F-FDG PET imaging for differentiating tumors and inflammation lesions.
Nucl Med Biol. 2015; 42(2):85-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: (18)F-2-deoxy-2-fluoro-d-glucose ((18)F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) has been used for imaging human cancers for several decades. Despite its extensive use, (18)F-FDG PET imaging has limitations in the tumor findings. The goal of this study was to investigate the potential of a PPAR-γ agonist pioglitazone (PIO) to distinguish tumors and inflammatory lesions in (18)F-FDG PET imaging.
METHODS: Studies of cellular uptake of (18)F-FDG and Western blot were performed in macrophage (RAW264.7) and three tumor cell lines (A549, KB, and MDA-MB-231) after treatment with PIO. In vivo microPET/CT imaging and biodistribution were performed in animal models.
RESULTS: The uptake of (18)F-FDG in the macrophages was decreased and uptake of (18)F-FDG in the tumor cells was increased when these cells were treated with PIO. Western blot showed that the expression of Glut1 was reduced by treatment of PIO in the macrophage cells, whereas the expression of Glut1 in the tumor cells was increased. In vivo PET/CT imaging revealed that (18)F-FDG uptake (%ID/g) in the tumors was enhanced from 4.05±1.46 to 5.28±1.92 for A549, from 3.9±0.5 to 4.9±0.2 for KB, and from 9.14±0.86 to 13.48±2.07 for MDA-MB-231 tumors after treatment with PIO. Unlike tumors, the RAW264.7 xenograft model showed the reduced (18)F-FDG uptake in the inflammatory lesion from 11.74±1.19 to 6.50±1.47. The results of biodistribution also showed that (18)F-FDG uptake in the tumors were increased after treatment of PIO. However, the uptake of inflammation lesions was reduced.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we demonstrated the effect of a PPAR-γ agonist PIO on (18)F-FDG uptake in tumors and inflammation in vitro and in vivo. PIO has potential to differentiate tumors and inflammatory lesions on (18)F-FDG PET imaging.

Honndorf VS, Schmidt H, Wehrl HF, et al.
Quantitative correlation at the molecular level of tumor response to docetaxel by multimodal diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and [¹⁸F]FDG/[¹⁸F]FLT positron emission tomography.
Mol Imaging. 2014; 13 [PubMed] Related Publications
We aimed to quantitatively characterize the treatment effects of docetaxel in the HCT116 xenograft mouse model, applying diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) using 2-deoxy-2-[¹⁸F]fluoro-d-glucose ([¹⁸F]FDG) and 3'-deoxy-3'-[¹⁸F]-fluorothymidine ([¹⁸F]FLT). Mice were imaged at four time points over 8 days. Docetaxel (15 mg/kg) was administered after a baseline scan. Voxel-wise scatterplots of PET and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) data of tumor volumes were evaluated with a threshold cluster analysis and compared to histology (GLUT1, GLUT3, Ki67, activated caspase 3a). Compared to the extensive tumor growth observed in the vehicle-treated group (from 0.32 ± 0.21 cm³ to 0.69 ± 0.40 cm³), the administration of docetaxel led to tumor growth stasis (from 0.32 ± 0.20 cm³ to 0.45 ± 0.23 cm³). The [¹⁸F]FDG/ADC cluster analysis and the evaluation of peak histogram values revealed a significant treatment effect matching histology as opposed to [¹⁸F]FLT/ADC. [¹⁸F]FLT uptake and the Ki67 index were not in good agreement. Our voxel-based cluster analysis uncovered treatment effects not seen in the separate inspection of PET and MRI data and may be used as an independent analysis tool. [¹⁸F]FLT/ADC cluster analysis could still point out the treatment effect; however, [¹⁸F]FDG/ADC reflected the histology findings in higher agreement.

Starska K, Forma E, Jóźwiak P, et al.
Gene and protein expression of glucose transporter 1 and glucose transporter 3 in human laryngeal cancer-the relationship with regulatory hypoxia-inducible factor-1α expression, tumor invasiveness, and patient prognosis.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(4):2309-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased glucose uptake mediated by glucose transporters and reliance on glycolysis are common features of malignant cells. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α supports the adaptation of hypoxic cells by inducing genes related to glucose metabolism. The contribution of glucose transporter (GLUT) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) activity to tumor behavior and their prognostic value in head and neck cancers remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the predictive value of GLUT1, GLUT3, and HIF-1α messenger RNA (mRNA)/protein expression as markers of tumor aggressiveness and prognosis in laryngeal cancer. The level of hypoxia/metabolic marker genes was determined in 106 squamous cell laryngeal cancer (SCC) and 73 noncancerous matched mucosa (NCM) controls using quantitative real-time PCR. The related protein levels were analyzed by Western blot. Positive expression of SLC2A1, SLC2A3, and HIF-1α genes was noted in 83.9, 82.1, and 71.7% of SCC specimens and in 34.4, 59.4, and 62.5% of laryngeal cancer samples. Higher levels of mRNA/protein for GLUT1 and HIF-1α were noted in SCC compared to NCM (p < 0.05). SLC2A1 was found to have a positive relationship with grade, tumor front grading (TFG) score, and depth and mode of invasion (p < 0.05). SLC2A3 was related to grade and invasion type (p < 0.05). There were also relationships of HIF-1α with pTNM, TFG scale, invasion depth and mode, tumor recurrences, and overall survival (p < 0.05). In addition, more advanced tumors were found to be more likely to demonstrate positive expression of these proteins. In conclusion, the hypoxia/metabolic markers studied could be used as molecular markers of tumor invasiveness in laryngeal cancer.

Hsieh IS, Yang RS, Fu WM
Osteopontin upregulates the expression of glucose transporters in osteosarcoma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e109550 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignancy of bone. Even after the traditional standard surgical therapy, metastasis still occurs in a high percentage of patients. Glucose is an important source of metabolic energy for tumor proliferation and survival. Tumors usually overexpress glucose transporters, especially hypoxia-responsive glucose transporter 1 and glucose transporter 3. Osteopontin, hypoxia-responsive glucose transporter 1, and glucose transporter 3 are overexpressed in many types of tumors and have been linked to tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this study, we investigated the regulation of glucose transporters by osteopontin in osteosarcoma. We observed that both glucose transporters and osteopontin were upregulated in hypoxic human osteosarcoma cells. Endogenously released osteopontin regulated the expression of glucose transporter 1 and glucose transporter 3 in osteosarcoma and enhanced glucose uptake into cells via the αvβ3 integrin. Knockdown of osteopontin induced cell death in 20% of osteosarcoma cells. Phloretin, a glucose transporter inhibitor, also caused cell death by treatment alone. The phloretin-induced cell death was significantly enhanced in osteopontin knockdown osteosarcoma cells. Combination of a low dose of phloretin and chemotherapeutic drugs, such as daunomycin, 5-Fu, etoposide, and methotrexate, exhibited synergistic cytotoxic effects in three osteosarcoma cell lines. Inhibition of glucose transporters markedly potentiated the apoptotic sensitivity of chemotherapeutic drugs in osteosarcoma. These results indicate that the combination of a low dose of a glucose transporter inhibitor with cytotoxic drugs may be beneficial for treating osteosarcoma patients.

Dahlrot RH, Sørensen MD, Rosager AM, et al.
Novel approaches for quantifying protein biomarkers in gliomas: benefits and pitfalls.
CNS Oncol. 2014; 3(4):287-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
The therapeutic paradigm of gliomas is changing from a general approach towards an individualized and targeted approach. Accordingly, the search for prognostic and predictive biomarkers, as well as the demand for quantitative, feasible and robust methods for biomarker analysis increases. We find that software classifiers can identify and quantify the expression of a given biomarker within different subcellular compartments and that such classifiers can exclude frequently occurring nontumor cells, thereby avoiding potential bias. The use of a quantitative approach provides a continuous measurement of the expression, allowing establishment of new cut-points and identification of patients with specific prognoses. However, some pitfalls must be noted. This article focuses on benefits and pitfalls of novel approaches for quantifying protein biomarkers in gliomas.

Yang X, Cheng Y, Li P, et al.
A lentiviral sponge for miRNA-21 diminishes aerobic glycolysis in bladder cancer T24 cells via the PTEN/PI3K/AKT/mTOR axis.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(1):383-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer cells exhibit the ability to metabolise glucose to lactate even under aerobic conditions for energy. This phenomenon is known as the Warburg effect and can be a potential target to kill cancer cells. Several studies have shown evidence for interplay between microRNAs and key metabolic enzyme effecters, which can facilitate the Warburg effect in cancer cells. In the present study, a microRNA sponge forcibly expressed using a lentiviral vector was utilised to knock down miR-21 expression in vitro. qPCR and Western blot assays were performed to evaluate the expression of a regulatory factor related to aerobic glycolysis and the signalling pathway it regulates. In bladder cancer specimens, expression levels of glycolysis-related genes [glucose transporter (GLUT)1, GLUT3, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH)A, LDHB, hexokinase (HK)1, HK2, pyruvate kinase type M (PKM) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α)] were higher in tumour tissues than in adjacent tissues, suggesting the role of glycolysis in bladder cancer. miR-21 inhibition in bladder cancer cell lines resulted in reduction in tumour aerobic glycolysis. Decrease in glucose uptake and lactate production was observed upon expression of the miR-21 sponge, which promoted phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) expression, decreased phosphorylated AKT and deactivated mTOR. Furthermore, messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression levels of glycolysis-related genes were also lower in miR-21 sponge cells compared to miR-21 control cells. Our findings suggest that miR-21 acts as a molecular switch to regulate aerobic glycolysis in bladder cancer cells via the PTEN/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR pathway. Blocking miR-21 function can be an effective diagnostic and therapeutic approach either by itself or in combination with existing methods to treat bladder cancer.

Chang CW, Chen YS, Chou SH, et al.
Distinct subpopulations of head and neck cancer cells with different levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species exhibit diverse stemness, proliferation, and chemosensitivity.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(21):6291-305 [PubMed] Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is driven by cancer-initiating cells (CIC), but their maintenance mechanisms are obscure. For hematopoietic stem cells, low levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS(Low)) is known to help sustain stemness properties. In this report, we evaluated the hypothesis that ROS(Low) character conferred CIC properties in HNSCC. Sphere cultures define CIC in HNSCC cell populations (HN-CIC). We found that ROS(Low) cells in HN-CIC defined in this manner were more numerous than in parental HNSCC cells. Further, ROS(Low) cells frequently coexpressed CIC surface markers such as memGrp78 and Glut3. Exploiting flow cytometry to sort cells on the basis of their ROS level, we found that isolated ROS(Low) cells displayed relatively more CIC properties, including quiescence, chemoresistance, in vitro malignant properties, and tumorigenicity. Pharmacological depletion of ROS modulators in cisplatin-treated HN-CIC reduced CIC properties, enhancing cell differentiation and enhancing cisplatin-induced cell death. Overall, our work defined cell subpopulations in HNSCC on the basis of differential intracellular ROS levels, which associated with stemness and chemoresistance properties. On the basis of our findings, we suggest that strategies to promote intracellular ROS levels may heighten the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy used for HNSCC treatment.

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