Tumor Cell Death
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2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (20) ◽  
pp. 11091
Donghyuk Kim ◽  
Hyunjung Kim

Recently, photothermal therapy has attracted attention as an alternative treatment to conventional surgical techniques because it does not lead to bleeding and patients quickly recover after treatment compared to incisional surgery. Photothermal therapy induces tumor cell death through an increase in the temperature using the photothermal effect, which converts light energy into thermal energy. This study was conducted to perform numerical analysis based on heat transfer to induce apoptosis of tumor tissue under various heating conditions in photothermal therapy. The Monte Carlo method was applied to evaluate a multi-layered skin structure containing squamous cell carcinoma. Tissue-equivalent phantom experiments verified the numerical model. Based on the effective apoptosis retention ratio, the numerical analysis results showed the quantitative correlation for the laser intensity, volume fraction of gold nanorods injected into the tumor, and cooling time. This study reveals optimal conditions for maximizing apoptosis within tumor tissue while minimizing thermal damage to surrounding tissues under various heating conditions. This approach may be useful as a standard treatment when performing photothermal therapy.

2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (41) ◽  
pp. e2107771118
Jianjun Deng ◽  
Haixia Yang ◽  
Victoria M. Haak ◽  
Jun Yang ◽  
Franciele C. Kipper ◽  

Cancer therapy reduces tumor burden via tumor cell death (“debris”), which can accelerate tumor progression via the failure of inflammation resolution. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop treatment modalities that stimulate the clearance or resolution of inflammation-associated debris. Here, we demonstrate that chemotherapy-generated debris stimulates metastasis by up-regulating soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and the prostaglandin E2 receptor 4 (EP4). Therapy-induced tumor cell debris triggers a storm of proinflammatory and proangiogenic eicosanoid-driven cytokines. Thus, targeting a single eicosanoid or cytokine is unlikely to prevent chemotherapy-induced metastasis. Pharmacological abrogation of both sEH and EP4 eicosanoid pathways prevents hepato-pancreatic tumor growth and liver metastasis by promoting macrophage phagocytosis of debris and counterregulating a protumorigenic eicosanoid and cytokine storm. Therefore, stimulating the clearance of tumor cell debris via combined sEH and EP4 inhibition is an approach to prevent debris-stimulated metastasis and tumor growth.

Masahisa Kudo ◽  
Nicole Zalles ◽  
Rosario Distefano ◽  
Giovanni Nigita ◽  
Dario Veneziano ◽  

AbstractMicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that act as endogenous regulatory molecules targeting specific mRNAs for translational repression. Studies of breast cancer genomics indicate that breast cancer subtypes are distinguished and regulated by specific sets of miRNAs which affect activities such as tumor initiation, progression, and even drug response. Polo-like Kinase 1 (PLK1) is widely considered to be a proto-oncogene due to its increased expression in multiple tumor types, as well as its crucial role in regulating mitosis. Pharmacological inhibition of PLK1 can reduce tumor volume and induce tumor cell death in solid and hematologic malignancies. This prompted us to investigate how PLK1 inhibition with the target-specific inhibitor NMS-P937 would impact breast cancer cells, and how miRNAs may influence the overall response of these cells to this inhibition. We found that miR-183-5p targets PLK1 gene, effectively reducing its protein expression. Such miRNA-driven regulation of PLK1 expression sensitizes breast cancer cells to NMS-P937, resulting in synergistically increased apoptosis. We also show that the miRNA-regulated reduction of PLK1 influences the expression of apoptosis-related key proteins and possibly inducing further indirect PLK1 downmodulation through a DNMT1-p53 axis. These results suggest a potential biologically significant link between the expression of miR-183-5p and the efficacy of PLK1-specific inhibitors in breast cancer cells. Our work further elucidates how miR-183-5p regulates PLK1 gene while also enhancing NMS-P937 effect in breast cancer. Future studies assessing the role of miR-183-5p as a novel biomarker for anti-PLK1 chemotherapy agents are warranted.

Pharmaceutics ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (10) ◽  
pp. 1547
Pablo Lara ◽  
Ruben V. Huis in ‘t Veld ◽  
Carla Jorquera-Cordero ◽  
Alan B. Chan ◽  
Ferry Ossendorp ◽  

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising and clinically approved method for the treatment of cancer. However, the efficacy of PDT is often limited by the poor selectivity and distribution of the photosensitizers (PS) toward the malignant tumors, resulting in prolonged periods of skin photosensitivity. In this work, we present a simple and straightforward strategy to increase the tumor distribution, selectivity, and efficacy of lipophilic PS zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) in colon cancer by their stabilization in purified, naturally secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs). The PS ZnPc was incorporated in EVs (EV-ZnPc) by a direct incubation strategy that did not affect size distribution or surface charge. By using co-culture models simulating a tumor microenvironment, we determined the preferential uptake of EV-ZnPc toward colon cancer cells when compared with macrophages and dendritic cells. We observed that PDT promoted total tumor cell death in normal and immune cells, but showed selectivity against cancer cells in co-culture models. In vivo assays showed that after a single intravenous or intratumoral injection, EV-ZnPc were able to target the tumor cells and strongly reduce tumor growth over 15 days. These data expose opportunities to enhance the potential and efficacy of PDT using simple non-synthetic strategies that might facilitate translation into clinical practice.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Varuna Shibad ◽  
Ali Bootwala ◽  
Changchuin Mao ◽  
Hanna Bader ◽  
Hung Vo ◽  

Natural IgM (nIgM) antibodies play critical roles in cancer immunosurveillance. However, the role of B-1 B cells, the lymphocytes that produce nIgM, remains to be elucidated. L2pB1 cells, a subpopulation of B-1 B cells, have a unique poly-self-reactive nIgM repertoire and are capable of phagocytosis, potent antigen presentation, and immunomodulation. Using an inducible knock-in and knockout mouse model, we investigated the effect of the loss of L2pB1 cells in a B16F10 melanoma model. Our results show active tumor infiltration of L2pB1 cells in wild type mice, and conversely, depletion of L2pB1 cells results in larger tumor mass and increased angiogenesis. In vitro analysis revealed that L2pB1 cells contribute to the growth inhibition of melanoma cells in both 2D cell culture and 3D tumor spheroids. Similar effects were observed in an MC38 murine colon cancer model. Moreover, our data suggest that one of the ways that L2pB1 cells can induce tumor cell death is via lipoptosis. Lastly, we tested whether L2pB1 cell-derived monoclonal nIgM antibodies can specifically recognize tumor spheroids. Nine of the 28 nIgM-secreting L2pB1 clones demonstrated specific binding to tumor spheroids but did not bind control murine embryonic fibroblasts. Our study provides evidence that L2pB1 cells contribute to cancer immunity through their unique nIgM repertoire, tumor recognition, and lipoptosis. Taken together, because of their ability to recognize common features of tumors that are independent of genetic mutations, L2pB1 cells and their nIgM could be potential candidates for cancer treatment that can overcome tumor heterogeneity-associated drug resistance.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (10) ◽  
pp. 942
Francesca Carriero ◽  
Carolina Martinelli ◽  
Fabio Gabriele ◽  
Giulia Barbieri ◽  
Lisa Zanoletti ◽  

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has recently attracted interest as an innovative and adjuvant treatment for different cancers including malignant gliomas. Among these, Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most prevalent neoplasm in the central nervous system. Despite conventional therapeutic approaches that include surgical removal, radiation, and chemotherapy, GBM is characterized by an extremely poor prognosis and a high rate of recurrence. PDT is a physical process that induces tumor cell death through the genesis and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by light energy interaction with a photosensitizing agent. In this contribution, we explored the potentiality of the plant alkaloid berberine (BBR) as a photosensitizing and cytotoxic agent coupled with a PDT scheme using a blue light source in human established astrocytoma cell lines. Our data mainly indicated for the combined BBR-PDT scheme a potent activation of the apoptosis pathway, through a massive ROS production, a great extent of mitochondria depolarization, and the sub-sequent activation of caspases. Altogether, these results demonstrated that BBR is an efficient photosensitizer agent and that its association with PDT may be a potential anticancer strategy for high malignant gliomas.

Cells ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (10) ◽  
pp. 2509
Reiko Sugiura ◽  
Ryosuke Satoh ◽  
Teruaki Takasaki

The RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway regulates diverse cellular processes as exemplified by cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, and survival. Activation of ERK1/2 generally promotes cell proliferation, and its deregulated activity is a hallmark of many cancers. Therefore, components and regulators of the ERK pathway are considered potential therapeutic targets for cancer, and inhibitors of this pathway, including some MEK and BRAF inhibitors, are already being used in the clinic. Notably, ERK1/2 kinases also have pro-apoptotic functions under certain conditions and enhanced ERK1/2 signaling can cause tumor cell death. Although the repertoire of the compounds which mediate ERK activation and apoptosis is expanding, and various anti-cancer compounds induce ERK activation while exerting their anti-proliferative effects, the mechanisms underlying ERK1/2-mediated cell death are still vague. Recent studies highlight the importance of dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) in determining the pro- versus anti-apoptotic function of ERK in cancer. In this review, we will summarize the recent major findings in understanding the role of ERK in apoptosis, focusing on the major compounds mediating ERK-dependent apoptosis. Studies that further define the molecular targets of these compounds relevant to cell death will be essential to harnessing these compounds for developing effective cancer treatments.

2021 ◽  
Kaixiang Xu ◽  
Wanyun Zhu ◽  
Anyong Xu ◽  
Zhe Xiong ◽  
Heng Zhao ◽  

Abstract Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancers and often produces resistance to paclitaxel (PTX) therapy. Autophagy plays an important cytoprotective role in PTX-induced tumor cell death and targeting autophagy is promising to improve the efficacy of tumor chemotherapy in recent years. Here, we reported that PTX induced both apoptosis and autophagy of MDA-MB-231 cells, and inhibition of autophagy enable to promote apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, we found that FOXO1 enhanced PTX-induced autophagy by a transcriptional activation pattern in MDA-MB-231 cells, which was associated with its downstream target genes ATG5, VPS34, BECN1 and MAP1LC3B. The knockdown of FOXO1 attenuated the survival of MDA-MB-231 cells under the PTX treatment. These findings will be beneficial to improve the treatment efficacy of PTX and to develop the autophagic target therapy of TNBC.

Oncogene ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vida Vafaizadeh ◽  
David Buechel ◽  
Natalia Rubinstein ◽  
Ravi K. R. Kalathur ◽  
Lorenzo Bazzani ◽  

AbstractCanonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling is an established regulator of cellular state and its critical contributions to tumor initiation, malignant tumor progression and metastasis formation have been demonstrated in various cancer types. Here, we investigated how the binding of β-catenin to the transcriptional coactivators B-cell CLL/lymphoma 9 (Bcl9) and Bcl9-Like (Bcl9L) affected mammary gland carcinogenesis in the MMTV-PyMT transgenic mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. Conditional knockout of both Bcl9 and Bcl9L resulted into tumor cell death. In contrast, disrupting the interaction of Bcl9/Bcl9L with β-catenin, either by deletion of their HD2 domains or by a point mutation in the N-terminal domain of β-catenin (D164A), diminished primary tumor growth and tumor cell proliferation and reduced tumor cell invasion and lung metastasis. In comparison, the disruption of HD1 domain-mediated binding of Bcl9/Bcl9L to Pygopus had only moderate effects. Interestingly, interfering with the β-catenin-Bcl9/Bcl9L-Pygo chain of adapters only partially impaired the transcriptional response of mammary tumor cells to Wnt3a and TGFβ treatments. Together, the results indicate that Bcl9/Bcl9L modulate but are not critically required for canonical Wnt signaling in its contribution to breast cancer growth and malignant progression, a notion consistent with the “just-right” hypothesis of Wnt-driven tumor progression.

2021 ◽  
Ming Zhang ◽  
Hualiang Zhang ◽  
Linfeng Cao ◽  
Gouxin Hou ◽  
Chao Lu ◽  

Abstract Background As mRNA binding proteins, MEX3 (muscle excess 3) family highlights its unique characteristics and plays an emerging role in post-transcriptionally regulating programmed of biological processes, including tumor cell death and immunological relevance. These have been shown to be involved in various diseases, however, the role of MEX3 in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been fully elucidated. Results In this study, we found that the sequence or copy number of MEX3 gene did not change significantly, which can explain the stability of malignant tumor development through the COSMIC database. Further, gene expression in NSCLC was examined using the Oncomine™ database, and the prognostic value of each gene was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. The results showed that overexpressed of MEX3A, MEX3B, MEX3C and MEX3D were associated with significantly lower OS in patients with NSCLC and LUAD, while overexpressed of MEX3D was associated with significantly poorer OS in patients with LUSC. We also applied the Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER) tool to assess the correlations between distinct MEX3 and the infiltrating immune cell landscape. Conclusion On this subject, we have learned about the complexity and heterogeneity of NSCLC through MEX3. We found that most of MEX3 is highly expressed in NSCLC. High expression indicates a poor prognosis and has a certain immune correlation. Therefore, these conclusions can lay a framework for the prognosis of NSCLC patients and the development of treatment strategies in the future.

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