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      Temporally sequenced anticancer drugs overcome adaptive resistance by targeting a vulnerable chemotherapy-induced phenotypic transition

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          Abstract

          Understanding the emerging models of adaptive resistance is key to overcoming cancer chemotherapy failure. Using human breast cancer explants, in vitro cell lines, mouse in vivo studies and mathematical modelling, here we show that exposure to a taxane induces phenotypic cell state transition towards a favoured transient CD44 HiCD24 Hi chemotherapy-tolerant state. This state is associated with a clustering of CD44 and CD24 in membrane lipid rafts, leading to the activation of Src Family Kinase (SFK)/hemopoietic cell kinase (Hck) and suppression of apoptosis. The use of pharmacological inhibitors of SFK/Hck in combination with taxanes in a temporally constrained manner, where the kinase inhibitor is administered post taxane treatment, but not when co-administered, markedly sensitizes the chemotolerant cells to the chemotherapy. This approach of harnessing chemotherapy-induced phenotypic cell state transition for improving antitumour outcome could emerge as a translational strategy for the management of cancer.

          Abstract

          Adaptive resistance is an emerging cause of chemotherapy failure in cancer. Here the authors show that adaptive resistance to taxanes is mediated by the upregulation of SFK/Hck survival signalling, and that sequential administration of taxanes and SFK/Hck inhibition restores tumor cell chemosensitivity.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Identification of selective inhibitors of cancer stem cells by high-throughput screening.

          Screens for agents that specifically kill epithelial cancer stem cells (CSCs) have not been possible due to the rarity of these cells within tumor cell populations and their relative instability in culture. We describe here an approach to screening for agents with epithelial CSC-specific toxicity. We implemented this method in a chemical screen and discovered compounds showing selective toxicity for breast CSCs. One compound, salinomycin, reduces the proportion of CSCs by >100-fold relative to paclitaxel, a commonly used breast cancer chemotherapeutic drug. Treatment of mice with salinomycin inhibits mammary tumor growth in vivo and induces increased epithelial differentiation of tumor cells. In addition, global gene expression analyses show that salinomycin treatment results in the loss of expression of breast CSC genes previously identified by analyses of breast tissues isolated directly from patients. This study demonstrates the ability to identify agents with specific toxicity for epithelial CSCs.
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            Human breast cancer cell lines contain stem-like cells that self-renew, give rise to phenotypically diverse progeny and survive chemotherapy

            Introduction The phenotypic and functional differences between cells that initiate human breast tumors (cancer stem cells) and those that comprise the tumor bulk are difficult to study using only primary tumor tissue. We embarked on this study hypothesizing that breast cancer cell lines would contain analogous hierarchical differentiation programs to those found in primary breast tumors. Methods Eight human breast cell lines (human mammary epithelial cells, and MCF10A, MCF7, SUM149, SUM159, SUM1315 and MDA.MB.231 cells) were analyzed using flow cytometry for CD44, CD24, and epithelial-specific antigen (ESA) expression. Limiting dilution orthotopic injections were used to evaluate tumor initiation, while serial colony-forming unit, reconstitution and tumorsphere assays were performed to assess self-renewal and differentiation. Pulse-chase bromodeoxyuridine (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine [BrdU]) labeling was used to examine cell cycle and label-retention of cancer stem cells. Cells were treated with paclitaxol and 5-fluorouracil to test selective resistance to chemotherapy, and gene expression profile after chemotherapy were examined. Results The percentage of CD44+/CD24- cells within cell lines does not correlate with tumorigenicity, but as few as 100 cells can form tumors when sorted for CD44+/CD24-/low/ESA+. Furthermore, CD44+/CD24-/ESA+ cells can self-renew, reconstitute the parental cell line, retain BrdU label, and preferentially survive chemotherapy. Conclusion These data validate the use of cancer cell lines as models for the development and testing of novel therapeutics aimed at eradicating cancer stem cells.
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              Mutation selection and the natural history of cancer.

               John Cairns (1975)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Pub. Group
                2041-1723
                11 February 2015
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
                [2 ]Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
                [3 ]Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
                [4 ]India Innovation Research Center , Bangalore 560099, India
                [5 ]Mitra Biotech Pvt Ltd, Narayana Nethrayala , Bangalore 560099, India
                [6 ]School of Medicine, Queen’s University , Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
                [7 ]7730E BlackCrest Pl. , Tucson, Arizona 85750, USA
                [8 ]Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo , Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
                [9 ]Dana Farber Cancer Institute , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
                Author notes
                Article
                ncomms7139
                10.1038/ncomms7139
                4339891
                25669750
                Copyright © 2015, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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