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      Novel Molecular Mechanism of Aspirin and Celecoxib Targeting Mammalian Neuraminidase-1 Impedes Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling Axis and Induces Apoptosis in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

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          Abstract

          Background

          Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and celecoxib have been used as potential anti-cancer therapies. Aspirin exerts its therapeutic effect in both cyclooxygenase (COX)-dependent and -independent pathways to reduce tumor growth and disable tumorigenesis. Celecoxib, a selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor, reduces factors that cause inflammation and pain. The question is whether aspirin and celecoxib have other molecular targets of equal or more therapeutic efficacy with significant anti-cancer preventive benefits.

          Aim

          Here, we propose that aspirin and celecoxib exert their anti-cancer effects by targeting and inhibiting mammalian neuraminidase-1 (Neu-1). Neu-1 has been reported to regulate the activation of several receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and TOLL-like receptors and their downstream signaling pathways. Neu-1 in complex with matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has been reported to be tethered to RTKs at the ectodomain.

          Materials and Methods

          The WST-1 cell viability assay, Caspase 3/7 assay, and Annexin V assay were used to evaluate the cell viability and detect apoptotic and necrotic cells following treatment in MiaPaCa-2, PANC-1 and the gemcitabine-resistant PANC-1 variant (PANC-1 GemR) cells. Microscopic imaging, lectin cytochemistry, and flow cytometry were used to detect levels of α-2,3 sialic acid. Epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated live cell sialidase assays and neuraminidase assays were used to detect Neu-1 activity. Immunocytochemistry was used to detect levels of EGFR and phosphorylated EGFR (pEGFR) following treatment.

          Results

          For the first time, aspirin and celecoxib were shown to significantly inhibit Neu-1 sialidase activity in a dose- and time-dependent manner following stimulation with EGF. Aspirin blocked Neu-1 desialylation of α-2,3-sialic acid expression following 30 min stimulation with EGF. Aspirin and celecoxib significantly and dose-dependently inhibited isolated neuraminidase ( Clostridium perfringens) activity on fluorogenic substrate 2ʹ-(4-methylumbelliferyl)-α-D-N-acetylneuraminic acid (4-MUNANA). Aspirin inhibited phosphorylation of the EGFR in EGF-stimulated cells. Aspirin dose- and time-dependently induced CellEvent caspase-3/7 + cells as well as apoptosis and necrosis on PANC-1 cells.

          Conclusion

          These findings signify a novel multimodality mechanism(s) of action for aspirin and celecoxib, specifically targeting and inhibiting Neu-1 activity, regulating EGF-induced growth receptor activation and inducing apoptosis and necrosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Repurposing aspirin and celecoxib as anti-cancer agents may also upend other critical targets involved in multistage tumorigenesis regulated by mammalian neuraminidase-1.

          Significance

          These findings may be the missing link connecting the anti-cancer efficacy of NSAIDs to the role of glycosylation in inflammation and tumorigenesis.

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          Most cited references 62

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          Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation

          The hallmarks of cancer comprise six biological capabilities acquired during the multistep development of human tumors. The hallmarks constitute an organizing principle for rationalizing the complexities of neoplastic disease. They include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, resisting cell death, enabling replicative immortality, inducing angiogenesis, and activating invasion and metastasis. Underlying these hallmarks are genome instability, which generates the genetic diversity that expedites their acquisition, and inflammation, which fosters multiple hallmark functions. Conceptual progress in the last decade has added two emerging hallmarks of potential generality to this list-reprogramming of energy metabolism and evading immune destruction. In addition to cancer cells, tumors exhibit another dimension of complexity: they contain a repertoire of recruited, ostensibly normal cells that contribute to the acquisition of hallmark traits by creating the "tumor microenvironment." Recognition of the widespread applicability of these concepts will increasingly affect the development of new means to treat human cancer. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Cancer statistics, 2016.

            Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. Incidence data were collected by the National Cancer Institute (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results [SEER] Program), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Program of Cancer Registries), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Mortality data were collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2016, 1,685,210 new cancer cases and 595,690 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Overall cancer incidence trends (13 oldest SEER registries) are stable in women, but declining by 3.1% per year in men (from 2009-2012), much of which is because of recent rapid declines in prostate cancer diagnoses. The cancer death rate has dropped by 23% since 1991, translating to more than 1.7 million deaths averted through 2012. Despite this progress, death rates are increasing for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and uterine corpus, and cancer is now the leading cause of death in 21 states, primarily due to exceptionally large reductions in death from heart disease. Among children and adolescents (aged birth-19 years), brain cancer has surpassed leukemia as the leading cause of cancer death because of the dramatic therapeutic advances against leukemia. Accelerating progress against cancer requires both increased national investment in cancer research and the application of existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population.
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              Cancers develop in complex tissue environments, which they depend on for sustained growth, invasion and metastasis. Unlike tumor cells, stromal cell types within the tumor microenvironment (TME) are genetically stable and thus represent an attractive therapeutic target with reduced risk of resistance and tumor recurrence. However, specifically disrupting the pro-tumorigenic TME is a challenging undertaking, as the TME has diverse capacities to induce both beneficial and adverse consequences for tumorigenesis. Furthermore, many studies have shown that the microenvironment is capable of normalizing tumor cells, suggesting that re-education of stromal cells, rather than targeted ablation per se, may be an effective strategy for treating cancer. Here we discuss the paradoxical roles of the TME during specific stages of cancer progression and metastasis, as well as recent therapeutic attempts to re-educate stromal cells within the TME to have anti-tumorigenic effects.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                dddt
                dddt
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove
                1177-8881
                08 October 2020
                2020
                : 14
                : 4149-4167
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University , Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
                [2 ]ENCYT Technologies Inc ., Membertou, Nova Scotia, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Myron R Szewczuk Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University , Kingston, ONK7L 3N6, CanadaTel +1 613 533 2457Fax +1 613 533 6796; Email szewczuk@queensu.ca
                Article
                264122
                10.2147/DDDT.S264122
                7550724
                © 2020 Qorri et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 8, References: 63, Pages: 19
                Funding
                Funded by: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC);
                Funded by: the Josefowitz Family to MRS, and Encyt Technologies Inc;
                This study was supported by grants to MRS from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), private-sector cancer funding from the Josefowitz Family to MRS, and Encyt Technologies Inc. BQ is the recipient of 2017, 2018, and 2019 Queen’s Graduate Award (QGA), Terry Fox Research Institute Transdisciplinary Training Program in Cancer Research (2017), the 2018 and 2019 Dean’s Doctoral Award, the 2019 Franklin Bracken Fellowship, and the 2020 Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology.
                Categories
                Original Research

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