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      Hypoxia-inducing factors as master regulators of stemness properties and altered metabolism of cancer- and metastasis-initiating cells

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          Abstract

          Accumulating lines of experimental evidence have revealed that hypoxia-inducible factors, HIF-1α and HIF-2α, are key regulators of the adaptation of cancer- and metastasis-initiating cells and their differentiated progenies to oxygen and nutrient deprivation during cancer progression under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Particularly, the sustained stimulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), stem cell factor (SCF) receptor KIT, transforming growth factor-β receptors (TGF-βRs) and Notch and their downstream signalling elements such as phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/molecular target of rapamycin (mTOR) may lead to an enhanced activity of HIFs. Moreover, the up-regulation of HIFs in cancer cells may also occur in the hypoxic intratumoral regions formed within primary and secondary neoplasms as well as in leukaemic cells and metastatic prostate and breast cancer cells homing in the hypoxic endosteal niche of bone marrow. The activated HIFs may induce the expression of numerous gene products such as induced pluripotency-associated transcription factors (Oct-3/4, Nanog and Sox-2), glycolysis- and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) programme-associated molecules, including CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), snail and twist, microRNAs and angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These gene products in turn can play critical roles for high self-renewal ability, survival, altered energy metabolism, invasion and metastases of cancer cells, angiogenic switch and treatment resistance. Consequently, the targeting of HIF signalling network and altered metabolic pathways represents new promising strategies to eradicate the total mass of cancer cells and improve the efficacy of current therapies against aggressive and metastatic cancers and prevent disease relapse.

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          Most cited references245

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          Oncogenic Kras Maintains Pancreatic Tumors through Regulation of Anabolic Glucose Metabolism

          Tumor maintenance relies on continued activity of driver oncogenes, although their rate-limiting role is highly context dependent. Oncogenic Kras mutation is the signature event in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), serving a critical role in tumor initiation. Here, an inducible Kras(G12D)-driven PDAC mouse model establishes that advanced PDAC remains strictly dependent on Kras(G12D) expression. Transcriptome and metabolomic analyses indicate that Kras(G12D) serves a vital role in controlling tumor metabolism through stimulation of glucose uptake and channeling of glucose intermediates into the hexosamine biosynthesis and pentose phosphate pathways (PPP). These studies also reveal that oncogenic Kras promotes ribose biogenesis. Unlike canonical models, we demonstrate that Kras(G12D) drives glycolysis intermediates into the nonoxidative PPP, thereby decoupling ribose biogenesis from NADP/NADPH-mediated redox control. Together, this work provides in vivo mechanistic insights into how oncogenic Kras promotes metabolic reprogramming in native tumors and illuminates potential metabolic targets that can be exploited for therapeutic benefit in PDAC. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Overexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha in common human cancers and their metastases.

            Neovascularization and increased glycolysis, two universal characteristics of solid tumors, represent adaptations to a hypoxic microenvironment that are correlated with tumor invasion, metastasis, and lethality. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) activates transcription of genes encoding glucose transporters, glycolytic enzymes, and vascular endothelial growth factor. HIF-1 transcriptional activity is determined by regulated expression of the HIF-1alpha subunit. In this study, HIF-1alpha expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 179 tumor specimens. HIF-1alpha was overexpressed in 13 of 19 tumor types compared with the respective normal tissues, including colon, breast, gastric, lung, skin, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and renal carcinomas. HIF-1alpha expression was correlated with aberrant p53 accumulation and cell proliferation. Preneoplastic lesions in breast, colon, and prostate overexpressed HIF-1alpha, whereas benign tumors in breast and uterus did not. HIF-1alpha overexpression was detected in only 29% of primary breast cancers but in 69% of breast cancer metastases. In brain tumors, HIF-1alpha immunohistochemistry demarcated areas of angiogenesis. These results provide the first clinical data indicating that HIF-1alpha may play an important role in human cancer progression.
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              Identification of cells initiating human melanomas.

              Tumour-initiating cells capable of self-renewal and differentiation, which are responsible for tumour growth, have been identified in human haematological malignancies and solid cancers. If such minority populations are associated with tumour progression in human patients, specific targeting of tumour-initiating cells could be a strategy to eradicate cancers currently resistant to systemic therapy. Here we identify a subpopulation enriched for human malignant-melanoma-initiating cells (MMIC) defined by expression of the chemoresistance mediator ABCB5 (refs 7, 8) and show that specific targeting of this tumorigenic minority population inhibits tumour growth. ABCB5+ tumour cells detected in human melanoma patients show a primitive molecular phenotype and correlate with clinical melanoma progression. In serial human-to-mouse xenotransplantation experiments, ABCB5+ melanoma cells possess greater tumorigenic capacity than ABCB5- bulk populations and re-establish clinical tumour heterogeneity. In vivo genetic lineage tracking demonstrates a specific capacity of ABCB5+ subpopulations for self-renewal and differentiation, because ABCB5+ cancer cells generate both ABCB5+ and ABCB5- progeny, whereas ABCB5- tumour populations give rise, at lower rates, exclusively to ABCB5- cells. In an initial proof-of-principle analysis, designed to test the hypothesis that MMIC are also required for growth of established tumours, systemic administration of a monoclonal antibody directed at ABCB5, shown to be capable of inducing antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity in ABCB5+ MMIC, exerted tumour-inhibitory effects. Identification of tumour-initiating cells with enhanced abundance in more advanced disease but susceptibility to specific targeting through a defining chemoresistance determinant has important implications for cancer therapy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Cell Mol Med
                J. Cell. Mol. Med
                jcmm
                Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd
                1582-1838
                1582-4934
                January 2013
                10 January 2013
                : 17
                : 1
                : 30-54
                Affiliations
                Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Eppley Cancer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE, USA
                Author notes
                *Correspondence to: Murielle MIMEAULT, Ph.D. and Surinder K. BATRA, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nebraska, Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5870, USA. Tel.: (402)559-5455 Fax: (402)559-6650 E-mails: mmimeault@ 123456unmc.edu ; sbatra@ 123456unmc.edu
                Article
                10.1111/jcmm.12004
                3560853
                23301832
                48db3d23-6d67-42cd-9ff0-8e1da3169033
                Copyright © 2013 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

                Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

                History
                : 20 June 2012
                : 20 November 2012
                Categories
                Reviews

                Molecular medicine
                hypoxia,hypoxia-inducible factors,metabolic pathways,cancer progression,metastases,cancer stem/progenitor cells,cancer-initiating cells,metastasis-initiating cells,targeted therapies

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