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      Caveolin-1, a stress-related oncotarget, in drug resistance

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          Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is both a tumor suppressor and an oncoprotein. Cav-1 overexpression was frequently confirmed in advanced cancer stages and positively associated with ABC transporters, cancer stem cell populations, aerobic glycolysis activity and autophagy. Cav-1 was tied to various stresses including radiotherapy, fluid shear and oxidative stresses and ultraviolet exposure, and interacted with stress signals such as AMP-activated protein kinase. Finally, a Cav-1 fluctuation model during cancer development is provided and Cav-1 is suggested to be a stress signal and cytoprotective. Loss of Cav-1 may increase susceptibility to oncogenic events. However, research to explore the underlying molecular network between Cav-1 and stress signals is warranted.

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          Cancer's molecular sweet tooth and the Warburg effect.

          More than 80 years ago, the renowned biochemist Otto Warburg described how cancer cells avidly consume glucose and produce lactic acid under aerobic conditions. Recent studies arguing that cancer cells benefit from this phenomenon, termed the Warburg effect, have renewed discussions about its exact role as cause, correlate, or facilitator of cancer. Molecular advances in this area may reveal tactics to exploit the cancer cell's "sweet tooth" for cancer therapy.
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            The reverse Warburg effect: aerobic glycolysis in cancer associated fibroblasts and the tumor stroma.

            Here, we propose a new model for understanding the Warburg effect in tumor metabolism. Our hypothesis is that epithelial cancer cells induce the Warburg effect (aerobic glycolysis) in neighboring stromal fibroblasts. These cancer-associated fibroblasts, then undergo myo-fibroblastic differentiation, and secrete lactate and pyruvate (energy metabolites resulting from aerobic glycolysis). Epithelial cancer cells could then take up these energy-rich metabolites and use them in the mitochondrial TCA cycle, thereby promoting efficient energy production (ATP generation via oxidative phosphorylation), resulting in a higher proliferative capacity. In this alternative model of tumorigenesis, the epithelial cancer cells instruct the normal stroma to transform into a wound-healing stroma, providing the necessary energy-rich micro-environment for facilitating tumor growth and angiogenesis. In essence, the fibroblastic tumor stroma would directly feed the epithelial cancer cells, in a type of host-parasite relationship. We have termed this new idea the "Reverse Warburg Effect." In this scenario, the epithelial tumor cells "corrupt" the normal stroma, turning it into a factory for the production of energy-rich metabolites. This alternative model is still consistent with Warburg's original observation that tumors show a metabolic shift towards aerobic glycolysis. In support of this idea, unbiased proteomic analysis and transcriptional profiling of a new model of cancer-associated fibroblasts (caveolin-1 (Cav-1) deficient stromal cells), shows the upregulation of both (1) myo-fibroblast markers and (2) glycolytic enzymes, under normoxic conditions. We validated the expression of these proteins in the fibroblastic stroma of human breast cancer tissues that lack stromal Cav-1. Importantly, a loss of stromal Cav-1 in human breast cancers is associated with tumor recurrence, metastasis, and poor clinical outcome. Thus, an absence of stromal Cav-1 may be a biomarker for the "Reverse Warburg Effect," explaining its powerful predictive value.
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              Association of breast cancer stem cells identified by aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 expression with resistance to sequential Paclitaxel and epirubicin-based chemotherapy for breast cancers.

              Breast cancer stem cells have been shown to be associated with resistance to chemotherapy in vitro, but their clinical significance remains to be clarified. The aim of this study was to investigate whether cancer stem cells were clinically significant for resistance to chemotherapy in human breast cancers. Primary breast cancer patients (n = 108) treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy consisting of sequential paclitaxel and epirubicin-based chemotherapy were included in the study. Breast cancer stem cells were identified by immunohistochemical staining of CD44/CD24 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) in tumor tissues obtained before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. CD44(+)/CD24(-) tumor cells or ALDH1-positive tumor cells were considered stem cells. Thirty (27.8%) patients achieved pathologic complete response (pCR). ALDH1-positive tumors were significantly associated with a low pCR rate (9.5% versus 32.2%; P = 0.037), but there was no significant association between CD44(+)/CD24(-) tumor cell proportions and pCR rates. Changes in the proportion of CD44(+)/CD24(-) or ALDH1-positive tumor cells before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy were studied in 78 patients who did not achieve pCR. The proportion of ALDH1-positive tumor cells increased significantly (P < 0.001) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, but that of CD44(+)/CD24(-) tumor cells did not. Our findings suggest that breast cancer stem cells identified as ALDH1-positive, but not CD44(+)/CD24(-), play a significant role in resistance to chemotherapy. ALDH1-positive thus seems to be a more significantly predictive marker than CD44(+)/CD24(-) for the identification of breast cancer stem cells in terms of resistance to chemotherapy.

                Author and article information

                Impact Journals LLC
                10 November 2015
                27 September 2015
                : 6
                : 35
                : 37135-37150
                1 Department of Mammary Disease, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, The Second Clinical Collage of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China
                2 Department of Breast Oncology, Sun Yat-sen Univeristy Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
                3 Pharmacy College, State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Systematic Research, Development and Utilization of Chinese Medicine Resources, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Zhiyu Wang, wangzhiyu976@
                Copyright: © 2015 Wang et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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