Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. Current major treatments for cancer management include surgery, cytotoxic chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, endocrine therapy and immunotherapy. Despite the endeavors and achievements made in treating cancers during the past decades, resistance to classical chemotherapeutic agents and/or novel targeted drugs continues to be a major problem in cancer therapies. Drug resistance, either existing before treatment (intrinsic) or generated after therapy (acquired), is responsible for most relapses of cancer, one of the major causes of death of the disease. Heterogeneity among patients and tumors, and the versatility of cancer to circumvent therapies make drug resistance more challenging to deal with. Better understanding the mechanisms of drug resistance is required to provide guidance to future cancer treatment and achieve better outcomes. In this review, intrinsic and acquired resistance will be discussed. In addition, new discoveries in mechanisms of drug resistance will be reviewed. Particularly, we will highlight roles of ATP in drug resistance by discussing recent findings of exceptionally high levels of intratumoral extracellular ATP as well as intracellular ATP internalized from extracellular environment. The complexity of drug resistance development suggests that combinational and personalized therapies, which should take ATP into consideration, might provide better strategies and improved efficacy for fighting drug resistance in cancer.
In nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR), as well as glycine, GABAA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), serotonin (5-HT3), and GluCl glutamate receptors, a leucine residue at the approximate midpoint of the M2 transmembrane domain (the 9' position) is conserved across most known subunits. Structural data for the nAChR suggest that the Leu 9' residues occupy a 'kink' in each of the five M2 helices and point into the closed channel; in the opening step, the M2 helices rotate so that Leu 9' side chains no longer occlude the conduction pathway. Mutation of Leu 9' to one of several other residues slows desensitization and increases sensitivity to agonist. We have exploited the alpha 2 beta gamma delta stoichiometry of muscle nAChR to express receptors with ms* = 0 to 5 Leu 9'Ser mutated subunits. Strikingly, each Leu 9'Ser mutation shifts the dose-response relation for ACh to the left by approximately 10-fold; a nAChR with ms* = 4 is 10(4)-fold more sensitive than the wild type. The results suggest that each of the five Leu 9' residues participates independently and symmetrically in a key step in the structural transition between the closed and open states.
Background Extracellular ATP (eATP) was shown to induce epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), a very important early process in metastasis, in cancer cells via purinergic receptor signaling. However, the exact induction mechanisms are far from fully known. We previously described that eATP is internalized by cancer cells in vitro and in vivo by macropinocytosis in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 and other cancer cells, drastically elevates intracellular ATP levels, enhances cell proliferation and resistance to anticancer drugs. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that eATP and macropinocytosis-internalized eATP also induces EMT and other early steps of metastasis. Methods Floating cells, fencing, and transwell assays were used to show that ATP induces cell detachment, new colony formation, migration and invasion in human A549 and other lung cancer cells. Western blots were used to detect ATP-induced changes in EMT-related proteins; Confocal microscopy was used to demonstrate ATP-induced metastasis-related cell morphological changes. Inhibitors and siRNA knockdowns were used to determine P2X7’s involvement in the ATP-induced EMT. CRISPR–Cas9 knockout of the SNX5 gene was used to identify macropinocytosis’ roles in EMT and cancer cell growth both in vitro and in vivo. Student t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to determine statistical significance, P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results eATP potently induces expression of matrix metallopeptidases (MMPs), and detachment, EMT, migration, and invasion of lung cancer cells. The induction was independent of TGF-β and semi-independent of P2X7 activation. eATP performs these functions not only extracellularly, but also intracellularly after being macropinocytically internalized to further enhance P2X7-mediated EMT, filopodia formation and other early steps of metastasis. The knockout of macropinocytosis-associated SNX5 gene significantly reduces macropinocytosis, slows down tumor growth, and changes tumor morphology in nude mice. Conclusions Collectively, these results show that eATP's functions in these processes not only from outside of cancer cells but also inside after being macropinocytotically internalized. These findings shed light on eATP’s initiator and effector roles in almost every step in early metastasis, which calls for rethinking and rebalancing energy equations of intracellular biochemical reactions and the Warburg effect, and identifies eATP and macropinocytosis as novel targets for potentially slowing down EMT and preventing metastasis.
Cancer cells are able to uptake extracellular ATP (eATP) via macropinocytosis to elevate intracellular ATP (iATP) levels, enhancing their survival in drug treatment. However, the involved drug resistance mechanisms are unknown. Here we investigated the roles of eATP as either an energy or a phosphorylating molecule in general drug resistance mediated by ATP internalization and iATP elevation. We report that eATP increased iATP levels and promoted drug resistance to various tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and chemo-drugs in human cancer cell lines of five cancer types. In A549 lung cancer cells, the resistance was downregulated by macropinocytosis inhibition or siRNA knockdown of PAK1, an essential macropinocytosis enzyme. The elevated iATP upregulated the efflux activity of ABC transporters in A549 and SK-Hep-1 cells as well as phosphorylation of PDGFRα and proteins in the PDGFR-mediated Akt-mTOR and Raf-MEK signaling pathways in A549 cells. Similar phosphorylation upregulations were found in A549 tumors. These results demonstrate that eATP induces different types of drug resistance by eATP internalization and iATP elevation, implicating the ATP-rich tumor microenvironment in cancer drug resistance, expanding our understanding of the roles of eATP in the Warburg effect and offering new anticancer drug resistance targets.
A nonsense suppression method was employed to incorporate a total of four natural and six unnatural residues at the 9' position of the M2 region in the beta, gamma, and delta subunits of muscle nicotinic receptors. In 33 pairwise comparisons of functional properties as influenced by structural features including side chain length, branching, and substitution of oxygen for methylene carbons, it is concluded that increased polarity in the side chains at the 9' position consistently increases the sensitivity to acetylcholine. In addition, the stereochemistry of the side chain can have marked influences on the EC50, primarily because of changes in the single-channel open time. For the case of isoleucine versus allo-isoleucine in the delta subunit, these changes are themselves modified by mutations at the 9' position in other subunits. The data suggest an especially strong interaction between the beta and delta subunits in the pore region, leading in turn to a suggested arrangement of subunits within the pentamer.
This study presents investigations on new approaches to novel biodegradable amphiphilic poly(L-lactide)-b-dendritic poly(L-lysine)s bearing well-defined structures. First, two new Boc-protected poly(L-lysine) dendron initiators G(2)OH 4 (generation = 2) and G(3)OH 6 (generation = 3) with hydroxyl end functional groups were efficiently derived from corresponding precursors 3 and 5 via methyl ester substitution with ethanolamine. Subsequently, two series of new diblock copolymers of poly(L-lactide)-b-dendritic Boc-protected poly(L-lysine)s (S1-S2, S3-S4) were prepared in chloroform through ring-opening copolymerization of poly(L-lactide)s with a metal-free catalyst of organic 4-(dimethylamino) pyridine (DMAP) in the presence of a corresponding new poly(L-lysine) dendron initiator. Further, molecular structures of the prepared new dendron initiators as well as those of poly(L-lactide)-b-dendritic Boc-protected poly(L-lysine)s bearing different dendron blocks and PLLA lengths were examined by means of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), mass spectrometry (ESI-MS, MALDI-FTMS), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The results demonstrated successful formation of the synthetic precursors, functional dendron initiators, and new diblock copolymers. In addition, the very narrow molecular weight distributions (PDI = 1.10-1.14) of these poly(L-lactide)-b-dendritic Boc-protected poly(L-lysine)s further indicated their well-defined molecular structures. After the efficient Boc-deprotection for the dendron amino groups with TFA/CH(2)Cl(2), new diblock poly(L-lactide)-b-dendritic poly(L-lysine)s bearing lipophilic PLLA and hydrophilic dendritic PLL were finally prepared. It was noteworthy that the MALDI-FTMS result showed that no appreciable intermolecular chain transesterification happened during the ROP of L-lactide catalyzed by the DMAP. Moreover, self-assembly of these new biodegradable amphiphilic copolymers in diverse solvents were also preliminarily studied.
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of fungiform papillae density with taste detection thresholds for sucrose of young male adults. One hundred and eighty two subjects aged 18-23 years (mean age: 21.9 +/- 1.2 years) were included. The densities of fungiform papillae were recorded with the aid of the digital camera, and the taste detection thresholds for sucrose were detected using a modified forced-choice triangle test. The mean density of papillae within all 170 statistic participants was 92.43 +/- 2.64/cm(2), for the 6-mm-diameter stained section of the tongue tip. The average detection threshold was 10.83 +/- 0.24 mmol/l, and the highest and lowest detection thresholds were 19.88 +/- 1.31 and 5.85 +/- 0.43 mmol/l, respectively. Also, an inverse correlation between the fungiform papillae density and the detection threshold was observed.
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