- Selection of a highly invasive neuroblastoma cell population through long-term human cytomegalovirus infection (2012)
- The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is suspected to increase tumour malignancy by infection of cancer and/or stroma cells (oncomodulation). So far, oncomodulatory mechanisms have been attributed to the presence of HCMV and direct action of its gene products on cancer cells. Here, we investigated whether the prolonged presence of HCMV can result in the irreversible selection of a cancer cell population with increased malignancy. The neuroblastoma cell line UKF-NB-4 was long-term (200 passages) infected with the HCMV strain Hi91 (UKF-NB-4Hi) before virus eradication using ganciclovir (UKF-NB-4HiGCV). Global gene expression profiling of UKF-NB-4, UKF-NB-4Hi and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells and subsequent bioinformatic signal transduction pathway analysis revealed clear differences between UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4Hi, as well as between UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells, but only minor differences between UKF-NB-4Hi and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells. Investigation of the expression of a subset of five genes in different chronically HCMV-infected cell lines before and after virus eradication suggested that long-term HCMV infection reproducibly causes specific changes. Array comparative genomic hybridisation showed virtually the same genomic differences for the comparisons UKF-NB-4Hi/UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4HiGCV/UKF-NB-4. UKF-NB-4Hi cells are characterised by an increased invasive potential compared with UKF-NB-4 cells. This phenotype was completely retained in UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells. Moreover, there was a substantial overlap in the signal transduction pathways that differed significantly between UKF-NB-4Hi/UKF-NB-4HiGCV and UKF-NB-4 cells and those differentially regulated between tumour tissues from neuroblastoma patients with favourable or poor outcome. In conclusion, we present the first experimental evidence that long-term HCMV infection can result in the selection of tumour cell populations with enhanced malignancy.
- Aurora Kinases as Targets in Drug-Resistant Neuroblastoma Cells (2014)
- Aurora kinase inhibitors displayed activity in pre-clinical neuroblastoma models. Here, we studied the effects of the pan-aurora kinase inhibitor tozasertib (VX680, MK-0457) and the aurora kinase inhibitor alisertib (MLN8237) that shows some specificity for aurora kinase A over aurora kinase B in a panel of neuroblastoma cell lines with acquired drug resistance. Both compounds displayed anti-neuroblastoma activity in the nanomolar range. The anti-neuroblastoma mechanism included inhibition of aurora kinase signalling as indicated by decreased phosphorylation of the aurora kinase substrate histone H3, cell cycle inhibition in G2/M phase, and induction of apoptosis. The activity of alisertib but not of tozasertib was affected by ABCB1 expression. Aurora kinase inhibitors induced a p53 response and their activity was enhanced in combination with the MDM2 inhibitor and p53 activator nutlin-3 in p53 wild-type cells. In conclusion, aurora kinases are potential drug targets in therapy-refractory neuroblastoma, in particular for the vast majority of p53 wild-type cases.
- Association between acquired resistance to PLX4032 (vemurafenib) and ATP-binding cassette transporter expression (2014)
- Background: Various kinase inhibitors are known to be ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter substrates and resistance acquisition to kinase inhibitors has been associated to increased ABC transporter expression. Here, we investigated the role of the ABC transporters ABCB1, ABCC1, and ABCG2 during melanoma cell resistance acquisition to the V600-mutant BRAF inhibitors PLX4032 (vemurafenib) and PLX4720. PLX4032 had previously been shown to interfere with ABCB1 and ABCG2. PLX4720 had been demonstrated to interact with ABCB1 but to a lower extent than PLX4032. Findings: PLX4032 and PLX4720 affected ABCC1- and ABCG2-mediated drug transport in a similar fashion. In a panel of 16 V600E BRAF-mutated melanoma cell lines consisting of four parental cell lines and their sub-lines with acquired resistance to PLX4032, PLX4720, vincristine (cytotoxic ABCB1 and ABCC1 substrate), or mitoxantrone (cytotoxic ABCG2 substrate), we detected enhanced ABC transporter expression in 4/4 cytotoxic ABC transporter substrate-resistant, 3/4 PLX4720-resistant, and 1/4 PLX4032-resistant melanoma cell lines. Conclusion: PLX4032 has the potential to induce ABC transporter expression but this potential is lower than that of PLX4720 or cytotoxic ABC transporter substrates. Since ABC transporters confer multi-drug resistance, this is of relevance for the design of next-line therapies. Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-710) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
- Effects of flavonoid-induced oxidative stress on anti-H5N1 influenza a virus activity exerted by baicalein and biochanin A (2014)
- Background: Different flavonoids are known to interfere with influenza A virus replication. Recently, we showed that the structurally similar flavonoids baicalein and biochanin A inhibit highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza A virus replication by different mechanisms in A549 lung cells. Here, we investigated the effects of both compounds on H5N1-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and the role of ROS formation during H5N1 replication. Findings: Baicalein and biochanin A enhanced H5N1-induced ROS formation in A549 cells and primary human monocyte-derived macrophages. Suppression of ROS formation induced by baicalein and biochanin A using the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine strongly increased the anti-H5N1 activity of both compounds in A549 cells but not in macrophages. Conclusions: These findings emphasise that flavonoids induce complex pharmacological actions some of which may interfere with H5N1 replication while others may support H5N1 replication. A more detailed understanding of these actions and the underlying structure-activity relationships is needed to design agents with optimised anti-H5N1 activity.