Gene Summary

Gene:SLC2A1; solute carrier family 2 (facilitated glucose transporter), member 1
Summary:This gene encodes a major glucose transporter in the mammalian blood-brain barrier. The encoded protein is found primarily in the cell membrane and on the cell surface, where it can also function as a receptor for human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) I and II. Mutations in this gene have been found in a family with paroxysmal exertion-induced dyskinesia. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2013]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:solute carrier family 2, facilitated glucose transporter member 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 28 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Glucose Transporters and Cancer: Rapid tumour growth requires accelerated metabolism and increased glucose uptake. Transport of glucose across the plasma membrane of cells is mediated by facilitative glucose transporter (GLUT) proteins. Increased glucose transport in malignant cells has been associated with increased and deregulated expression of glucose transporter proteins, frequently with overexpression of GLUT1(SLC2A1) and/or GLUT3 (SLC2A3).

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 28 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Experimental Approaches to GLUT1 Supression

Latest Publications

Song K, Li M, Xu XJ, et al.
HIF-1α and GLUT1 gene expression is associated with chemoresistance of acute myeloid leukemia.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(4):1823-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Much evidence suggests that increased glucose metabolism in tumor cells might contribute to the development of acquired chemoresistance. However, the molecular mechanisms are not fully clear. Therefore, we investigated a possible correlation of mRNA expression of HIF-1α and GLUT1 with chemoresistance in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
METHODS: Bone marrow samples were obtained from newly diagnosed and relapsed AML (M3 exclusion) cases. RNA interference with short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was used to stably silence GLUT1 or HIF-1α gene expression in an AML cell line and HIF-1α and GLUT1 mRNA expression was measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay (qPCR).
RESULTS: High levels of HIF-1α and GLUT1 were associated with poor responsiveness to chemotherapy in AML. Down-regulation of the expression of GLUT1 by RNA interference obviously sensitized drug-resistant HL-60/ADR cells to adriamycin (ADR) in vitro, comparable with RNA interference for the HIF-1α gene.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data revealed that over-expression of HIF-1α and GLUT1 might play a role in the chemoresistance of AML. GLUT1 might be a potential target to reverse such drug resistance.

Li S, Yang X, Wang P, Ran X
The effects of GLUT1 on the survival of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2013; 32(3):624-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Cancer cells require increased nutrient uptake to support a high rate of proliferation, and the overexpression of glucose transporters, in particular GLUT1, is a common characteristic of human malignancies. Here, we investigated the relationship between the expression of GLUT1 and cell viability, colony forming ability and apoptosis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in vitro and in a xenograft mouse model in vivo.
METHODS: Lentiviral mediated overexpression and knock-down of GLUT1 was performed in two oral cancer cell lines (CAL27 and SCC25). QRT-PCR and Western blot analysis were used to detect the mRNA and protein expression of GLUT1 and nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB) p65 subunit. Cell viability and apoptosis were assessed by MTT and flow cytometry analyses, respectively. Colony formation assays were performed by staining with 0.5% crystal violet. The role of GLUT1 in HNSCC was examined in vivo through the generation of a CAL27 (or CAL27 with different transfections) nude mice xenograft model of HNSCC.
RESULTS: GLUT1 overexpression promoted cell viability and colony formation whereas GLUT1 silencing had the opposite effect. GLUT1 knock-down significantly increased the number of Annexin V positive cells in both cell lines and GLUT1 overexpression had the opposite effect, indicating that GLUT1 modulates apoptosis. Xenograft mouse models of GLUT1 knockdown and overexpression showed that GLUT1 expression was associated with poor survival and increased tumor growth. GLUT1 overexpression significantly upregulated the expression of NFκB-p65, and this effect was reversed by inhibition of GLUT1 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: GLUT1 expression plays an important role in the survival of HNSCC, and its effects may be associated with the activation of the NFκB pathway.

Wang YD, Li SJ, Liao JX
Inhibition of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) chemosensitized head and neck cancer cells to cisplatin.
Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 12(6):525-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) facilitates the cellular uptake of glucose and is overexpressed in most cancers. The altered expression of GLUT1 may influence the sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapy. This study investigated whether the knockdown of GLUT1 expression to sensitize head and neck cancer cells to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin in vitro. Anti-GLUT1 antibody was used to block activity of GLUT1 protein, and GLUT1-shRNA was used to knock down its mRNA expression in Cal27 cells. Immunocytochemistry, Western blot, and qRT-PCR were used to detect expression of GLUT1 mRNA and protein, respectively. Lentivirus was used to carrying GLUT1-shRNA to knockdown GLUT1 expression in Cal27 cells for MTT and flow cytometry analyses of cell viability and apoptosis, respectively. Glucose uptake assay was used to assess the changes in glucose levels in Cal27 cells. It showed that GLUT1 mRNA and protein were expressed in Cal27 cells, and GLUT1 protein was localized on the cell membrane. Both anti-GLUT1 antibody and GLUT1-shRNA sensitized Cal27 cells to cisplatin treatment under both normoxia and hypoxia conditions. Anti- GLUT1 antibody and GLUT1-shRNA inhibited tumor cell growth in vitro and induced them to undergo apoptosis. GLUT1-shRNA also suppressed tumor cell uptake of glucose into the cells. Our findings suggest that inhibition of GLUT1 activity and expression can sensitize Cal27 cells to cisplatin treatment in both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. These data could be further verified in animal xenografts before potential application as a clinical adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy of head and neck cancer with cisplatin.

Shimanishi M, Ogi K, Sogabe Y, et al.
Silencing of GLUT-1 inhibits sensitization of oral cancer cells to cisplatin during hypoxia.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2013; 42(5):382-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: During tumor development, cells are exposed to a hypoxic microenvironment. Tumor hypoxia also has a profound influence on the sensitivity of cancer chemotherapy. The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanism of cisplatin (CDDP) resistance of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells under hypoxia by analyzing gene expression profiles to identify key genes and factors involved.
METHODS: Cell viability was measured following culture of the cells in the presence or absence of CDDP, under normoxic or hypoxic conditions, using a CCK-8 assay. Analysis of the expression of HIF target genes in hypoxia-treated cells was performed using an HIF-regulated cDNA plate array. Changes in the mRNA expression of selected HIF target genes were analyzed using RT-PCR, and changes in the protein levels of these genes were analyzed by Western blotting. Tumor cell apoptosis was assessed by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The OSCC cell lines responded differently to CDDP under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. The expression of glucose transporter protein-1 (GLUT-1) was up-regulated in human squamous cell carcinoma of mouth (HSC-2) cells under hypoxia. Furthermore, there was little correlation between the cisplatin sensitivity of human squamous cell carcinoma of tongue (SAS) in normoxia and hypoxia. After GLUT-1 knockdown, CDDP treatment resulted in increased rates of apoptosis under hypoxia as compared with normoxia in cell lines HSC-2, Ca9-22, and SAS (P = 0.025).
CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that knockdown of GLUT-1 inhibits sensitization of oral squamous cells to CDDP during hypoxia in HSC-2, Ca9-22, and SAS cells.

Mogi A, Koga K, Aoki M, et al.
Expression and role of GLUT-1, MCT-1, and MCT-4 in malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Virchows Arch. 2013; 462(1):83-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant cells supply their energy needs through increased glucose consumption, producing large quantities of lactic acid via glycolysis. Glucose transporters (GLUTs) and monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) are therefore commonly up-regulated in human malignancies to mediate glucose influx and lactic acid efflux, respectively. However, their roles in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) have not been fully elucidated. Here, we evaluated GLUT-1, MCT-1, and MCT-4 expression in human MPM and reactive mesothelial hyperplasia (RMH) and elucidated their biological role in vitro. GLUT-1, MCT-1, and MCT-4 expression was determined in human MPM (n = 35) and RMH (n = 20) specimens by immunohistochemistry and in frozen tissue, and MPM cell lines, by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. GLUT-1, MCT-1, and MCT-4 functions in MPM were evaluated by transfection with small interfering RNA. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed higher levels of GLUT-1, MCT-1, and MCT-4 in MPM than in RMH. Additionally, GLUT-1, MCT-1, and MCT-4 mRNA levels were higher in MPM than in non-neoplastic mesothelial cell lines. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of GLUT-1 or MCT-1 significantly suppressed tumor cell proliferation, and MCT-1 silencing inhibited invasion and induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that combined application of GLUT-1, MCT-1, and MCT-4 immunohistochemistry might be useful in differentiating MPM from RMH and suggest that MCT-1plays an important biological role.

Luo XM, Zhou SH, Fan J
Glucose transporter-1 as a new therapeutic target in laryngeal carcinoma.
J Int Med Res. 2010; 38(6):1885-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Treatment options for laryngeal carcinoma, one of the most common head and neck malignancies, consist of radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy or a combination thereof. The functional treatment of laryngeal carcinoma poses a considerable challenge because of its resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and its tendency for local recurrence. Finding ways to inhibit the energy supply of malignant tumours is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition. Glucose transporter-1 (Glut-1; encoded by the SLC2A1 gene in humans) is the main transporter of glucose in solid carcinomas and has become a focus of cancer research. Recently, it was shown that the increased expression of SLC2A1 in head and neck carcinomas is correlated with lymph node metastasis, poor survival and clinical stage, and revealed that the suppression of SLC2A1 expression by antisense oligodeoxynucleotides decreased glucose uptake and inhibited the proliferation of Hep-2 cells. Thus, the authors propose the suppression of SLC2A1 expression as a new therapeutic target for laryngeal carcinoma.

Noguchi Y, Saito A, Miyagi Y, et al.
Suppression of facilitative glucose transporter 1 mRNA can suppress tumor growth.
Cancer Lett. 2000; 154(2):175-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
We attempted to suppress glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) expression by transfecting MKN45 cells with cDNA for antisense GLUT1. Glucose transport was significantly decreased in cells with antisense GLUT1 compared with wild-type cells or cells with vector alone. Suppression of GLUT1 mRNA resulted in a decreased number of cells in the S phase. This was accompanied by overexpression of p21 protein. Tumorigenicity in the nude mice injected with antisense GLUT1 expressing cells was significantly slower than in those with wild-type MKN45 cells. These results suggest that antisense GLUT1 mRNA inhibits tumor growth through a G(1) arrest and that expression of antisense GLUT1 mRNA via gene therapy can be used as a tool in the treatment of cancer.

Latest Publications: SLC2A1 (cancer-related)

Iwamoto M, Kawada K, Nakamoto Y, et al.
Regulation of 18F-FDG accumulation in colorectal cancer cells with mutated KRAS.
J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(12):2038-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: KRAS gene mutations occur in approximately 40% of colorectal cancers (CRCs) and are associated with resistance to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibody therapy. We previously demonstrated that (18)F-FDG accumulation in PET was significantly higher in CRCs with mutated KRAS than in those with wild-type KRAS in a clinical setting. Here, we investigated the mechanisms by which mutated KRAS increased (18)F-FDG accumulation.
METHODS: Using paired isogenic human CRC cell lines that differ only in the mutational status of the KRAS gene, we measured (18)F-FDG accumulation in these cells in vitro and in vivo. We also investigated the roles of proteins that have a function in (18)F-FDG accumulation. Finally, we examined the relationship among mutated KRAS, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), and maximum standardized uptake value with 51 clinical CRC samples.
RESULTS: In the in vitro experiments, (18)F-FDG accumulation was significantly higher in KRAS-mutant cells than in wild-type controls under normoxic conditions. The expression levels of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) and hexokinase type 2 (HK2) were higher in KRAS-mutant cells, and (18)F-FDG accumulation was decreased by knockdown of GLUT1. Hypoxic induction of HIF-1α was higher in KRAS-mutant cells than in wild-type controls; in turn, elevated HIF-1α resulted in higher GLUT1 expression and (18)F-FDG accumulation. In addition, HIF-1α knockdown decreased (18)F-FDG accumulation under hypoxic conditions only in the KRAS-mutant cells. Small-animal PET scans showed in vivo (18)F-FDG accumulation to be significantly higher in xenografts with mutated KRAS than in those with wild-type KRAS. The immunohistochemistry of these xenograft tumors showed that staining of GLUT1 was consistent with that of HIF-1α and pimonidazole. In a retrospective analysis of clinical samples, KRAS mutation exhibited a significantly positive correlation with expressions of GLUT1 and HIF-1α and with maximum standardized uptake value.
CONCLUSION: Mutated KRAS caused higher (18)F-FDG accumulation possibly by upregulation of GLUT1; moreover, HIF-1α additively increased (18)F-FDG accumulation in hypoxic lesions. (18)F-FDG PET might be useful for predicting the KRAS status noninvasively.

Reid MD, Choi H, Balci S, et al.
Serous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas: clinicopathologic and molecular characteristics.
Semin Diagn Pathol. 2014; 31(6):475-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
We herein summarize the pathology and most recent advances in the molecular genetics of serous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas. They typically present as relatively large, well-demarcated tumors (mean size, 6cm), predominantly occurring in females. Pre-operative diagnosis remains challenging; imaging findings and cyst fluid analysis often prove non-specific and fine-needle aspiration often does not yield diagnostic cells. Pathologically, they are characterized by a distinctive cytology referred to as "serous." Although they have ductal differentiation, they distinctly lack the mucin production that characterizes most other pancreatic ductal tumors, including ductal adenocarcinoma and its variants, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN). They instead produce abundant glycogen (glycogen-rich adenoma). Serous cystadenomas also lack the molecular alterations that characterize ductal neoplasms, such as mutation of KRAS (high prevalence in most mucinous ductal neoplasms), inactivation of SMAD4 (seen in ductal adenocarcinomas), and mutations in GNAS (seen in some IPMNs) and RNF43 (detected in MCNs and IPMNs). Instead, new molecular and immunohistochemical observations place serous pancreatic tumors closer to "clear cell neoplasms" seen in various other organs that are associated with the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) pathway, such as clear cell renal cell carcinomas and capillary hemangioblastomas. Patients with VHL syndrome have an increased risk of developing serous pancreatic tumors and somatic mutations of the VHL gene are common in these tumors along with modification of its downstream effectors including hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF1), glucose uptake and transporter-1 (GLUT-1), a common factor in clear cell (glycogen-rich) tumors, as well as expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), thought to be a factor in the striking capillarization of serous cystadenomas and other non-pancreatic clear cell tumors. VEGF may prove to be of significant diagnostic value since its elevation in cyst fluid has recently been found highly sensitive and specific for serous neoplasms. These molecular alterations establish serous tumors as prototypes of clear cell tumorigenesis and angiogenesis and may prove helpful both as diagnostic and non-surgical therapeutic targets.

Zhou X, Chen R, Xie W, et al.
Relationship between 18F-FDG accumulation and lactate dehydrogenase A expression in lung adenocarcinomas.
J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(11):1766-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: (18)F-FDG PET has been widely used in the management of malignant tumors. Lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) plays an important role in the development, invasion, and metastasis of malignancies. However, the relationship between (18)F-FDG accumulation and LDHA expression has not been investigated.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis was conducted for 51 patients with lung adenocarcinomas who underwent (18)F-FDG PET. The relationship between maximum standardized uptake value and the expression of LDHA, glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), and hexokinase 2 (HK2) were examined. RNA interference was used to analyze the role of LDHA in tumor metabolism and growth in A549 cells. The AKT, also known as protein kinase B, pathway was also investigated to evaluate the molecular mechanisms of the relationship between LDHA expression and (18)F-FDG uptake.
RESULTS: Maximum standardized uptake value was significantly higher in the LDHA high-expression group than the LDHA low-expression group (P = 0.018). GLUT1 expression in lung adenocarcinomas was positively correlated with (18)F-FDG accumulation and LDHA expression whereas HK2 expression was not. Knockdown of LDHA led to a significant decrease in GLUT1 expression, (18)F-FDG uptake, and cell proliferation. The activated form of AKT was also decreased after LDHA knockdown.
CONCLUSION: LDHA increases (18)F-FDG accumulation into non-small cell lung cancer, possibly by upregulation of GLUT1 expression but not HK2 expression. LDHA may modulate (18)F-FDG uptake in lung adenocarcinomas via the AKT-GLUT1 pathway. These results indicate that (18)F-FDG PET/CT may predict LDHA expression levels and response to anti-LDHA therapy in lung adenocarcinomas.

Alvarez JV, Belka GK, Pan TC, et al.
Oncogene pathway activation in mammary tumors dictates FDG-PET uptake.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(24):7583-98 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Increased glucose utilization is a hallmark of human cancer that is used to image tumors clinically. In this widely used application, glucose uptake by tumors is monitored by positron emission tomography of the labeled glucose analogue 2[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG). Despite its widespread clinical use, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that determine FDG uptake--and that underlie the heterogeneity observed across cancers-remain poorly understood. In this study, we compared FDG uptake in mammary tumors driven by the Akt1, c-MYC, HER2/neu, Wnt1, or H-Ras oncogenes in genetically engineered mice, correlating it to tumor growth, cell proliferation, and expression levels of gene involved in key steps of glycolytic metabolism. We found that FDG uptake by tumors was dictated principally by the driver oncogene and was not independently associated with tumor growth or cellular proliferation. Oncogene downregulation resulted in a rapid decrease in FDG uptake, preceding effects on tumor regression, irrespective of the baseline level of uptake. FDG uptake correlated positively with expression of hexokinase-2 (HK2) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) and associated negatively with PFK-2b expression and p-AMPK. The correlation between HK2 and FDG uptake was independent of all variables tested, including the initiating oncogene, suggesting that HK2 is an independent predictor of FDG uptake. In contrast, expression of Glut1 was correlated with FDG uptake only in tumors driven by Akt or HER2/neu. Together, these results demonstrate that the oncogenic pathway activated within a tumor is a primary determinant of its FDG uptake, mediated by key glycolytic enzymes, and provide a framework to interpret effects on this key parameter in clinical imaging.

Slominski A, Kim TK, Brożyna AA, et al.
The role of melanogenesis in regulation of melanoma behavior: melanogenesis leads to stimulation of HIF-1α expression and HIF-dependent attendant pathways.
Arch Biochem Biophys. 2014; 563:79-93 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
To study the effect of melanogenesis on HIF-1α expression and attendant pathways, we used stable human and hamster melanoma cell lines in which the amelanotic vs. melanotic phenotypes are dependent upon the concentration of melanogenesis precursors in the culture media. The induction of melanin pigmentation led to significant up-regulation of HIF-1α, but not HIF-2α, protein in melanized cells for both lines. Similar upregulation of nuclear HIF-1α was observed in excisions of advanced melanotic vs. amelanotic melanomas. In cultured cells, melanogenesis also significantly stimulated expression of classical HIF-1-dependent target genes involved in angiogenesis and cellular metabolism, including glucose metabolism and stimulation of activity of key enzymes in the glycolytic pathway. Several other stress related genes containing putative HRE consensus sites were also upregulated by melanogenesis, concurrently with modulation of expression of HIF-1-independent genes encoding for steroidogenic enzymes, cytokines and growth factors. Immunohistochemical studies using a large panel of pigmented lesions revealed that higher levels of HIF-1α and GLUT-1 were detected in advanced melanomas in comparison to melanocytic nevi or thin melanomas localized to the skin. However, the effects on overall or disease free survival in melanoma patients were modest or absent for GLUT-1 or for HIF-1α, respectively. In conclusion, induction of the melanogenic pathway leads to robust upregulation of HIF-1-dependent and independent pathways in cultured melanoma cells, suggesting a key role for melanogenesis in regulation of cellular metabolism.

Sweet RL, Zastre JA
HIF1-α-mediated gene expression induced by vitamin B1 deficiency.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2013; 83(3):188-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is well established that thiamine deficiency results in an excess of metabolic intermediates such as lactate and pyruvate, which is likely due to insufficient levels of cofactor for the function of thiamine-dependent enzymes. When in excess, both pyruvate and lactate can increase the stabilization of the hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) transcription factor, resulting in the trans-activation of HIF-1α regulated genes independent of low oxygen, termed pseudo-hypoxia. Therefore, the resulting dysfunction in cellular metabolism and accumulation of pyruvate and lactate during thiamine deficiency may facilitate a pseudo-hypoxic state. In order to investigate the possibility of a transcriptional relationship between hypoxia and thiamine deficiency, we measured alterations in metabolic intermediates, HIF-1α stabilization, and gene expression. We found an increase in intracellular pyruvate and extracellular lactate levels after thiamine deficiency exposure to the neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-BE. Similar to cells exposed to hypoxia, there was a corresponding increase in HIF-1α stabilization and activation of target gene expression during thiamine deficiency, including glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and aldolase A. Both hypoxia and thiamine deficiency exposure resulted in an increase in the expression of the thiamine transporter SLC19A3. These results indicate thiamine deficiency induces HIF-1α-mediated gene expression similar to that observed in hypoxic stress, and may provide evidence for a central transcriptional response associated with the clinical manifestations of thiamine deficiency.

Sun Y, Gu X, Zhang E, et al.
Estradiol promotes pentose phosphate pathway addiction and cell survival via reactivation of Akt in mTORC1 hyperactive cells.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1231 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a female-predominant interstitial lung disease that can lead to respiratory failure. LAM cells typically have inactivating TSC2 mutations, leading to mTORC1 activation. The gender specificity of LAM suggests that estradiol contributes to disease development, yet the underlying pathogenic mechanisms are not completely understood. Using metabolomic profiling, we identified an estradiol-enhanced pentose phosphate pathway signature in Tsc2-deficient cells. Estradiol increased levels of cellular NADPH, decreased levels of reactive oxygen species, and enhanced cell survival under oxidative stress. Mechanistically, estradiol reactivated Akt in TSC2-deficient cells in vitro and in vivo, induced membrane translocation of glucose transporters (GLUT1 or GLUT4), and increased glucose uptake in an Akt-dependent manner. (18)F-FDG-PET imaging demonstrated enhanced glucose uptake in xenograft tumors of Tsc2-deficient cells from estradiol-treated mice. Expression array study identified estradiol-enhanced transcript levels of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), the rate-limiting enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway. Consistent with this, G6PD was abundant in xenograft tumors and lung metastatic lesions of Tsc2-deficient cells from estradiol-treated mice. Molecular depletion of G6PD attenuated estradiol-enhanced survival in vitro, and treatment with 6-aminonicotinamide, a competitive inhibitor of G6PD, reduced lung colonization of Tsc2-deficient cells. Collectively, these data indicate that estradiol promotes glucose metabolism in mTORC1 hyperactive cells through the pentose phosphate pathway via Akt reactivation and G6PD upregulation, thereby enhancing cell survival under oxidative stress. Interestingly, a strong correlation between estrogen exposure and G6PD was also found in breast cancer cells. Targeting the pentose phosphate pathway may have therapeutic benefit for LAM and possibly other hormonally dependent neoplasms.

Huang XQ, Chen X, Xie XX, et al.
Co-expression of CD147 and GLUT-1 indicates radiation resistance and poor prognosis in cervical squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(4):1651-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of CD147 and GLUT-1, which play important roles in glycolysis in response to radiotherapy and clinical outcomes in patients with locally advanced cervical squamous cell carcinoma (LACSCC). The records of 132 female patients who received primary radiation therapy to treat LACSCC at FIGO stages IB-IVA were retrospectively reviewed. Forty-seven patients with PFS (progression-free survival) of less than 36 months were regarded as radiation-resistant. Eighty-five patients with PFS longer than 36 months were regarded as radiation-sensitive. Using pretreatment paraffin-embedded tissues, we evaluated CD147 and GLUT-1 expression by immunohistochemistry. Overexpression of CD147, GLUT-1, and CD147 and GLUT-1 combined were 44.7%, 52.9% and 36.5%, respectively, in the radiation-sensitive group, and 91.5%, 89.4% and 83.0%, respectively, in the radiation-resistant group. The 5-year progress free survival (PFS) rates in the CD147-low, CD147-high, GLUT-1-low, GLUT-1-high, CD147- and/or GLUT-1-low and CD147- and GLUT-1- dual high expression groups were 66.79%, 87.10%, 52.78%, 85.82%, 55.94%, 82.90% and 50.82%, respectively. CD147 and GLUT-1 co-expression, FIGO stage and tumor diameter were independent poor prognostic factors for patients with LACSCC in multivariate Cox regression analysis. Patients with high expression of CD147 alone, GLUT-1 alone or co-expression of CD147 and GLUT-1 showed greater resistance to radiotherapy and a shorter PFS than those with low expression. In particular, co-expression of CD147 and GLUT-1 can be considered as a negative independent prognostic factor.

Xia T, Cheng H, Zhu Y
Knockdown of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha reduces proliferation, induces apoptosis and attenuates the aggressive phenotype of retinoblastoma WERI-Rb-1 cells under hypoxic conditions.
Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2014; 44(2):134-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) plays a critical role in tumor cell adaption to hypoxia by inducing the transcription of numerous genes. The role of HIF-1α in malignant retinoblastoma remains unclear. We analyzed the role of HIF-1α in WERI-Rb-1 retinoblastoma cells under hypoxic conditions.
METHODS: CoCl2 (125 mmol/L) was added to the culture media to mimic hypoxia. HIF-1α was silenced using siRNA. Gene and protein expression were measured by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. Cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. Cell proliferation, adhesion and invasion were assayed using MTT, Transwell invasion, and cell adhesion assays respectively.
RESULT: Hypoxia significantly upregulated HIF-1α protein expression and the HIF-1α target genes VEGF, GLUT1, and Survivin mRNA. HIF-1α mRNA expression was not affected by hypoxia. Transfection of the siRNA expression plasmid pRNAT-CMV3.2/Neo-HIF-1α silenced HIF-1α by approximately 80% in hypoxic WERI-Rb-1 cells. The knockdown of HIF-1α under hypoxic conditions downregulated VEGF, GLUT1, and Survivin mRNA. It also inhibited proliferation, promoted apoptosis, induced the G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest, and reduced the adhesion and invasion of WERI-Rb-1 cells.
CONCLUSION: HIF-1α plays a major role in the survival and aggressive phenotype of retinoblastoma cells under hypoxic conditions. Targeting HIF-1α may be a promising therapeutic strategy for human malignant retinoblastoma.

Krikelis D, Skoura E, Kotoula V, et al.
Lack of association between KRAS mutations and 18F-FDG PET/CT in Caucasian metastatic colorectal cancer patients.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(5):2571-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although Kirsten rat sarcoma (KRAS) gene mutational testing is essential for the optimal design of therapeutic strategies for colorectal cancer, it is not always feasible or reliable. In this retrospective study, we examined whether (18)F-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography ((18)F-FDG PET/CT) scans can serve as a surrogate examination for KRAS mutational testing.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: KRAS codon 12 and 13 mutational status was tested in 44 colorectal primary tumors and was compared with the (18)F-FDG PET/CT maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) values of the respective metastatic lesions. Glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1) mRNA levels were also measured in colorectal primary tumors.
RESULTS: No statistically significant correlation between (18)F-FDG PET/CT SUVmax values and KRAS mutation status was found (parametric t-test: p=0.4753; non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test: p=0.51). This result cannot be attributed to the effect of differing GLUT1 mRNA levels, as shown by multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSION: Our study failed to promote (18)F-FDG PET/CT uptake as a surrogate examination for KRAS mutation testing.

Song YD, Zhang KF, Liu D, et al.
Inhibition of EGFR-induced glucose metabolism sensitizes chondrosarcoma cells to cisplatin.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(7):7017-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chondrosarcomas are malignant cartilage-forming tumors which are resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. By searching in Oncomine which is a cancer microarray database and web-based data mining platform, we found Glut1 and LDHA were upregulated in human chondrosarcoma patient samples. In this study, we reported total epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and phosphorylated EGFR were highly activated in human chondrosarcoma cell lines. In addition, overexpression of EGFR contributed to cisplatin resistance. EGFR promoted glucose metabolism of chondrosarcoma cells through the upregulation of glycolysis key enzymes. Interestingly, cisplatin-resistant chondrosarcoma cells showed upregulated glucose metabolism and EGFR signaling pathway. Finally, we demonstrated that the combination of either EGFR inhibitor or anaerobic glycolysis inhibitor with cisplatin showed synergistically inhibitory effects on cisplatin-resistant chondrosarcoma cells through the inducements of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Our project proposed a novel function of EGFR in the regulation of glucose metabolism in chondrosarcoma cells and contributed to the development of therapeutic strategies for the clinical treatment of chondrosarcoma patient.

Kim YS, Lee HA, Lim JY, et al.
β-Carotene inhibits neuroblastoma cell invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo by decreasing level of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α.
J Nutr Biochem. 2014; 25(6):655-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is the most prevalent extracranial solid tumor in childhood and has poor clinical outcome due to its high potential for metastasis. Consequently, an understanding of the mechanisms that modulate cancer cell invasion, migration and metastasis is important for the development of more effective chemotherapeutic agents. While β-carotene is a vitamin A precursor that has been shown to exert antioxidant and anticancer effects, the anti-metastatic effects of β-carotene on neuroblastoma cells remain poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the anti-metastatic effects of β-carotene on highly malignant SK-N-BE(2)C neuroblastoma cells in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of SK-N-BE(2)C cells with β-carotene was found to attenuate the migratory and invasive capabilities of the cells. In addition, the enzymatic activity and expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 was suppressed following β-carotene treatment under both normoxia and hypoxia. To induce metastasis, immunodeficient nude mice were injected with SK-N-BE(2)C cells via the tail vein in vivo. The incidence of liver metastasis and mean tumor volume in mice that were administered β-carotene was decreased compared to controls. Furthermore, mRNA levels of MMPs, membrane-type (MT) 2 MMP and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in liver tumor tissues were also lower following β-carotene treatment. Level of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and its downstream targets, vascular endothelial growth factor and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), were lower both in vitro and in vivo following β-carotene treatment. In conclusion, the present study provides the first evidence that β-carotene may represent an effective chemotherapeutic agent by regulating the invasion and metastasis of neuroblastoma via HIF-1α.

Sadlecki P, Bodnar M, Grabiec M, et al.
The role of Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 α , glucose transporter-1, (GLUT-1) and carbon anhydrase IX in endometrial cancer patients.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:616850 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), glucose transporter-1 (GLUT-1), and carbon anhydrase IX (CAIX) are important molecules that allow adaptation to hypoxic environments. The aim of our study was to investigate the correlation between HIF-1α, GLUT-1, and CAIX protein level with the clinicopathological features of endometrial cancer patients. Materials and Methods. 92 endometrial cancer patients, aged 37-84, were enrolled to our study. In all patients clinical stage, histologic grade, myometrial invasion, lymph node, and distant metastases were determined. Moreover, the survival time was assessed. Immunohistochemical analyses were performed on archive formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue sections. Results. High significant differences (P = 0.0115) were reported between HIF-1α expression and the histologic subtype of cancer. Higher HIF-1α expression was associated with the higher risk of recurrence (P = 0.0434). The results of GLUT-1 and CAIX expression did not reveal any significant differences between the proteins expression in the primary tumor and the clinicopathological features. Conclusion. The important role of HIF-1α in the group of patients with the high risk of recurrence and the negative histologic subtype of the tumor suggest that the expression of this factor might be useful in the panel of accessory pathomorphological tests and could be helpful in establishing more accurate prognosis in endometrial cancer patients.

Ou JM, Yu ZY, Qiu MK, et al.
Knockdown of VEGFR2 inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in hemangioma-derived endothelial cells.
Eur J Histochem. 2014; 58(1):2263 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Angiogenesis is a process of development and growth of new capillary blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Angiogenic growth factors play important roles in the development and maintenance of some malignancies, of which vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)/VEGFR2 interactions are involved in proliferation, migration, and survival of many cancer cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the function of VEGFR2 in human hemangiomas (HAs). Using immunohistochemistry assay, we examined the expression levels of VEGF, VEGFR2, Ki-67, glucose transporter-1 (Glut-1), phosphorylated protein kinase B (p-AKT) and p-ERK in different phases of human HAs. Positive expression of VEGF, VEGFR2, Ki-67, Glut-1, p-AKT and p-ERK was significantly increased in proliferating phase HAs, while decreased in involuting phase HAs (P=0.001; P=0.003). In contrast, cell apoptotic indexes were decreased in proliferating phase HAs, but increased in involuting phase HAs (P<0.01). Furthermore, we used small hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated VEGFR2 knockdown in primary HA-derived endothelial cells (HemECs) to understand  the  role  of  VEGF/VEGFR2 signaling. Knockdown of VEGFR2 by Lv-shVEGFR2 inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in primary HemECs companied with decreased expression of p-AKT, p-ERK, p-p38MAPK and Ki-67 and increased expression of caspase-3 (CAS-3). Overexpression of VEGFR2 promoted cell viability and blocked apoptosis in Lv-VEGFR2-transfected HemECs. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that, increased expression of VEGFR2 is involved in the development of primary HemECs possibly through regulation of the AKT and ERK pathways, suggesting that VEGFR2 may be a potential therapeutic target for HAs. 

Lopez-Serra P, Marcilla M, Villanueva A, et al.
A DERL3-associated defect in the degradation of SLC2A1 mediates the Warburg effect.
Nat Commun. 2014; 5:3608 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Cancer cells possess aberrant proteomes that can arise by the disruption of genes involved in physiological protein degradation. Here we demonstrate the presence of promoter CpG island hypermethylation-linked inactivation of DERL3 (Derlin-3), a key gene in the endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation pathway, in human tumours. The restoration of in vitro and in vivo DERL3 activity highlights the tumour suppressor features of the gene. Using the stable isotopic labelling of amino acids in cell culture workflow for differential proteome analysis, we identify SLC2A1 (glucose transporter 1, GLUT1) as a downstream target of DERL3. Most importantly, SLC2A1 overexpression mediated by DERL3 epigenetic loss contributes to the Warburg effect in the studied cells and pinpoints a subset of human tumours with greater vulnerability to drugs targeting glycolysis.

Cui Y, Nadiminty N, Liu C, et al.
Upregulation of glucose metabolism by NF-κB2/p52 mediates enzalutamide resistance in castration-resistant prostate cancer cells.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014; 21(3):435-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Cancer cells reprogram their metabolic pathways to facilitate fast proliferation. Previous studies have shown that overexpression of NF-κB2/p52 (p52) in prostate cancer cells promotes cell growth and leads to castration resistance through aberrant activation of androgen receptor (AR). In addition, these cells become resistant to enzalutamide. In this study, we investigated the effects of p52 activation on glucose metabolism and on response to enzalutamide therapy. Data analysis of gene expression arrays showed that genes including GLUT1 (SLC2A1), PKM2, G6PD, and ME1 involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism were altered in LNCaP cells overexpressing p52 compared with the parental LNCaP cells. We demonstrated an increased amount of glucose flux in the glycolysis pathway, as well as the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) upon p52 activation. The p52-overexpressing cells increase glucose uptake and are capable of higher ATP and lactate production compared with the parental LNCaP cells. The growth of p52-overexpressing cells depends on glucose in the culture media and is sensitive to glucose deprivation compared with the parental LNCaP cells. Targeting glucose metabolism by the glucose analog 2-deoxy-d-glucose synergistically inhibits cell growth when combined with enzalutamide, and resensitizes p52-overexpressing cells to enzalutamide treatment. These results suggest that p52 modulates glucose metabolism, enhances glucose flux to glycolysis and PPPs, thus facilitating fast proliferation of the cells. Co-targeting glucose metabolism together with AR axis synergistically inhibits cell growth and restores enzalutamide-resistant cells to enzalutamide treatment.

Song K, Li M, Xu XJ, et al.
HIF-1α and GLUT1 gene expression is associated with chemoresistance of acute myeloid leukemia.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(4):1823-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Much evidence suggests that increased glucose metabolism in tumor cells might contribute to the development of acquired chemoresistance. However, the molecular mechanisms are not fully clear. Therefore, we investigated a possible correlation of mRNA expression of HIF-1α and GLUT1 with chemoresistance in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
METHODS: Bone marrow samples were obtained from newly diagnosed and relapsed AML (M3 exclusion) cases. RNA interference with short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was used to stably silence GLUT1 or HIF-1α gene expression in an AML cell line and HIF-1α and GLUT1 mRNA expression was measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay (qPCR).
RESULTS: High levels of HIF-1α and GLUT1 were associated with poor responsiveness to chemotherapy in AML. Down-regulation of the expression of GLUT1 by RNA interference obviously sensitized drug-resistant HL-60/ADR cells to adriamycin (ADR) in vitro, comparable with RNA interference for the HIF-1α gene.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data revealed that over-expression of HIF-1α and GLUT1 might play a role in the chemoresistance of AML. GLUT1 might be a potential target to reverse such drug resistance.

Ma J, Liu W, Guo H, et al.
N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2 expression is associated with glucose transport and correlated with prognosis in breast carcinoma.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(2):R27 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2 (NDRG2), a novel tumour suppressor and cell stress-related gene, is involved in many cell metabolic processes, such as hormone, ion and fluid metabolism. We investigated whether NDRG2 is involved in any glucose-dependent energy metabolism, as well as the nature of its correlation with breast carcinoma.
METHODS: The correlations between NDRG2 expression and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) expression in clinical breast carcinoma tissues were analysed. The effects of NDRG2 on glucose uptake were assessed in breast cancer cells and xenograft tumours. The consequences of NDRG2-induced regulation of GLUT1 at the transcription and translation levels and the interaction between NDRG2 and GLUT1 were examined.
RESULTS: Data derived from clinical breast carcinoma specimens revealed that (1) patients with high NDRG2 expression had better disease-free survival and overall survival than those with low NDRG2 expression and (2) NDRG2 expression was negatively correlated with GLUT1 expression in these breast carcinoma tissues. NDRG2 inhibited glucose uptake by promoting GLUT1 protein degradation without affecting GLUT1 transcription in both breast cancer cells and xenograft tumours. In addition, NDRG2 protein interacted and partly colocalised with GLUT1 protein in cell cytoplasm areas.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study support the notion that NDRG2 plays an important role in tumour glucose metabolism, in which GLUT1 is a likely candidate contributor to glucose uptake suppression and tumour growth. Targeting the actions of NDRG2 in cell glucose-dependent energy delivery may provide an attractive strategy for therapeutic intervention in human breast carcinoma.

Udager AM, Alva A, Chen YB, et al.
Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC): a rapid autopsy report of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(4):567-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Rapid ("warm") autopsies of patients with advanced metastatic cancer provide invaluable insight into the natural history, pathobiology, and morphology of advanced and treatment-resistant tumors. Here, we report a rapid autopsy case of a hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC) patient with advanced metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC)-the first such case described for either a primary renal tumor or HLRCC-related cancer. Mutations in the fumarate hydratase (FH) gene underlie HLRCC, a rare syndrome involving cutaneous and uterine leiomyomata and aggressive kidney tumors. Loss of heterozygosity at the wild-type FH gene locus results in profound cellular metabolic derangement, "pseudohypoxic" upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α)-dependent transcription, and aberrant protein succination; these molecular changes drive oncogenesis of kidney tumors in HLRCC patients. The current index patient had a high-grade RCC with classic morphologic features of HLRCC, including large nuclei with prominent eosinophilic nucleoli and perinucleolar clearing. In addition, this patient's RCC demonstrated extensive sarcomatoid and rhabdoid features-morphologies not previously well described in HLRCC-associated kidney tumors. Here, we report the extent of metastatic dissemination and supplement this unique tumor morphology with mitochondrial enzyme histochemistry and extended immunohistochemical analysis. Tumor cells strongly expressed PAX8, vimentin, CD10, and the HIF target GLUT1 and showed increased nuclear p53 accumulation; the expression of other RCC markers was negative. We also detail microscopic tubular epithelial changes in the grossly uninvolved ipsilateral renal parenchyma and demonstrate sporadic, aberrant upregulation of the HIF targets GLUT1 and CAIX in dysplastic peritumoral tubules.

Ooi AT, Gower AC, Zhang KX, et al.
Molecular profiling of premalignant lesions in lung squamous cell carcinomas identifies mechanisms involved in stepwise carcinogenesis.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014; 7(5):487-95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is thought to arise from premalignant lesions in the airway epithelium; therefore, studying these lesions is critical for understanding lung carcinogenesis. Previous microarray and sequencing studies designed to discover early biomarkers and therapeutic targets for lung SCC had limited success identifying key driver events in lung carcinogenesis, mostly due to the cellular heterogeneity of patient samples examined and the interindividual variability associated with difficult to obtain airway premalignant lesions and appropriate normal control samples within the same patient. We performed RNA sequencing on laser-microdissected representative cell populations along the SCC pathologic continuum of patient-matched normal basal cells, premalignant lesions, and tumor cells. We discovered transcriptomic changes and identified genomic pathways altered with initiation and progression of SCC within individual patients. We used immunofluorescent staining to confirm gene expression changes in premalignant lesions and tumor cells, including increased expression of SLC2A1, CEACAM5, and PTBP3 at the protein level and increased activation of MYC via nuclear translocation. Cytoband enrichment analysis revealed coordinated loss and gain of expression in chromosome 3p and 3q regions, respectively, during carcinogenesis. This is the first gene expression profiling study of airway premalignant lesions with patient-matched SCC tumor samples. Our results provide much needed information about the biology of premalignant lesions and the molecular changes that occur during stepwise carcinogenesis of SCC, and it highlights a novel approach for identifying some of the earliest molecular changes associated with initiation and progression of lung carcinogenesis within individual patients.

Zhao W, Chang C, Cui Y, et al.
Steroid receptor coactivator-3 regulates glucose metabolism in bladder cancer cells through coactivation of hypoxia inducible factor 1α.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(16):11219-29 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/04/2015 Related Publications
Cancer cell proliferation is a metabolically demanding process, requiring high glycolysis, which is known as "Warburg effect," to support anabolic growth. Steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC-3), a steroid receptor coactivator, is overexpressed and/or amplified in multiple cancer types, including non-steroid targeted cancers, such as urinary bladder cancer (UBC). However, whether SRC-3 regulates the metabolic reprogramming for cancer cell growth is unknown. Here, we reported that overexpression of SRC-3 accelerated UBC cell growth, accompanied by the increased expression of genes involved in glycolysis. Knockdown of SRC-3 reduced the UBC cell glycolytic rate under hypoxia, decreased tumor growth in nude mice, with reduction of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and lactate dehydrogenase expression levels. We further revealed that SRC-3 could interact with hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α), which is a key transcription factor required for glycolysis, and coactivate its transcriptional activity. SRC-3 was recruited to the promoters of HIF1α-target genes, such as glut1 and pgk1. The positive correlation of expression levels between SRC-3 and Glut1 proteins was demonstrated in human UBC patient samples. Inhibition of glycolysis through targeting HK2 or LDHA decelerated SRC-3 overexpression-induced cell growth. In summary, overexpression of SRC-3 promoted glycolysis in bladder cancer cells through HIF1α to facilitate tumorigenesis, which may be an intriguing drug target for bladder cancer therapy.

Tanaka M, Kataoka H, Yano S, et al.
Antitumor effects in gastrointestinal stromal tumors using photodynamic therapy with a novel glucose-conjugated chlorin.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(4):767-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are the most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Except for surgical resection, no effective treatment strategies have been established. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) consists of intravenous administration of a photosensitizer, activated by a specific wavelength of light, which produces reactive oxygen species that directly kill tumor cells. We analyzed the efficacy of PDT using a newly developed photosensitizer, 5,10,15,20-tetrakis [4-[β-d-glucopyranosylthio-2,3,5,6-tetrafluorophenyl]-2,3,[methano[N-methyl] iminomethano] chlorin (H(2)TFPC-SGlc), for the GIST treatment. Various photosensitizers were administered in vitro to GIST (GIST-T1) and fibroblast (WI-38) cells, followed by irradiation, after which cell death was compared. We additionally established xenograft mouse models with GIST-T1 tumors and examined the accumulation and antitumor effects of these photosensitizers in vivo. In vitro, the expression of the glucose transporters GLUT1, GLUT3, and GLUT4, the cellular uptake of H(2)TFPC-SGlc, and apoptosis mediated by PDT with H(2)TFPC-SGlc were significantly higher in GIST-T1 than in WI-38 cells. In vivo, H(2)TFPC-SGlc accumulation was higher in xenograft tumors of GIST-T1 cells than in the adjacent normal tissue, and tumor growth was significantly suppressed following PDT. PDT with novel H(2)TFPC-SGlc is potentially useful for clinical applications about the treatment of GIST.

Lu J, Xu L, Zou Y, et al.
IDH1 p.R132 mutations may not be actively involved in the carcinogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Med Sci Monit. 2014; 20:247-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/04/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have identified prevalent isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) codon 132 mutations (p.R132) in gliomas and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The IDH1 mutations lead to a loss of its normal enzymatic activity and acquisition of neomorphic activity in production of alpha-ketoglutarate (alpha-KG) and 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), which finally cause alterations of multiple gene expression of tumorigenesis-associated alpha-KG-dependent enzymes. The aim of this study was to determine whether IDH1 p.R132 mutations are involved in the carcinogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 87 Han Chinese patients with primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were analyzed by direct DNA sequencing for IDH1 p.R132 mutations. The expression levels of multiple alpha-KG-dependent enzymes and associated genes were quantified in HepG2 cells overexpressing IDH1 p.R132 mutants by Western blotting and real-time PCR.
RESULTS: None of 87 Han Chinese patients with HCC harbored any IDH1 p.R132 mutations. The protein levels of HIF-1alpha and histone methylation marker (H3K4me3 and H3K79me2) were determined in HepG2 cells overexpressing IDH1 p.R132 mutants, but we discerned no difference. Measurement of mRNA expression levels of VEGF, GLUT1, and HOXA genes also showed no significant difference between cells overexpressing IDH1 wild-type and p.R132 mutants.
CONCLUSIONS: Our negative results, together with some previous reports of the absence of IDH1 p.R132 mutations in HCC tissues, suggests that IDH1 p.R132 mutations are not actively involved in the development of HCC.

Chen H, Guan Y, Yuan G, et al.
A perylene derivative regulates HIF-1α and Stat3 signaling pathways.
Bioorg Med Chem. 2014; 22(4):1496-505 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is becoming increasingly evident that improving the cure rate of many cancers will require treatment regimens hit more than one validated tumor targets. Developing an anti-cancer agent that targets two oncoproteins simultaneously is a promising strategy for accomplishing this goal. It would be expected to promote drug efficacy, reduce therapy-resistant without introducing additional toxic side effects. HIF-1α is a key regulator of the cellular response to hypoxia and is involved in tumor angiogenesis and cancer cell survival, glucose metabolism, and invasion. Stat3 has several oncogenic functions, including suppression of anti-tumor immune responses and promotion of inflammation. Recently, we have identified the perylene derivative, TEL03, as a dual inhibitor that targets both HIF-1α and Stat3. TEL03 blocks the expression of both HIF-1α and Stat3, regulated oncogenes (e.g., Bcl-2, VEGF, Glut1, and others) in cancer cells, and induces cancer cell apoptosis. The results demonstrated that: (i) TEL03 blocks Stat3 phosphorylation, and inhibits Stat3 transcriptional activity; and (ii) interferes the binding of HIF-1α to p300/CBP inducing its degradation by proteasomes under hypoxic conditions. Our in vivo tests showed that as a dual inhibitor, TEL03 dramatically inhibited tumor growth, and provided the evidence that targeting both HIF-1α and Stat3 simultaneously could be a promising strategy for breast and pancreatic cancer therapies.

Sun Z, Dong J, Zhang S, et al.
Identification of chemoresistance-related cell-surface glycoproteins in leukemia cells and functional validation of candidate glycoproteins.
J Proteome Res. 2014; 13(3):1593-601 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemoresistance remains the most significant obstacle to successful chemotherapy for leukemia, and its exact mechanism is still unknown. In this work, we used the cell-surface capturing method together with quantitative proteomics to investigate differences in the glycoproteomes of adriamycin-sensitive and adriamycin-resistant leukemia cells. Two quantitative methods, isotopic dimethyl labeling and SWATH, were used to quantify glycoproteins, and 35 glycoproteins were quantified by both methods. High correlation was observed between the glycoproteins quantified by the above two methods, and 15 glycoproteins displayed a consistent significant change trend in both sets of quantitative results. These 15 proteins included classical multidrug resistance-related glycoproteins such as ABCB1 as well as a set of novel glycoproteins that have not previously been reported to be associated with chemoresistance in leukemia cells. Further validation with quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting confirmed the proteomic screening results. Subsequent functional experiments based on RNA interference technology showed that CTSD, FKBP10, and SLC2A1 are novel genes that participate in the acquisition and maintenance of the adriamycin-resistant phenotype in leukemia cells.

Wang E, Zhang C, Polavaram N, et al.
The role of factor inhibiting HIF (FIH-1) in inhibiting HIF-1 transcriptional activity in glioblastoma multiforme.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86102 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/04/2015 Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) accounts for about 38% of primary brain tumors in the United States. GBM is characterized by extensive angiogenesis induced by vascular growth factors and cytokines. The transcription of these growth factors and cytokines is regulated by the Hypoxia-Inducible-Factor-1(HIF-1), which is a key regulator mediating the cellular response to hypoxia. It is known that Factor Inhibiting HIF-1, or FIH-1, is also involved in the cellular response to hypoxia and has the capability to physically interact with HIF-1 and block its transcriptional activity under normoxic conditions. Delineation of the regulatory role of FIH-1 will help us to better understand the molecular mechanism responsible for tumor growth and progression and may lead to the design of new therapies targeting cellular pathways in response to hypoxia. Previous studies have shown that the chromosomal region of 10q24 containing the FIH-1 gene is often deleted in GBM, suggesting a role for the FIH-1 in GBM tumorigenesis and progression. In the current study, we found that FIH-1 is able to inhibit HIF-mediated transcription of GLUT1 and VEGF-A, even under hypoxic conditions in human glioblastoma cells. FIH-1 has been found to be more potent in inhibiting HIF function than PTEN. This observation points to the possibility that deletion of 10q23-24 and loss or decreased expression of FIH-1 gene may lead to a constitutive activation of HIF-1 activity, an alteration of HIF-1 targets such as GLUT-1 and VEGF-A, and may contribute to the survival of cancer cells in hypoxia and the development of hypervascularization observed in GBM. Therefore FIH-1 can be potential therapeutic target for the treatment of GBM patients with poor prognosis.

Vaughan RA, Gannon NP, Garcia-Smith R, et al.
β-alanine suppresses malignant breast epithelial cell aggressiveness through alterations in metabolism and cellular acidity in vitro.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:14 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/04/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deregulated energetics is a property of most cancer cells. This phenomenon, known as the Warburg Effect or aerobic glycolysis, is characterized by increased glucose uptake, lactate export and extracellular acidification, even in the presence of oxygen. β-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that has previously been shown to be metabolized into carnosine, which functions as an intracellular buffer. Because of this buffering capacity, we investigated the effects of β-alanine on the metabolic cancerous phenotype.
METHODS: Non-malignant MCF-10a and malignant MCF-7 breast epithelial cells were treated with β-alanine at 100 mM for 24 hours. Aerobic glycolysis was quantified by measuring extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) and oxidative metabolism was quantified by measuring oxygen consumption rate (OCR). mRNA of metabolism-related genes was quantified by qRT-PCR with corresponding protein expression quantified by immunoblotting, or by flow cytometry which was verified by confocal microscopy. Mitochondrial content was quantified using a mitochondria-specific dye and measured by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: Cells treated with β-alanine displayed significantly suppressed basal and peak ECAR (aerobic glycolysis), with simultaneous increase in glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1). Additionally, cells treated with β-alanine exhibited significantly reduced basal and peak OCR (oxidative metabolism), which was accompanied by reduction in mitochondrial content with subsequent suppression of genes which promote mitochondrial biosynthesis. Suppression of glycolytic and oxidative metabolism by β-alanine resulted in the reduction of total metabolic rate, although cell viability was not affected. Because β-alanine treatment reduces extracellular acidity, a constituent of the invasive microenvironment that promotes progression, we investigated the effect of β-alanine on breast cell viability and migration. β-alanine was shown to reduce both cell migration and proliferation without acting in a cytotoxic fashion. Moreover, β-alanine significantly increased malignant cell sensitivity to doxorubicin, suggesting a potential role as a co-therapeutic agent.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results suggest that β-alanine may elicit several anti-tumor effects. Our observations support the need for further investigation into the mechanism(s) of action and specificity of β-alanine as a co-therapeutic agent in the treatment of breast tumors.

Huang MY, Wu CH, Huang CM, et al.
DPYD, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2 genetic expressions as response markers in locally advanced rectal cancer patients treated with fluoropyrimidine-based chemoradiotherapy.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:931028 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/04/2015 Related Publications
This study is to investigate multiple chemotherapeutic agent- and radiation-related genetic biomarkers in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) patients following fluoropyrimidine-based concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) for response prediction. We initially selected 6 fluoropyrimidine metabolism-related genes (DPYD, ORPT, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2) and 3 radiotherapy response-related genes (GLUT1, HIF-1α, and HIF-2α) as targets for gene expression identification in 60 LARC cancer specimens. Subsequently, a high-sensitivity weighted enzymatic chip array was designed and constructed to predict responses following CCRT. After CCRT, 39 of 60 (65%) LARC patients were classified as responders (pathological tumor regression grade 2 ~ 4). Using a panel of multiple genetic biomarkers (chip), including DPYD, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2, at a cutoff value for 3 positive genes, a sensitivity of 89.7% and a specificity of 81% were obtained (AUC: 0.915; 95% CI: 0.840-0.991). Negative chip results were significantly correlated to poor CCRT responses (TRG 0-1) (P = 0.014, hazard ratio: 22.704, 95% CI: 3.055-235.448 in multivariate analysis). Disease-free survival analysis showed significantly better survival rate in patients with positive chip results (P = 0.0001). We suggest that a chip including DPYD, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2 genes is a potential tool to predict response in LARC following fluoropyrimidine-based CCRT.

Natrajan R, Wilkerson PM, Marchiò C, et al.
Characterization of the genomic features and expressed fusion genes in micropapillary carcinomas of the breast.
J Pathol. 2014; 232(5):553-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/04/2015 Related Publications
Micropapillary carcinoma (MPC) is a rare histological special type of breast cancer, characterized by an aggressive clinical behaviour and a pattern of copy number aberrations (CNAs) distinct from that of grade- and oestrogen receptor (ER)-matched invasive carcinomas of no special type (IC-NSTs). The aims of this study were to determine whether MPCs are underpinned by a recurrent fusion gene(s) or mutations in 273 genes recurrently mutated in breast cancer. Sixteen MPCs were subjected to microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) analysis and Sequenom OncoCarta mutation analysis. Eight and five MPCs were subjected to targeted capture and RNA sequencing, respectively. aCGH analysis confirmed our previous observations about the repertoire of CNAs of MPCs. Sequencing analysis revealed a spectrum of mutations similar to those of luminal B IC-NSTs, and recurrent mutations affecting mitogen-activated protein kinase family genes and NBPF10. RNA-sequencing analysis identified 17 high-confidence fusion genes, eight of which were validated and two of which were in-frame. No recurrent fusions were identified in an independent series of MPCs and IC-NSTs. Forced expression of in-frame fusion genes (SLC2A1-FAF1 and BCAS4-AURKA) resulted in increased viability of breast cancer cells. In addition, genomic disruption of CDK12 caused by out-of-frame rearrangements was found in one MPC and in 13% of HER2-positive breast cancers, identified through a re-analysis of publicly available massively parallel sequencing data. In vitro analyses revealed that CDK12 gene disruption results in sensitivity to PARP inhibition, and forced expression of wild-type CDK12 in a CDK12-null cell line model resulted in relative resistance to PARP inhibition. Our findings demonstrate that MPCs are neither defined by highly recurrent mutations in the 273 genes tested, nor underpinned by a recurrent fusion gene. Although seemingly private genetic events, some of the fusion transcripts found in MPCs may play a role in maintenance of a malignant phenotype and potentially offer therapeutic opportunities.

Munk Jensen M, Erichsen KD, Björkling F, et al.
Imaging of treatment response to the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel in human ovarian cancer xenograft tumors in mice using FDG and FLT PET.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e85126 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/04/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: A combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel is often used as first line chemotherapy for treatment of ovarian cancer. Therefore the use of imaging biomarkers early after initiation of treatment to determine treatment sensitivity would be valuable in order to identify responders from non-responders. In this study we describe the non-invasive PET imaging of glucose uptake and cell proliferation using 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) and 3'-deoxy-3'-[(18)F]fluorothymidine (FLT) for early assessment of treatment response in a pre-clinical mouse model of human ovarian cancer treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel.
METHODS: In vivo uptake of FLT and FDG in human ovarian cancer xenografts in mice (A2780) was determined before treatment with carboplatin and paclitaxel (CaP) and repeated day 1, 4 and 8 after treatment start. Tracer uptake was quantified using small animal PET/CT. Tracer uptake was compared with gene expression of Ki67, TK1, GLUT1, HK1 and HK2.
RESULTS: Tumors in the CaP group was significantly smaller than in the control group (p=0.03) on day 8. On day 4 FDG SUVmax ratio was significantly lower in the CaP group compared to the control group (105 ± 4% vs 138 ± 9%; p=0.002) and on day 8 the FDG SUVmax ratio was lower in the CaP compared to the control group (125 ± 13% vs 167 ± 13%; p=0.05). On day 1 the uptake of FLT SUVmax ratio was 89 ± 9% in the CaP group and 109 ± 6% in the control group; however the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.08).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that both FDG and FLT PET may be used for the assessment of anti-tumor effects of a combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel in the treatment of ovarian cancer. FLT provides an early and transient signal and FDG a later and more prolonged response. This underscores the importance of optimal timing between treatment and FLT or FDG imaging since treatment response may otherwise be overlooked.

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