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Authors: Sousa, Nadia
Geiß, Carsten
Bindila, Laura
Lieberwirth, Ingo
Kim, Ella
Régnier-Vigouroux, Anne
Title: Targeting sphingolipid metabolism with the sphingosine kinase inhibitor SKI-II overcomes hypoxia-induced chemotherapy resistance in glioblastoma cells: effects on cell death, self-renewal, and invasion
Online publication date: 24-Nov-2023
Year of first publication: 2023
Language: english
Abstract: Background: Glioblastoma patients commonly develop resistance to temozolomide chemotherapy. Hypoxia, which supports chemotherapy resistance, favors the expansion of glioblastoma stem cells (GSC), contributing to tumor relapse. Because of a deregulated sphingolipid metabolism, glioblastoma tissues contain high levels of the pro-survival sphingosine-1-phosphate and low levels of the pro-apoptotic ceramide. The latter can be metabolized to sphingosine-1-phosphate by sphingosine kinase (SK) 1 that is overexpressed in glioblastoma. The small molecule SKI-II inhibits SK and dihydroceramide desaturase 1, which converts dihydroceramide to ceramide. We previously reported that SKI-II combined with temozolomide induces caspase-dependent cell death, preceded by dihydrosphingolipids accumulation and autophagy in normoxia. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a low-dose combination of temozolomide and SKI-II under normoxia and hypoxia in glioblastoma cells and patient-derived GCSs. Methods: Drug synergism was analyzed with the Chou-Talalay Combination Index method. Dose–effect curves of each drug were determined with the Sulforhodamine B colorimetric assay. Cell death mechanisms and autophagy were analyzed by immunofluorescence, flow cytometry and western blot; sphingolipid metabolism alterations by mass spectrometry and gene expression analysis. GSCs self-renewal capacity was determined using extreme limiting dilution assays and invasion of glioblastoma cells using a 3D spheroid model. Results: Temozolomide resistance of glioblastoma cells was increased under hypoxia. However, combination of temozolomide (48 µM) with SKI-II (2.66 µM) synergistically inhibited glioblastoma cell growth and potentiated glioblastoma cell death relative to single treatments under hypoxia. This low-dose combination did not induce dihydrosphingolipids accumulation, but a decrease in ceramide and its metabolites. It induced oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress and triggered caspase-independent cell death. It impaired the self-renewal capacity of temozolomide-resistant GSCs, especially under hypoxia. Furthermore, it decreased invasion of glioblastoma cell spheroids. Conclusions: This in vitro study provides novel insights on the links between sphingolipid metabolism and invasion, a hallmark of cancer, and cancer stem cells, key drivers of cancer. It demonstrates the therapeutic potential of approaches that combine modulation of sphingolipid metabolism with first-line agent temozolomide in overcoming tumor growth and relapse by reducing hypoxia-induced resistance to chemotherapy and by targeting both differentiated and stem glioblastoma cells.
DDC: 570 Biowissenschaften
570 Life sciences
610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 10 Biologie
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: BMC Cancer
Pages or article number: 762
Publisher: Springer
Publisher place: Berlin ; Heidelberg
Issue date: 2023
ISSN: 1471-2407
Publisher DOI: 10.1186/s12885-023-11271-w
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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