WNK1 kinase and its partners Akt, SGK1 and NBC-family Na+/HCO3– cotransporters are potential therapeutic targets for glioblastoma stem-like cells linked to Bisacodyl signaling
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Wanyin Chen1, Leonel Nguekeu Zebaze1, Jihu Dong1, Laëtitia Chézeau1, Perrine Inquimbert2, Sylvain Hugel2, Songlin Niu1, Fréderic Bihel1, Emmanuel Boutant3, Eléonore Réal3, Pascal Villa4, Marie-Pierre Junier5, Hervé Chneiweiss5, Marcel Hibert1, Jacques Haiech1, Marie-Claude Kilhoffer1 and Maria Zeniou1
1Laboratoire d’Innovation Thérapeutique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Université de Strasbourg, UMR7200, Laboratoire d’Excellence Medalis, Faculté de Pharmacie, Illkirch 67401, France
2Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, UPR3212, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 67084 Strasbourg, France; Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg 67084, France
3Laboratoire de Bioimagerie et Pathologies - LBP, UMR7021, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Pharmacie, Illkirch 67401, France
4Plateforme de Chimie Biologie Intégrative (PCBIS), Université de Strasbourg/CNRS UMS 3286, Laboratoire d’Excellence Medalis, ESBS Pôle API-Bld Sébastien Brant, Illkirch 67401, France
5Neuroscience Paris Seine-IBPS, CNRS UMR 8246/Inserm U1130/UPMC UMCR18, Paris 75005, France
Maria Zeniou, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: Bisacodyl/DDPM; glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells; WNK1; Akt/SGK1; NBC Na+/HCO3− cotransporters
Received: December 06, 2017 Accepted: May 10, 2018 Published: June 05, 2018
Glioblastoma is a highly heterogeneous brain tumor. The presence of cancer cells with stem-like and tumor initiation/propagation properties contributes to poor prognosis. Glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells (GSC) reside in hypoxic and acidic niches favoring cell quiescence and drug resistance. A high throughput screening recently identified the laxative Bisacodyl as a cytotoxic compound targeting quiescent GSC placed in acidic microenvironments. Bisacodyl activity requires its hydrolysis into DDPM, its pharmacologically active derivative. Bisacodyl was further shown to induce tumor shrinking and increase survival in in vivo glioblastoma models. Here we explored the cellular mechanism underlying Bisacodyl cytotoxic effects using quiescent GSC in an acidic microenvironment and GSC-derived 3D macro-spheres. These spheres mimic many aspects of glioblastoma tumors in vivo, including hypoxic/acidic areas containing quiescent cells. Phosphokinase protein arrays combined with pharmacological and genetic modulation of signaling pathways point to the WNK1 serine/threonine protein kinase as a mediator of Bisacodyl cytotoxic effect in both cell models. WNK1 partners including the Akt and SGK1 protein kinases and NBC-family Na+/HCO3− cotransporters were shown to participate in the compound’s effect on GSC. Overall, our findings uncover novel potential therapeutic targets for combatting glioblastoma which is presently an incurable disease.
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