Research Papers:

Knockdown of PKM2 and GLS1 expression can significantly reverse oxaliplatin-resistance in colorectal cancer cells

Wei-Qun Lu, Ying-Ying Hu, Xiao-Ping Lin and Wei Fan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:44171-44185. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17396

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Wei-Qun Lu1, Ying-Ying Hu1, Xiao-Ping Lin1 and Wei Fan1

1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Wei Fan, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Keywords: colorectal cancer, pyruvate kinase M2 type (PKM2), kidney-type glutaminase (GLS1), knockdown, expression

Received: February 07, 2017    Accepted: April 11, 2017    Published: April 24, 2017


Clinical treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC) thus far encounters a huge challenge due to oxaliplatin-resistance. As crucial rate-limiting enzymes in aerobic glycolysis and glutaminolysis, pyruvate kinase M2 type (PKM2) and kidney-type glutaminase (GLS1) are proposed to carry important implications in colorectal carcinogenesis and drug-resistance. This study aimed to explore the possible association of oxaliplatin-resistance with aerobic glycolysis/glutaminolysis indexed by PKM2/GLS1 expression. PKM2 and GLS1 expression was quantified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blot techniques in CRC cell lines. The abilities of cell formation, kinetics, migration, invasion, survival and apoptosis, as well as permeability glycoprotein (Pgp) expression were inspected before and after knocking-down PKM2/GLS1 expression. In addition, the influence of knocking-down PKM2/GLS1 expression was evaluated in vivo. Differentiated PKM2 and GLS1 expression in both THC8307 and THC8307/Oxa cell lines was identified. In the THC8307 cell line, PKM2 and GLS1 can accelerate malignant behaviors, increase oxaliplatin-resistance, upregulate Pgp expression, and inhibit cell apoptosis. Contrastingly in the THC8307/Oxa cell line, knockdown of PKM2/GLS1 expression can restrain malignant behaviors, reestablish oxaliplatin-sensitivity, downregulate Pgp expression, and induce cell apoptosis. In xenograft, knockdown of PKM2/GLS1 expression can significantly inhibit tumor growth, reduce Pgp expression, and increase tumor apoptosis. Taken together, the present findings enriched our knowledge by demonstrating a significant association of PKM2 and GLS1 with oxaliplatin-resistance in CRC. We further propose that knockdown of PKM2/GLS1 expression may constitute a novel therapeutic strategy toward effective treatment for CRC.

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