Research Papers:

Antitumor effect of combined NAMPT and CD73 inhibition in an ovarian cancer model

Giovanna Sociali, Lizzia Raffaghello, Mirko Magnone, Federica Zamporlini, Laura Emionite, Laura Sturla, Giovanna Bianchi, Tiziana Vigliarolo, Aimable Nahimana, Alessio Nencioni, Nadia Raffaelli and Santina Bruzzone _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:2968-2984. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6502

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Giovanna Sociali1,*, Lizzia Raffaghello2,*, Mirko Magnone1, Federica Zamporlini3, Laura Emionite4, Laura Sturla1, Giovanna Bianchi2, Tiziana Vigliarolo1, Aimable Nahimana5, Alessio Nencioni6,7, Nadia Raffaelli3, Santina Bruzzone1

1Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Biochemistry, and CEBR, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy

2Laboratorio di Oncologia Istituto G. Gaslini, 16147 Genova, Italy

3Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy

4Animal Facility, IRCCS AOU San Martino - IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, 16132 Genova, Italy

5Service and Central Laboratory of Hematology, University Hospital of Lausanne, 1011-CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland

6Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy

7IRCCS A.O.U. San Martino IST, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, 16132 Genova, Italy

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Santina Bruzzone, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: NAMPT, CD73, NAD+, ovarian cancer

Received: July 29, 2015     Accepted: November 16, 2015     Published: December 08, 2015


Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a crucial enzyme in the biosynthesis of intracellular NAD+. NAMPT inhibitors have potent anticancer activity in several preclinical models by depleting NAD+ and ATP levels. Recently, we demonstrated that CD73 enables the utilization of extracellular NAD+/nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) by converting them to Nicotinamide riboside (NR), which can cross the plasmamembrane and fuel intracellular NAD+ biosynthesis in human cells. These processes are herein confirmed to also occur in a human ovarian carcinoma cell line (OVCAR-3), by means of CD73 or NRK1 specific silencing. Next, we investigated the anti-tumor activity of the simultaneous inhibition of NAMPT (with FK866) and CD73 (with α, β-methylene adenosine 5′-diphosphate, APCP), in an in vivo human ovarian carcinoma model. Interestingly, the combined therapy was found to significantly decrease intratumor NAD+, NMN and ATP levels, compared with single treatments. In addition, the concentration of these nucleotides in ascitic exudates was more remarkably reduced in animals treated with both FK866 and APCP compared with single treatments. Importantly, tumors treated with FK866 in combination with APCP contained a statistically significant lower proportion of Ki67 positive proliferating cells and a higher percentage of necrotic area. Finally, a slight but significant increase in animal survival in response to the combined therapy, compared to the single agents, could be demonstrated. Our results indicate that the pharmacological inhibition of CD73 enzymatic activity could be considered as a means to potentiate the anti-cancer effects of NAMPT inhibitors.

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