Differential Sensitivities of Fast- and Slow-Cycling Cancer Cells to Inosine Monophosphate Dehydrogenase 2 Inhibition by Mycophenolic Acid

Kuo-Ting Chen, WL Cao, Juan Li, Dave Sprengers, PY Hernanda, XD Kong, Luc van der Laan, K (Kommer) de Man, Jaap Kwekkeboom, Herold Metselaar, Maikel Peppelenbosch, Qiuwei Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As uncontrolled cell proliferation requires nucleotide biosynthesis, inhibiting enzymes that mediate nucleotide biosynthesis constitutes a rational approach to the management of oncological diseases. In practice, however, results of this strategy are mixed and thus elucidation of the mechanisms by which cancer cells evade the effect of nucleotide biosynthesis restriction is urgently needed. Here we explored the notion that intrinsic differences in cancer cell cycle velocity are important in the resistance toward inhibition of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) by mycophenolic acid (MPA). In short-term experiments, MPA treatment of fast-growing cancer cells effectively elicited G0/G1 arrest and provoked apoptosis, thus inhibiting cell proliferation and colony formation. Forced expression of a mutated IMPDH2, lacking a binding site for MPA but retaining enzymatic activity, resulted in complete resistance of cancer cells to MPA. In nude mice subcutaneously engrafted with HeLa cells, MPA moderately delayed tumor formation by inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis. Importantly, we developed a lentiviral vector-based Tet-on label-retaining system that enables to identify, isolate and functionally characterize slow-cycling or so-called label-retaining cells (LRCs) in vitro and in vivo. We surprisingly found the presence of LRCs in fast-growing tumors. LRCs were superior in colony formation, tumor initiation and resistance to MPA as compared with fast-cycling cells. Thus, the slow-cycling compartment of cancer seems predominantly responsible for resistance to MPA.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)792-802
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Medicine
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this