Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 14 pp 4801—4835
Mitochondrial and ribosomal biogenesis are new hallmarks of stemness, oncometabolism and biomass accumulation in cancer: Mito‐stemness and ribo‐stemness features
- 1 Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK, Manchester, United Kingdom
- 2 Translational Medicine, School of Environment and Life Sciences, Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), University of Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
received: May 23, 2019 ; accepted: June 20, 2019 ; published: July 16, 2019 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.102054
How to Cite
Copyright © 2019 Peiris‐Pagès et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Using proteomics analysis, we previously compared MCF7 breast cancer cells grown as 3D tumor spheres, with the same cell line grown as monolayers. Our results indicated that during 3D anchorage‐independent growth, the cellular machinery associated with i) mitochondrial biogenesis and ii) ribosomal biogenesis, were both significantly increased. Here, for simplicity, we refer to these two new oncogenic hallmarks as “mito‐stemness” and “ribo‐stemness” features. We have now applied this same type of strategy to begin to understand how fibroblasts and MCF7 breast cancer cells change their molecular phenotype, when they are co‐cultured together. We have previously shown that MCF7‐fibroblast co‐cultures are a valuable model of resistance to apoptosis induced by hormonal therapies, such as Tamoxifen and Fulvestrant. Here, we directly show that these mixed co‐cultures demonstrate the induction of mito‐stemness and ribo‐stemness features, likely reflecting a mechanism for cancer cells to increase their capacity for accumulating biomass. In accordance with the onset of a stem‐like phenotype, KRT19 (keratin 19) was induced by ~6‐fold during co‐culture. KRT19 is a well‐established epithelial CSC marker that is used clinically to identify metastatic breast cancer cells in sentinel lymph node biopsies. The potential molecular therapeutic targets that we identified by label‐free proteomics of MCF7‐fibroblast co‐cultures were then independently validated using a bioinformatics approach. More specifically, we employed publically‐available transcriptional profiling data derived from primary tumor samples from breast cancer patients, which were previously subjected to laser‐capture micro‐dissection, to physically separate breast cancer cells from adjacent tumor stroma. This allowed us to directly validate that the proteins up‐regulated in this co‐culture model were also transcriptionally elevated in patient‐derived breast cancer cells in vivo. This powerful approach for target identification and translational validation, including the use of patient outcome data, can now be applied to other tumor types as well, to validate new therapeutic targets that are more clinically relevant, for patient benefit. Moreover, we discuss the therapeutic implications of these findings for new drug development, drug repurposing and Tamoxifen‐resistance, to effectively target mito‐stemness and ribo‐stemness features in breast cancer patients. We also discuss the broad implications of this “organelle biogenesis” approach to cancer therapy.