Targeting the pentose phosphate pathway increases reactive oxygen species and induces apoptosis in thyroid cancer cells

Chien Liang Liu, Yi Chiung Hsu, Jie Jen Lee, Ming Jen Chen, Chi Hsin Lin, Shih Yuan Huang, Shih Ping Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of ribonucleotide precursor and NADPH. Cancer cells frequently increase the flux of glucose into the PPP to support the anabolic demands and regulate oxidative stress. Consistently, metabolomic analyses indicate an upregulation of the PPP in thyroid cancer. In the present study, we found that the combination of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and transketolase inhibitors (6-aminonicotinamide and oxythiamine) exerted an additive or synergistic effect on cell growth inhibition in thyroid cancer cells. Targeting PPP significantly increased cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and apoptosis. Suppressed cell viability could be partially rescued with treatment with the ROS scavenger or apoptosis inhibitor but not ER-stress inhibitor. Taken together, dual PPP blockade leads to pharmacologic additivity or synergism and causes ROS-mediated apoptosis in thyroid cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110595
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Volume499
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Pentose phosphate pathway
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Thyroid cancer

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