Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology

Metabolic cooperation between co-cultured lung cancer cells and lung fibroblasts.

PMID 28846077


Cooperation of cancer cells with stromal cells, such as cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), has been revealed as a mechanism sustaining cancer cell survival and growth. In the current study, we focus on the metabolic interactions of MRC5 lung fibroblasts with lung cancer cells (A549 and H1299) using co-culture experiments and studying changes of the metabolic protein expression profile and of their growth and migration abilities. Using western blotting, confocal microscopy and RT-PCR, we observed that in co-cultures MRC5 respond by upregulating pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) and the monocarboxylate transporter MCT1. In contrast, cancer cells increase the expression of glucose transporters (GLUT1), LDH5, PDH kinase and the levels of phosphorylated/inactivated pPDH. H1299 cells growing in the same culture medium with fibroblasts exhibit a 'metastasis-like' phenomenon by forming nests within the fibroblast area. LDH5 and pPDH were drastically upregulated in these nests. The growth rate of both MRC5 and cancer cells increased in co-cultures. Suppression of LDHA or PDK1 in cancer cells abrogates the stimulatory signal from cancer cells to fibroblasts. Incubation of MRC5 fibroblasts with lactate resulted in an increase of LDHB and of PDH expression. Silencing of PDH gene in fibroblasts, or silencing of PDK1 or LDHA gene in tumor cells, impedes cancer cell's migration ability. Overall, a metabolic cooperation between lung cancer cells and fibroblasts has been confirmed in the context of direct Warburg effect, thus the fibroblasts reinforce aerobic metabolism to support the intensified anaerobic glycolytic pathways exploited by cancer cells.

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EHU108531 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human LDHA (esiRNA1)