Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin

Assessment of Anticancer Drug Effects on Pancreatic Cancer Cells under Glucose-Depleted Conditions Using Intracellular and Extracellular Amino Acid Metabolomics.

PMID 29386482


Previously, we developed a method to evaluate states of cells treated with anticancer drugs via the comprehensive analysis of amino acids, termed amino acid metabolomics. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of the anticancer drugs, gemcitabine hydrochloride and pyrvinium pamoate, on the proliferation of a pancreatic cancer cell line (PANC-1) under hypoglycemic conditions using amino acid metabolomics. Intracellular and extracellular amino acid profiles of PANC-1 were determined by hydrophilic interaction chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with simple pretreatment. Changes to the drugs' anticancer effects resulting from glucose starvation conditions were presented in score plots obtained from principal component analyses. In particular, the analysis of intracellular amino acids was found to be the superior approach because the results allowed a clearer assessment of the cell state. Further, orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis was performed to search for amino acid candidates that discriminate with anticancer drug-treated PANC-1 cells. We identified several amino acids that might be able to distinguish the drug-treated group from the control group. These results might provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cell responses such as drug resistance or austerity. The present study is the first to evaluate the efficacy of anticancer drugs under glucose starvation based on the analysis of the variation of extracellular and intracellular amino acid profiles in vitro.