Although metabolic reprogramming and redox imbalance are widely reported to be involved in chemo-resistance in cancer treatment, much more attention was paid to anti-cancer drug induced effect. Our previous studies showed that cancer cells can develop P-gp overexpression-mediated intrinsic drug resistance in the formation of 3D MCF-7 multi-cellular layers (MCLs) without any drug induction. However, whether metabolic reprogramming and redox imbalance functioned during this progress remained unrevealed. In our present study, LC-Q/TOF-MS and GC-MS were used in combination for analysing intracellular metabolites. The contribution of pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and its related redox status were checked by chemical interfering and silencing/over-expression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). The downstream products of G6PD were assayed by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot and flow cytometry. Results showed that not only G6PD expression but also G6PD activity was significantly lowered along with 3D MCF-7 cells culture time. Impaired PPP disturbed redox-cycling, generated reactive oxygen species (ROS), which triggered cell cycle arrest and caused the switch to Chk2/p53/NF-κB pathway-mediated P-gp induction. Our results provided a new attempt to associate intrinsic small molecule metabolites (impaired PPP) communicating with cell signalling pathways through disturbed intracellular redox status to elucidate multi-cellular resistance (MCR) in 3D MCF-7 cells, which improved the understanding of the mechanisms of P-gp up-regulation in MCR with metabolomic and related redox status support.
Wang, W., Cai, Q., Zhou, F., Liu, J., Jin, X., Ni, P., … Zhang, J. (2018). Impaired pentose phosphate pathway in the development of 3D MCF-7 cells mediated intracellular redox disturbance and multi-cellular resistance without drug induction. Redox Biology, 15, 253–265. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2017.12.009