Ascorbate is a pro-oxidant that generates hydrogen peroxide-dependent cytotoxity in cancer cells without adversely affecting normal cells. To determine the mechanistic basis for this phenotype, we selected Burkitt lymphoma cells resistant to ascorbate (JLPR cells) and their ascorbate-sensitive parental cells (JLPS cells). Compared with JLPS cells, the increased glucose uptake in JLPR cells (with upregulated glucose transporters, increased antioxidant enzyme activity, and altered cell cycling) conferred ascorbate-induced cytotoxicity and resistance. Transcriptomic profiles and function pathway analysis identified differentially expressed gene signatures for JLPR cells and JLPS cells, which differential expression levels of five genes (ATF5, CD79B, MHC, Myosin, and SAP18) in ascorbate-resistant cells were related to phosphoinositide 3 kinase, cdc42, DNA methylation and transcriptional repression, polyamine regulation, and integrin-linked kinase signaling pathways. These results suggested that coordinated changes occurred in JLPR cells to enable their survival when exposed to the cytotoxic pro-oxidant stress elicited by pharmacologic ascorbate treatment.
Pei, Z., Zhang, X., Ji, C., Liu, S.-M., & Wang, J. (2016). Transcriptomic and functional pathways analysis of ascorbate-induced cytotoxicity and resistance of Burkitt lymphoma. Oncotarget, 7(39). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11740