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Pellegrini L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Pucci B.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana | Villanova L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Marino M.L.,Unit of Antitumor Drugs | And 8 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2012

Mitochondrial sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) mediates cellular resistance toward various forms of stress. Here, we show that in mammalian cells subjected to hypoxia and staurosporine treatment SIRT3 prevents loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ mt), intracellular acidification and reactive oxygen species accumulation. Our results indicate that: (i) SIRT3 inhibits mitochondrial permeability transition and loss of membrane potential by preventing HKII binding to the mitochondria, (ii) SIRT3 increases catalytic activity of the mitochondrial carbonic anhydrase VB, thereby preventing intracellular acidification, Bax activation and apoptotic cell death. In conclusion we propose that, in mammalian cells, SIRT3 has a central role in connecting changes in ΔΨmt, intracellular pH and mitochondrial-regulated apoptotic pathways. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Marino M.L.,Unit of Antitumor Drugs | Pellegrini P.,Karolinska Institutet | Di Lernia G.,Karolinska Institutet | Djavaheri-Mergny M.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2012

Cyclic hypoxia and alterations in oncogenic signaling contribute to switch cancer cell metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis. A major consequence of up-regulated glycolysis is the increased production of metabolic acids responsible for the presence of acidic areas within solid tumors. Tumor acidosis is an important determinant of tumor progression and tumor pH regulation is being investigated as a therapeutic target. Autophagy is a cellular catabolic pathway leading to lysosomal degradation and recycling of proteins and organelles, currently considered an important survival mechanism in cancer cells under metabolic stress or subjected to chemotherapy. We investigated the response of human melanoma cells cultured in acidic conditions in terms of survival and autophagy regulation. Melanoma cells exposed to acidic culture conditions (7.0 < pH < 6.2) promptly accumulated LC3+ autophagic vesicles. Immunoblot analysis showed a consistent increase of LC3-II in acidic culture conditions as compared with cells at normal pH. Inhibition of lysosomal acidification by bafilomycin A1 further increased LC3-II accumulation, suggesting an active autophagic flux in cells under acidic stress. Acute exposure to acidic stress induced rapid inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin signaling pathway detected by decreased phosphorylation of p70S6K and increased phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase, associated with decreased ATP content and reduced glucose and leucine uptake. Inhibition of autophagy by knockdown of the autophagic gene ATG5 consistently reduced melanoma cell survival in low pH conditions. These observations indicate that induction of autophagy may represent an adaptation mechanism for cancer cells exposed to an acidic environment. Our data strengthen the validity of therapeutic strategies targeting tumor pH regulation and autophagy in progressive malignancies. © 2012 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Marino M.L.,Unit of Antitumor Drugs | Fais S.,Unit of Antitumor Drugs | Djavaheri-Mergny M.,University Paris - Sud | Djavaheri-Mergny M.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 10 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2010

Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) target tumour acidic pH and have an antineoplastic effect in melanoma. The PPI esomeprazole (ESOM) kills melanoma cells through a caspase-dependent pathway involving cytosolic acidification and alkalinization of tumour pH. In this paper, we further investigated the mechanisms of ESOM-induced cell death in melanoma. ESOM rapidly induced accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) through mitochondrial dysfunctions and involvement of NADPH oxidase. The ROS scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and inhibition of NADPH oxidase significantly reduced ESOM-induced cell death, consistent with inhibition of cytosolic acidification. Autophagy, a cellular catabolic pathway leading to lysosomal degradation and recycling of proteins and organelles, represents a defence mechanism in cancer cells under metabolic stress. ESOM induced the early accumulation of autophagosomes, at the same time reducing the autophagic flux, as observed by WB analysis of LC3-II accumulation and by fluorescence microscopy. Moreover, ESOM treatment decreased mammalian target of rapamycin signalling, as reduced phosphorylation of p70-S6K and 4-EBP1 was observed. Inhibition of autophagy by knockdown of Atg5 and Beclin-1 expression significantly increased ESOM cytotoxicity, suggesting a protective role for autophagy in ESOM-treated cells. The data presented suggest that autophagy represents an adaptive survival mechanism to overcome drug-induced cellular stress and cytotoxicity, including alteration of pH homeostasis mediated by proton pump inhibition. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Calcinotto A.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Calcinotto A.,Vita-Salute San Raffaele University | Filipazzi P.,Unit of Immunotherapy of Human Tumors | Grioni M.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | And 16 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Stimulating the effector functions of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes (TIL) in primary and metastatic tumors could improve active and adoptive T-cell therapies for cancer. Abnormal glycolysis, high lactic acid production, proton accumulation, and a reversed intra-extracellular pH gradient are thought to help render tumor microenvironments hostile to roving immune cells. However, there is little knowledge about how acidic microenvironments affect T-cell immunity. Here, we report that lowering the environmental pH to values that characterize tumor masses (pH 6-6.5) was sufficient to establish an anergic state in human and mouse tumor-specific CD8 + T lymphocytes. This state was characterized by impairment of cytolytic activity and cytokine secretion, reduced expression of IL-2Rα (CD25) and T-cell receptors (TCR), and diminished activation of STAT5 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) after TCR activation. In contrast, buffering pH at physiologic values completely restored all these metrics of T-cell function. Systemic treatment of B16-OVA-bearing mice with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) significantly increased the therapeutic efficacy of both active and adoptive immunotherapy. Our findings show that acidification of the tumor microenvironment acts as mechanism of immune escape. Furthermore, they illustrate the potential of PPIs to safely correct T-cell dysfunction and improve the efficacy of T-cell-based cancer treatments. ©2012 AACR.

Bellone M.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Calcinotto A.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Filipazzi P.,Unit of Immunotherapy of Human Tumors | De Milito A.,Unit of Antitumor Drugs | And 3 more authors.
OncoImmunology | Year: 2013

We have recently reported that lowering the pH to values that are frequently detected in tumors causes reversible anergy in both human and mouse CD8+ T lymphocytes in vitro. The same occurs in vivo, in the tumor microenvironment and the administration of proton pump inhibitors, which buffer tumor acidity, can revert T-cell anergy and increase the efficacy of immunotherapy. © 2013 Landes Bioscience.

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