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Model-driven discovery of long-chain fatty acid metabolic reprogramming in heterogeneous prostate cancer cells

AuthorsMarín de Mas, Igor; Aguilar, Esther; Zodda, Erika; Balcells, Cristina; Marin, Silvia; Dallmann, Guido; Thomson, Timothy M. ; Papp, Balázs; Cascante, Marta
Issue Date2-Jan-2018
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS Computational Biology 14(1): e1005914 (2018)
Abstract[Abstract] Epithelial-mesenchymal-transition promotes intra-tumoral heterogeneity, by enhancing tumor cell invasiveness and promoting drug resistance. We integrated transcriptomic data for two clonal subpopulations from a prostate cancer cell line (PC-3) into a genome-scale metabolic network model to explore their metabolic differences and potential vulnerabilities. In this dual cell model, PC-3/S cells express Epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers and display high invasiveness and low metastatic potential, while PC-3/M cells present the opposite phenotype and higher proliferative rate. Model-driven analysis and experimental validations unveiled a marked metabolic reprogramming in long-chain fatty acids metabolism. While PC-3/M cells showed an enhanced entry of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, PC-3/S cells used long-chain fatty acids as precursors of eicosanoid metabolism. We suggest that this metabolic reprogramming endows PC-3/M cells with augmented energy metabolism for fast proliferation and PC-3/S cells with increased eicosanoid production impacting angiogenesis, cell adhesion and invasion. PC-3/S metabolism also promotes the accumulation of docosahexaenoic acid, a long-chain fatty acid with antiproliferative effects. The potential therapeutic significance of our model was supported by a differential sensitivity of PC-3/M cells to etomoxir, an inhibitor of long-chain fatty acid transport to the mitochondria
[Author summary] The coexistence within the same tumor of a variety of subpopulations, featuring different phenotypes (intra-tumoral heterogeneity) represents a challenge for diagnosis, prognosis and targeted therapies. In this work, we have explored the metabolic differences underlying tumor heterogeneity by building cell-type-specific genome-scale metabolic models that integrate transcriptome and metabolome data of two clonal subpopulations derived from the same prostate cancer cell line (PC-3). These subpopulations display either highly proliferative, cancer stem cell (PC-3/M) or highly invasive, epithelial-mesenchymal-transition-like phenotypes (PC-3/S). Our model-driven analysis and experimental validations have unveiled a differential utilization of the long-chain fatty acids pool in both subpopulations. More specifically, our findings show an enhanced entry of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria in PC-3/M cells, while in PC-3/S cells, long-chain fatty acids are used as precursors of eicosanoid metabolism. The different utilization of long-chain fatty acids between subpopulations endows PC-3/M cells with a highly proliferative phenotype while enhances PC-3/S invasive phenotype. The present work provides a tool to unveil key metabolic nodes associated with tumor heterogeneity and highlights potential subpopulation-specific targets with important therapeutic implications
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005914
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