Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Characterizing Tumor Hypoxia and Anoikis Resistance in Human Osteosarcoma: Addressing Critical Aspects of Disease Progression
by Scholten, Donald Jay, II, Ph.D., Van Andel Research Institute, 2015, 101; 10274900
Abstract (Summary)

Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common type of solid bone cancer, mainly arising in children and young adults, and remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death in this age group. Chemotherapy resistance underlying latent recurrence and metastasis represent major contributors to poor outcome for many cancer patients especially those with OS. Tumor hypoxia is an essential element intrinsic to most solid tumor microenvironments and is associated with resistance to therapy and a malignant phenotype, while metastatic dissemination is dependent on a cells ability to resist anoikis, i.e., programmed cell death in the absence of attachment to an extracellular matrix. We sought to better characterize hypoxia and anoikis resistance in human OS using established and novel patient-derived OS cells and OS animal models with the long-term goal of identifying and validating targetable signaling pathways. We show that hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), canonical proteins associated with the hypoxic response, are present and can be induced in human OS cells. We demonstrate that the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, a key pathway in OS pathogenesis, is down-regulated in response to hypoxia in OS cells, and that this appears to result from both HIF-dependent and HIF-independent mechanisms. Hypoxia promotes resistance of human OS cells to standard chemotherapy, which is mitigated by treatment with Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitors. Using an anchorage-independent growth model, we show that anoikis-resistant OS subpopulations have altered growth rates, increased resistance to standard chemotherapies, and display distinct changes in gene expression and DNA methylation. Finally, we validate the use of two FDA-approved epigenetic therapies predicted by expression profiling in both inhibiting anchorage-independent growth and sensitizing anoikis-resistant OS cells to chemotherapy. In summary, despite the heterogeneity of human OS, our work suggests that unique and effectively targetable signaling pathways underlie the phenotypic consequences in response to hypoxia and anoikis resistance.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Steensma, Matt
Commitee: Alman, Ben, Hughes, Dennis, Williams, Bart, Yang, Tao
School: Van Andel Research Institute
Department: Biomedical
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Molecular biology, Cellular biology, Oncology
Keywords: Anoikis Resistance, Bone cancer, Osteosarcoma, Tumor Hypoxia
Publication Number: 10274900
ISBN: 978-1-369-88288-9
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