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Loss of cancer drug activity in colon cancer HCT-116 cells during spheroid formation in a new 3-D spheroid cell culture system
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Cancer Pharmacology and Computational Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Cancer Pharmacology and Computational Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Cancer Pharmacology and Computational Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Oncology and Radiation Science, Oncology.
2012 (English)In: Experimental Cell Research, ISSN 0014-4827, E-ISSN 1090-2422, Vol. 318, no 13, 1577-1585 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Clinically relevant in vitro methods are needed to identify new cancer drugs for solid tumors. We report on a new 3-D spheroid cell culture system aimed to mimic the properties of solid tumors in vivo. The colon cancer cell lines HCT-116 wt and HCT-116 wt/GFP were grown as monolayers and for 3 or 6 days on 96-well NanoCulture (R) plates to form spheroids. Expression of surface markers, genes and hypoxia were assessed to characterize the spheroids and drug induced cytotoxicity was evaluated based on fluorescein diacetate (FDA) conversion by viable cells to fluorescent fluorescein or by direct measurement of fluorescence of GFP marked cells after a 72 h drug incubation. The cells reproducibly formed spheroids in the NanoCulture (R) plates with tight cell-attachment after 6 days. Cells in spheroids showed geno- and phenotypical properties reminiscent of hypoxic stem cells. Monolayer cultured cells were sensitive to standard and investigational drugs, whereas the spheroids gradually turned resistant. Similar results for cytotoxicity were observed using simplified direct measurement of fluorescence of GFP marked cells compared with FDA incubation. In conclusion, this new 3-D spheroid cell culture system provides a convenient and clinically relevant model for the identification and characterization of cancer drugs for solid tumors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 318, no 13, 1577-1585 p.
Keyword [en]
Tumor cell, Cell culture, Monolayer, Spheroid, Cancer drug, Colon cancer
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-177550DOI: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.03.026ISI: 000305591800011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-177550DiVA: diva2:541294
Available from: 2012-07-16 Created: 2012-07-16 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. New preclinical strategies for characterization and development of anticancer drugs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New preclinical strategies for characterization and development of anticancer drugs
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer development has shifted drug discovery towards target driven drug development the last decades, but the development of effective cancer drugs has been hampered by the lack of predictive preclinical models. 3-D cultures, considered to more accurately reflect solid tumors in vivo, have been proposed as one way to increase the predictability of clinical efficacy in cancer drug discovery and development.

The aims of this thesis were to improve preclinical models for cancer drug development, with focus on colorectal cancer (CRC) and use of multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS), and also to mechanistically characterize some potentially new anticancer drugs (papers I – IV). The most important technical improvement was the development of direct measurement of green fluorescent protein (GFP) marked cells in spheroids, simplifying live collection of viability data and enabling high-throughput screening (HTS) in the MCTS model (paper I). In paper III and IV, the 3-D model was adapted to enable studies on the interaction between drugs and radiation. Two potentially new anticancer drugs, VLX50 and VLX60, were mechanistically characterized. VLX60, a novel copper containing thiosemicarbazone, induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, was selectively active against BRAF mutated colon cancer cells and exhibited anticancer activity in vivo (paper II). Furthermore, two potentially new anticancer drugs were found suitable for further development for use in combination with radiation (papers III and IV). In paper III, synergy with radiation in spheroids compared to monolayer cultured colon cancer cells was shown with the novel iron-chelating inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation, VLX600. In paper IV, the antiprotozoal drug nitazoxanide was shown to sensitize quiescent clonogenic colon cancer cells to radiation.

In conclusion, introduction of measurement of fluorescence of GFP marked cells in spheroids makes clinically relevant 3-D models feasible for HTS experiments and characterization of candidate drugs and radiosensitizers in early cancer drug discovery and development. VLX60 has several characteristics suitable for further development into a cancer drug, notably against BRAF mutated colorectal cancer cells. VLX600 and nitazoxanide show radiosensitizing properties making them promising for further development for use as cancer drugs in combination with radiation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 59 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1378
Keyword
colorectal cancer, spheroids, green fluorescent protein, VLX50, VLX60, VLX600, nitazoxanide, radiation, radiosensitizer
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
Research subject
Oncology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-330999 (URN)978-91-513-0101-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-01, Enghoffsalen, Ing 50 bv, Akademiska sjukhuset, Sjukhusvägen, Uppsala, 14:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-09 Created: 2017-10-09 Last updated: 2017-11-09

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Karlsson, HenningLarsson, RolfNygren, Peter

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