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  • Polyploid giant cancer cells are dependent on cholesterol for progeny formation through amitotic division.

Polyploid giant cancer cells are dependent on cholesterol for progeny formation through amitotic division.

Scientific reports (2022-05-28)
Shai White-Gilbertson, Ping Lu, Ikechukwu Esobi, Jing Echesabal-Chen, Patrick J Mulholland, Monika Gooz, Besim Ogretmen, Alexis Stamatikos, Christina Voelkel-Johnson
ABSTRACT

Polyploid Giant Cancer Cells (PGCC) are increasingly being recognized as drivers of cancer recurrence. Therapy stress promotes the formation of these cells, which upon stress cessation often successfully generate more aggressive progeny that repopulate the tumor. Therefore, identification of potential PGCC vulnerabilities is key to preventing therapy failure. We have previously demonstrated that PGCC progeny formation depends on the lysosomal enzyme acid ceramidase (ASAH1). In this study, we compared transcriptomes of parental cancer cells and PGCC in the absence or presence of the ASAH1 inhibitor LCL521. Results show that PGCC express less INSIG1, which downregulates cholesterol metabolism and that inhibition of ASAH1 increased HMGCR which is the rate limiting enzyme in cholesterol synthesis. Confocal microscopy revealed that ceramide and cholesterol do not colocalize. Treatment with LCL521 or simvastatin to inhibit ASAH1 or HMGCR, respectively, resulted in accumulation of ceramide at the cell surface of PGCC and prevented PGCC progeny formation. Our results suggest that similarly to inhibition of ASAH1, disruption of cholesterol signaling is a potential strategy to interfere with PGCC progeny formation.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-SCARB1 Antibody, clone 5B8.2, clone 5B8.2, 1 mg/mL, from mouse