Anaplerotic nutrient stress drives synergy of angiogenesis inhibitors with therapeutics targeting tumor metabolism

Kavli Affiliate: Edward Chang

| Authors: Sunada Khadka, Yu-Hsi Lin, Jeffrey J Ackroyd, Yi-An Chen, Yanghui Sheng, Wubin Qian, Sheng Guo, Yining Chen, Eliot Itzkow Behr, Yasaman Barekatin, Md. Nasir Uddin, Kenisha Arthur, Victoria C Yan, Edward Chang, Anton Poral, Theresa Tran, Wen-Hao Hsu, Surendra Chaurasiya, Dimitra K. Georgiou, John M. Asara, Floris P. Barthel, Steve W. Millward, Ronald A. DePinho and Florian L Muller

| Summary:

Tumor angiogenesis is a cancer hallmark, and its therapeutic inhibition has provided meaningful, albeit limited, clinical benefit. While anti-angiogenesis inhibitors deprive the tumor of oxygen and essential nutrients, cancer cells activate metabolic adaptations to diminish therapeutic response. Despite these adaptations, angiogenesis inhibition incurs extensive metabolic stress, prompting us to consider such metabolic stress as an induced vulnerability to therapies targeting cancer metabolism. Metabolomic profiling of angiogenesis-inhibited intracranial xenografts showed universal decrease in tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, corroborating a state of anaplerotic nutrient deficit or stress. Accordingly, we show strong synergy between angiogenesis inhibitors (Avastin, Tivozanib) and inhibitors of glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation through exacerbation of anaplerotic nutrient stress in intracranial orthotopic xenografted gliomas. Our findings were recapitulated in GBM xenografts that do not have genetically predisposed metabolic vulnerabilities at baseline. Thus, our findings cement the central importance of the tricarboxylic acid cycle as the nexus of metabolic vulnerabilities and suggest clinical path hypothesis combining angiogenesis inhibitors with pharmacological cancer interventions targeting tumor metabolism for GBM tumors.

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