Gao 2019 Cancer Cell Int

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Gao Y, Dorn P, Liu S, Deng H, Hall SRR, Peng RW, Schmid RA, Marti TM (2019) Cisplatin-resistant A549 non-small cell lung cancer cells can be identified by increased mitochondrial mass and are sensitive to pemetrexed treatment. Cancer Cell Int 19:317.

» PMID: 31798346 Open Access

Gao Y*, Dorn P, Liu S, Deng H, Hall SRR, Peng RW, Schmid RA, Marti TM (2019) Cancer Cell Int

Abstract: Cisplatin plus pemetrexed combination therapy is considered the standard treatment for patients with advanced, non-squamous, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, advanced NSCLC has a 5-year survival rate of below 10%, which is mainly due to therapy resistance. We previously showed that the NSCLC cell line A549 harbors different subpopulations including a mesenchymal-like subpopulation characterized by increased chemo- and radiotherapy resistance. Recently, therapy resistance in hematological and solid tumors has been associated with increased mitochondrial activity. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of the mitochondrial activity in NSCLC chemotherapy resistance.

Based on MitoTracker staining, subpopulations characterized by the highest 10% (Mito-High) or lowest 10% (Mito-Low) mitochondrial mass content were sorted by FACS (Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting) from paraclonal cultures of the NSCLC A549 cell line . Mitochondrial DNA copy numbers were quantified by real-time PCR whereas basal cellular respiration was measured by high-resolution respirometry. Cisplatin and pemetrexed response were quantified by proliferation and colony formation assay.

Pemetrexed treatment of parental A549 cells increased mitochondrial mass over time. FACS-sorted paraclonal Mito-High cells featured increased mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial DNA copy number compared to the Mito-Low cells. Paraclonal Mito-High cells featured an increased proliferation rate and were significantly more resistant to cisplatin treatment than Mito-Low cells. Interestingly, cisplatin-resistant, paraclonal Mito-High cells were significantly more sensitive to pemetrexed treatment than Mito-Low cells. We provide a working model explaining the molecular mechanism underlying the increased cisplatin- and decreased pemetrexed resistance of a distinct subpopulation characterized by high mitochondrial mass.

This study revealed that cisplatin resistant A549 lung cancer cells can be identified by their increased levels of mitochondrial mass. However, Mito-High cells feature an increased sensitivity to pemetrexed treatment. Thus, pemetrexed and cisplatin target reciprocal lung cancer subpopulations, which could explain the increased efficacy of the combination therapy in the clinical setting.

© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords: Chemotherapy, Cisplatin, Lung cancer, Mitochondrial activity, Mitochondrial mass, NSCLC, Pemetrexed, Resistance Bioblast editor: Plangger M

Labels: MiParea: Respiration  Pathology: Cancer 

Organism: Human  Tissue;cell: Lung;gill, Endothelial;epithelial;mesothelial cell  Preparation: Intact cells 

Coupling state: ROUTINE 

HRR: Oxygraph-2k 

Labels, 2019-12