Publications by authors named "SunPhil Choi"

2 Publications

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Silencing gastrin-releasing peptide receptor suppresses key regulators of aerobic glycolysis in neuroblastoma cells.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015 Apr 28;62(4):581-6. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Background: Under normoxic conditions, cancer cells use aerobic glycolysis as opposed to glucose oxidation for energy production; this altered metabolism correlates with poor outcomes in neuroblastoma. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) regulate aerobic glycolysis, while pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 2 (PDP2) promotes glucose oxidation. Here, we sought to determine whether gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRP-R) signaling regulates glucose metabolism.

Procedure: Neuroblastoma cell lines, BE(2)-C and SK-N-AS, were used. PCR microararay for glucose metabolism was performed on GRP-R silenced cells. Target protein expression was validated using Western blotting and VEGF ELISA. Cobalt chloride (CoCl2 ) was used to induce chemical hypoxia. Efficacy of targeting PDK regulation in neuroblastoma was assessed using dichloroacetate (DCA) by conducting cell viability assays and Western blotting for apoptotic markers.

Results: Silencing GRP-R decreased HIF-1α expression and blocked VEGF expression and secretion in both normoxic and CoCl2 induced hypoxia. PCR array analysis identified that GRP-R silencing reduced PDK4 and increased PDP2 mRNA expression. These findings were validated by Western blotting. CoCl2 induced hypoxia increased VEGF secretion, HIF-1α, and PDK4 expression. PDK4 silencing decreased HIF-1α expression and VEGF expression and secretion. DCA treatment decreased BE(2)-C and SK-N-AS proliferation while promoting cell death. GRP-R silencing and DCA treatment synergistically halted BE(2)-C proliferation.

Conclusions: We report that GRP-R regulates glucose metabolism in neuroblastoma by modulating HIF-1α, PDK4 and PDP2. PDK4 regulates glucose metabolism, in part, via regulation of HIF-1α. Synergistic consequences of GRP-R inhibition and DCA treatment may suggest a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of aggressive neuroblastoma.
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April 2015

Hedgehog-mediated regulation of PPARγ controls metabolic patterns in neural precursors and shh-driven medulloblastoma.

Acta Neuropathol 2012 Apr 11;123(4):587-600. Epub 2012 Mar 11.

Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling is critical during development and its aberration is common across the spectrum of human malignancies. In the cerebellum, excessive activity of the Shh signaling pathway is associated with the devastating pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. We previously demonstrated that exaggerated de novo lipid synthesis is a hallmark of Shh-driven medulloblastoma and that hedgehog signaling inactivates the Rb/E2F tumor suppressor complex to promote lipogenesis. Indeed, such Shh-mediated metabolic reprogramming fuels tumor progression, in an E2F1- and FASN-dependent manner. Here, we show that the nutrient sensor PPARγ is a key component of the Shh metabolic network, particularly its regulation of glycolysis. Our data show that in primary cerebellar granule neural precursors (CGNPs), proposed medulloblastoma cells-of-origin, Shh stimulation elicits a marked induction of PPARγ alongside major glycolytic markers. This is also documented in the actively proliferating Shh-responsive CGNPs in the developing cerebellum, and PPARγ expression is strikingly elevated in Shh-driven medulloblastoma in vivo. Importantly, pharmacological blockade of PPARγ and/or Rb inactivation inhibits CGNP proliferation, drives medulloblastoma cell death and extends survival of medulloblastoma-bearing animals in vivo. This coupling of mitogenic Shh signaling to a major nutrient sensor and metabolic transcriptional regulator define a novel mechanism through which Shh signaling engages the nutrient sensing machinery in brain cancer, controls the cell cycle, and regulates the glycolytic index. This also reveals a dominant role of Shh in the etiology of glucose metabolism in medulloblastoma and underscores the function of the Shh → E2F1 → PPARγ axis in altering substrate utilization patterns in brain cancers in favor of tumor growth. These findings emphasize the value of PPARγ downstream of Shh as a global therapeutic target in hedgehog-dependent and/or Rb-inactivated tumors.
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April 2012