Simple Summary Despite the rapid advance in cancer therapies, treatment-resistant relapse remains a significant challenge in cancer treatment. Acquired resistance arises during or after treatment administration, and is usually the main contributor to relapse. For example, prostate cancer, the most frequent type of cancer in the elderly male population, frequently develops into aggressive forms resistant to chemical and hormonal therapies. In this condition, the so-called "cholinic phenotype" that is characterized by the overexpression of choline kinase alpha (CHKA) and increased phosphocholine levels leads to aberrant lipid metabolism. Our work demonstrates that CHKA, which is necessary for membrane phospholipid synthesis, is a target of the long non-coding RNA MALAT1. This study helps to further decipher how MALAT1 affects the regulation of crucial phospholipid/sphingolipid metabolic enzymes, as well as how the androgen receptor pathway is involved in MALAT1-dependent transcriptional regulation. Background. Choline kinase alpha (CHKA), an essential gene in phospholipid metabolism, is among the modulated MALAT1-targeted transcripts in advanced and metastatic prostate cancer (PCa). Methods. We analyzed CHKA mRNA by qPCR upon MALAT1 targeting in PCa cells, which is characterized by high dose-responsiveness to the androgen receptor (AR) and its variants. Metabolome analysis of MALAT1-depleted cells was performed by quantitative High-resolution 1 H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In addition, CHKA genomic regions were evaluated by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) in order to assess MALAT1-dependent histone-tail modifications and AR recruitment. Results. In MALAT1-depleted cells, the decrease of CHKA gene expression was associated with reduced total choline-containing metabolites compared to controls, particularly phosphocholine (PCho). Upon MALAT1 targeting a significant increase in repressive histone modifications was observed at the CHKA intron-2, encompassing relevant AR binding sites. Combining of MALAT1 targeting with androgen treatment prevented MALAT1-dependent CHKA silencing in androgen-responsive (LNCaP) cells, while it did not in hormone-refractory cells (22RV1 cells). Moreover, AR nuclear translocation and its activation were detected by confocal microscopy analysis and ChIP upon MALAT1 targeting or androgen treatment. Conclusions. These findings support the role of MALAT1 as a CHKA activator through putative association with the liganded or unliganded AR, unveiling its targeting as a therapeutic option from a metabolic rewiring perspective.

De Martino, S., Iorio, E., Cencioni, C., Aiello, A., Spallotta, F., Chirico, M., Pisanu, M. E., Grassi, C., Pontecorvi, A., Gaetano, C., Nanni, S., Farsetti, A., MALAT1 as a Regulator of the Androgen-Dependent Choline Kinase A Gene in the Metabolic Rewiring of Prostate Cancer, <<CANCERS>>, 2022; 14 (12): N/A-N/A. [doi:10.3390/cancers14122902] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/214464]

MALAT1 as a Regulator of the Androgen-Dependent Choline Kinase A Gene in the Metabolic Rewiring of Prostate Cancer

De Martino, Sara
Primo
;
Grassi, Claudio;Pontecorvi, Alfredo;Nanni, Simona
;
Farsetti, Antonella
2022

Abstract

Simple Summary Despite the rapid advance in cancer therapies, treatment-resistant relapse remains a significant challenge in cancer treatment. Acquired resistance arises during or after treatment administration, and is usually the main contributor to relapse. For example, prostate cancer, the most frequent type of cancer in the elderly male population, frequently develops into aggressive forms resistant to chemical and hormonal therapies. In this condition, the so-called "cholinic phenotype" that is characterized by the overexpression of choline kinase alpha (CHKA) and increased phosphocholine levels leads to aberrant lipid metabolism. Our work demonstrates that CHKA, which is necessary for membrane phospholipid synthesis, is a target of the long non-coding RNA MALAT1. This study helps to further decipher how MALAT1 affects the regulation of crucial phospholipid/sphingolipid metabolic enzymes, as well as how the androgen receptor pathway is involved in MALAT1-dependent transcriptional regulation. Background. Choline kinase alpha (CHKA), an essential gene in phospholipid metabolism, is among the modulated MALAT1-targeted transcripts in advanced and metastatic prostate cancer (PCa). Methods. We analyzed CHKA mRNA by qPCR upon MALAT1 targeting in PCa cells, which is characterized by high dose-responsiveness to the androgen receptor (AR) and its variants. Metabolome analysis of MALAT1-depleted cells was performed by quantitative High-resolution 1 H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In addition, CHKA genomic regions were evaluated by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) in order to assess MALAT1-dependent histone-tail modifications and AR recruitment. Results. In MALAT1-depleted cells, the decrease of CHKA gene expression was associated with reduced total choline-containing metabolites compared to controls, particularly phosphocholine (PCho). Upon MALAT1 targeting a significant increase in repressive histone modifications was observed at the CHKA intron-2, encompassing relevant AR binding sites. Combining of MALAT1 targeting with androgen treatment prevented MALAT1-dependent CHKA silencing in androgen-responsive (LNCaP) cells, while it did not in hormone-refractory cells (22RV1 cells). Moreover, AR nuclear translocation and its activation were detected by confocal microscopy analysis and ChIP upon MALAT1 targeting or androgen treatment. Conclusions. These findings support the role of MALAT1 as a CHKA activator through putative association with the liganded or unliganded AR, unveiling its targeting as a therapeutic option from a metabolic rewiring perspective.
Inglese
De Martino, S., Iorio, E., Cencioni, C., Aiello, A., Spallotta, F., Chirico, M., Pisanu, M. E., Grassi, C., Pontecorvi, A., Gaetano, C., Nanni, S., Farsetti, A., MALAT1 as a Regulator of the Androgen-Dependent Choline Kinase A Gene in the Metabolic Rewiring of Prostate Cancer, <<CANCERS>>, 2022; 14 (12): N/A-N/A. [doi:10.3390/cancers14122902] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/214464]
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