Chemoresistance is one of the most important challenges in cancer therapy. The presence of cancer stem cells within the tumor may contribute to chemotherapy resistance since these cells express high levels of extrusion pumps and xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes that inactivate the therapeutic drug. Despite the recent advances in cancer cell metabolism adaptations, little is known about the metabolic adaptations of the cancer stem cells resistant to chemotherapy. In this study, we have undertaken an untargeted metabolomic analysis by liquid chromatography-high-resolution spectrometry combined with cytotoxicity assay, western blot, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and fatty acid oxidation in a prostate cancer cell line resistant to the antiandrogen 2-hydroxiflutamide with features of cancer stem cells, compared to its parental androgen-sensitive cell line. Metabolic fingerprinting revealed 106 out of the 850 metabolites in ESI+ and 67 out of 446 in ESI- with significant differences between the sensitive and the resistant cell lines. Pathway analysis performed with the unequivocally identified metabolites, revealed changes in pathways involved in energy metabolism as well as posttranscriptional regulation. Validation by enzyme expression analysis indicated that the chemotherapy-resistant prostate cancer stem cells were metabolically dormant with decreased fatty acid oxidation, methionine metabolism and ADP-ribosylation. Our results shed light on the pathways underlying the entry of cancer cells into dormancy that might contribute to the mechanisms of drug resistance.
Biology and Biomedicine
prostate cancer; cancer chemoresistance; fatty acid oxidation; cancer stem cells; untargeted metabolomic; liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry