Role of mitochondria and cardiolipins in growth inhibition of breast cancer cells by retinoic acid

Published on Thursday, 07 November 2019


BACKGROUND: All-trans-retinoic-acid (ATRA) is a promising agent in the prevention/treatment of breast-cancer. There is growing evidence that reprogramming of cellular lipid metabolism contributes to malignant transformation and progression. Lipid metabolism is implicated in cell differentiation and metastatic colonization and it is involved in the mechanisms of sensitivity/resistance to different anti-tumor agents. The role played by lipids in the anti-tumor activity of ATRA has never been studied.

METHODS: We used 16 breast cancer cell-lines whose degree of sensitivity to the anti-proliferative action of ATRA is known. We implemented a non-oriented mass-spectrometry based approach to define the lipidomic profiles of each cell-line grown under basal conditions and following treatment with ATRA. To complement the lipidomic data, untreated and retinoid treated cell-lines were also subjected to RNA-sequencing to define the perturbations afforded by ATRA on the whole-genome gene-expression profiles. The number and functional activity of mitochondria were determined in selected ATRA-sensitive and -resistant cell-lines. Bio-computing approaches were used to analyse the high-throughput lipidomic and transcriptomic data.

RESULTS: ATRA perturbs the homeostasis of numerous lipids and the most relevant effects are observed on cardiolipins, which are located in the mitochondrial inner membranes and play a role in oxidative-phosphorylation. ATRA reduces the amounts of cardiolipins and the effect is associated with the growth-inhibitory activity of the retinoid. Down-regulation of cardiolipins is due to a reduction of mitochondria, which is caused by an ATRA-dependent decrease in the expression of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins. This demonstrates that ATRA anti-tumor activity is due to a decrease in the amounts of mitochondria causing deficits in the respiration/energy-balance of breast-cancer cells.

CONCLUSIONS: The observation that ATRA anti-proliferative activity is caused by a reduction in the respiration and energy balance of the tumor cells has important ramifications for the therapeutic action of ATRA in breast cancer. The study may open the way to the development of rational therapeutic combinations based on the use of ATRA and anti-tumor agents targeting the mitochondria.


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See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - All-Trans Retinoic Acid, Analogues and/or Derivatives - Approximately 60mg per day orally: 40mg per day Beta-Carotene/β-Carotene, 10mg per day ATRA and 10mg per day Axerophthol palmitate);

- All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives) - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- Solution of retinoids in vitamin E in the Di Bella Method biological multitherapy;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Alpha tocopheryl acetate/Vitamin E, approximately 20 grams per day orally);

- Cancer and Vitamin E (analogues and/or derivatives) and cancer - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- The Di Bella Method (A Variable Part - Omega 3 Essential/Unsaturated Fatty Acids. From 1.5 grams up to 3.0 grams per day orally);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Somatostatin, Octreotide, Sandostatin LAR, analogues and/or derivatives);

- Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- Publication, 2018 Jul: Over-Expression of GH/GHR in Breast Cancer and Oncosuppressor Role of Somatostatin as a Physiological Inhibitor (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2018 Sep: The over-expression of GH/GHR in tumour tissues with respect to healthy ones confirms its oncogenic role and the consequent oncosuppressor role of its physiological inhibitor, somatostatin: a review of the literature (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Aug: The Entrapment of Somatostatin in a Lipid Formulation: Retarded Release and Free Radical Reactivity (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Sep: Effects of Somatostatin and Vitamin C on the Fatty Acid Profile of Breast Cancer Cell Membranes (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma;

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide;

- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status;

- Observations on the Report of a case of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with lymph node, hepatic and osseus metastasis;

- Neuroblastoma: Complete objective response to biological treatment;

- Oesophageal squamocellular carcinoma: a complete and objective response;

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer.