Expression of PFKFB3 and Ki67 in lung adenocarcinomas and targeting PFKFB3 as a therapeutic strategy
Phosphofructokinase-2/fructose-2, 6-bisphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3) catalyzes the synthesis of F2,6BP, which is an allosteric activator of 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase (PFK-1): the rate-limiting enzyme of glycolysis. During tumorigenesis, PFKFB3 increases glycolysis, angiogenesis, and tumor progression. In this study, our aim was to investigate the significance of PFKFB3 and Ki67 in human lung adenocarcinomas and to target PFKFB3 as a therapeutic strategy. In this study, we determined the expression levels of PFKFB3 mRNA and proteins in cancerous and normal lung adenocarcinomas by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR), Western blot analysis, and tissue microarray immunohistochemistry analysis, respectively. In human adenocarcinoma tissues, PFKFB3 and Ki67 protein levels were related to the clinical characteristics and overall survival. Both PFKFB3 mRNA and protein were significantly higher in lung adenocarcinoma cells (all P < 0.05). A high expression of PFKFB3 and Ki67 were associated with the degree of differentiation, TNM staging, lymph node metastasis, and survival. A high expression of PFKFB3 protein was an independent prognostic marker in lung adenocarcinoma. Subsequently, 1-(4-pyridinyl)-3-(2-quinolinyl)-2-propen-1-one (PFK15) was used as a selective antagonist of PFKFB3. Glycolytic flux was determined by measuring glucose uptake, F2,6BP, and lactate production. Cell viability, cell cycle, cell apoptosis, cell migration, and invasion were analyzed by MTT, flow cytometry, Western blot analysis, wound healing assay, and transwell chamber assay. By targeting PFKFB3, it inhibited cell viability and glycolytic activity. It also caused apoptosis and induced cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, the migration and invasion of A549 cells was inhibited. We conclude that PFKFB3 bears an oncogene-like regulatory element in lung adenocarcinoma progression. In the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma, targeting PFKFB3 would be a promising therapeutic strategy.
KeywordsPFKFB3 Ki67 Lung adenocarcinoma A549 Prognosis Therapy
This study was funded by grants from Six talent peaks project in Jiangsu Province, China (No. WSN-059), the Science Foundation of Nantong City, Jiangsu, China (No. MS12015007), Scientific research topic of Jiangsu provincial health and Family Planning Commission, China (No. H201626), and Key talents of Medical Science in Jiangsu Province, China (No. QNRC2016682).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no competing interests.
- 6.Bando H, Atsumi T, Nishio T, Niwa H, Mishima S, Shimizu C, Yoshioka N, Bucala R, Koike T (2005) Phosphorylation of the 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose 2,6-bisphosphatase/PFKFB3 family of glycolytic regulators in human cancer. Clin Cancer Res 11:5784–5792. https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-0149CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 7.Clem B, Telang S, Clem A, Yalcin A, Meier J, Simmons A, Rasku MA, Arumugam S, Dean WL, Eaton J, Lane A, Trent JO, Chesney J (2008) Small-molecule inhibition of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase activity suppresses glycolytic flux and tumor growth. Mol Cancer Ther 7:110–120. https://doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-0482CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 9.Li HM, Yang JG, Liu ZJ, Wang WM, Yu ZL, Ren JG, Chen G, Zhang W, Jia J (2017) Blockage of glycolysis by targeting PFKFB3 suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 36:7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13046-016-0481-1CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 14.Clem BF, O’Neal J, Tapolsky G, Clem AL, Imbert-Fernandez Y, Kerr DA, 2nd, Klarer AC, Redman R, Miller DM, Trent JO, Telang S, Chesney J (2013) Targeting 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase (PFKFB3) as a therapeutic strategy against cancer. Mol Cancer Ther 12:1461–1470. https://doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0097CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 17.Yalcin A, Clem BF, Imbert-Fernandez Y, Ozcan SC, Peker S, O’Neal J, Klarer AC, Clem AL, Telang S, Chesney J (2014) 6-Phosphofructo-2-kinase (PFKFB3) promotes cell cycle progression and suppresses apoptosis via Cdk1-mediated phosphorylation of p27. Cell Death Dis 5:e1337. https://doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2014.292CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 18.Yalcin A, Clem BF, Simmons A, Lane A, Nelson K, Clem AL, Brock E, Siow D, Wattenberg B, Telang S, Chesney J (2009) Nuclear targeting of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase (PFKFB3) increases proliferation via cyclin-dependent kinases. J Biol Chem 284:24223–24232. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M109.016816CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 19.Xu Y, An X, Guo X, Habtetsion TG, Wang Y, Xu X, Kandala S, Li Q, Li H, Zhang C, Caldwell RB, Fulton DJ, Su Y, Hoda MN, Zhou G, Wu C, Huo Y (2014) Endothelial PFKFB3 plays a critical role in angiogenesis. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 34:1231–1239. https://doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.303041CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 23.Travis WD, Brambilla E, Noguchi M, Nicholson AG, Geisinger K, Yatabe Y, Powell CA, Beer D, Riely G, Garg K, Austin JH, Rusch VW, Hirsch FR, Jett J, Yang PC, Gould M, American Thoracic Society (2011) International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society: international multidisciplinary classification of lung adenocarcinoma: executive summary. Proc Am Thorac Soc 8:381–385. https://doi.org/10.1513/pats.201107-042STCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 27.Minchenko A, Leshchinsky I, Opentanova I, Sang N, Srinivas V, Armstead V, Caro J (2002) Hypoxia-inducible factor-1-mediated expression of the 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase-3 (PFKFB3) gene. Its possible role in the Warburg effect. J Biol Chem 277:6183–6187. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110978200CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 28.Obach M, Navarro-Sabate A, Caro J, Kong X, Duran J, Gomez M, Perales JC, Ventura F, Rosa JL, Bartrons R (2004) 6-Phosphofructo-2-kinase (pfkfb3) gene promoter contains hypoxia-inducible factor-1 binding sites necessary for transactivation in response to hypoxia. J Biol Chem 279:53562–53570. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M406096200CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 30.Zou Y, Zeng S, Huang M, Qiu Q, Xiao Y, Shi M, Zhan Z, Liang L, Yang X, Xu H (2017) Inhibition of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase suppresses fibroblast-like synoviocytes-mediated synovial inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis. Br J Pharmacol. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.13762Google Scholar
- 32.Schoors S, De Bock K, Cantelmo AR, Georgiadou M, Ghesquiere B, Cauwenberghs S, Kuchnio A, Wong BW, Quaegebeur A, Goveia J, Bifari F, Wang X, Blanco R, Tembuyser B, Cornelissen I, Bouche A, Vinckier S, Diaz-Moralli S, Gerhardt H, Telang S, Cascante M, Chesney J, Dewerchin M, Carmeliet P (2014) Partial and transient reduction of glycolysis by PFKFB3 blockade reduces pathological angiogenesis. Cell Metab 19:37–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2013.11.008CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 33.De Bock K, Georgiadou M, Schoors S, Kuchnio A, Wong BW, Cantelmo AR, Quaegebeur A, Ghesquiere B, Cauwenberghs S, Eelen G, Phng LK, Betz I, Tembuyser B, Brepoels K, Welti J, Geudens I, Segura I, Cruys B, Bifari F, Decimo I, Blanco R, Wyns S, Vangindertael J, Rocha S, Collins RT, Munck S, Daelemans D, Imamura H, Devlieger R, Rider M, Van Veldhoven PP, Schuit F, Bartrons R, Hofkens J, Fraisl P, Telang S, Deberardinis RJ, Schoonjans L, Vinckier S, Chesney J, Gerhardt H, Dewerchin M, Carmeliet P (2013) Role of PFKFB3-driven glycolysis in vessel sprouting. Cell 154:651–663. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.06.037CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar