REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0436.v1
Online: 28 February 2020 (13:07:04 CET)
It has been long recognized that under hypoxia conditions cancer cells reprogram their metabolism through shift from oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to glycolysis to meet elevated requirements in energy and nutrients for proliferation, migration and survival. However, data accumulated over the last years increasingly evidence that cancer cells can revert from glycolysis to OXPHOS and maintain both reprogrammed and oxidative metabolism even in the same tumor. The phenomenon denoted as cancer cell metabolic plasticity or hybrid metabolism depends on a tumor micro-environment, which is highly heterogeneous and influenced by intensity of vasculature and blood flow, oxygen concentration, nutrient and energy supply, and requires regulatory interplay between multiple oncogenes, transcription factors, growth factors, reactive oxygen species (ROS), etc. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) represent key modulators of switch between reprogrammed and oxidative metabolism. The present review focuses on cross-talks between HIF-1, GLUTs, and AMPK and other regulatory proteins including oncogenes such as c-Myc, p53 and KRAS, growth factor-initiated PKB/Akt, PI3K and mTOR signaling pathways and tumor suppressors such as LKB1 and TSC1 in controlling cancer cell metabolism. The multiple switches between metabolic pathways can underlie chemo-resistance to conventional anti-cancer therapy and should be taken into account in choosing molecular targets to discovery novel anti-cancer drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0374.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: alpha-fetoprotein; estrogens; selective estrogen receptor modulators; homology-based modeling; molecular docking; protein-ligand interaction; amino acid substitutions
Online: 29 December 2019 (08:08:23 CET)
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a major embryo- and tumor-associated protein capable of binding and transporting variety of hydrophobic ligands including estrogens. AFP has been shown to inhibit estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumor growth and this can be attributed to its estrogen-binding ability. Despite AFP has long been investigated, its three-dimensional (3D) structure has not been experimentally resolved and molecular mechanisms underlying AFP-ligand interaction remain obscure. In our study we constructed homology-based 3D model of human AFP (HAFP) with the purpose to perform docking of ERα ligands, three agonists (17β-estradiol, estrone and diethylstilbestrol) and three antagonists (tamoxifen, afimoxifene and endoxifen) into the obtained structure. Based on ligand docked scoring function, we identified three putative estrogen- and antiestrogen-binding sites with different ligand binding affinities. Two high-affinity sites were located in (i) a tunnel formed within HAFP subdomains IB and IIA and (ii) opposite side of the molecule in a groove originating from cavity formed between domains I and III, while (iii) the third low-affinity site was found at the bottom of the cavity. 100 ns MD simulation allowed studying their geometries and showed that HAFP-estrogen interactions occur due to van der Waals forces, while both hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions were almost equally involved in HAFP-antiestrogen binding. MM/GBSA rescoring method estimated binding free energies (ΔGbind) and showed that antiestrogens have higher affinities to HAFP as compared to estrogens. We performed in silico point substitutions of amino acid residues to confirm their roles in HAFP-ligand interactions and showed that Thr132, Leu138, His170, Phe172, Ser217, Gln221, His266, His316, Lys453, and Asp478 residues along two disulfide bonds, Cys224-Cys270 and Cys269-Cys277 have key roles in both HAFP-estrogen and HAFP-antiestrogen binding. Data obtained in our study contribute to understanding mechanisms underlying protein-ligand interactions and anti-cancer therapy strategies based on ER-binding ligands.