Understanding the Combined Effects of High Glucose Induced Hyper-Osmotic Stress and Oxygen Tension in the Progression of Tumourigenesis: From Mechanism to Anti-Cancer Therapeutics

Cells  |07 March 2023 12, no. 6: 825. | doi.org/10.3390/cells12060825

Gayathri K. G, Puja Laxmanrao Shinde, Sebastian John, Sivakumar K. C and Rashmi Mishra


High glucose (HG), a hallmark of the tumour microenvironment, is also a biomechanical stressor, as it exerts hyper-osmotic stress (HG-HO), but not much is known regarding how tumour cells mechanoadapt to HG-HO. Therefore, this study aimed to delineate the novel molecular mechanisms by which tumour cells mechanoadapt to HG/HG-HO and whether phytochemical-based interference in these mechanisms can generate tumour-cell-selective vulnerability to cell death. Mannitol and L-glucose were used as hyper-osmotic equivalents of high glucose. The results revealed that the tumour cells can efficiently mechanoadapt to HG-HO only in the normoxic microenvironment. Under normoxic HG/HG-HO stress, tumour cells polySUMOylate a higher pool of mitotic driver pH3(Ser10), which translocates to the nucleus and promotes faster cell divisions. On the contrary, acute hypoxia dampens HG/HG-HO-associated excessive proliferation by upregulating sentrin protease SENP7. SENP7 promotes abnormal SUMOylation of pH3(Ser10), thereby restricting its nuclear entry and promoting the M-phase arrest and cell loss. However, the hypoxia-arrested cells that managed to survive showed relapse upon reversal to normoxia as well as upregulation of pro-survival-associated SENP1, and players in tumour growth signalling, autophagy, glycolytic pathways etc. Depletion of SENP1 in both normoxia and hypoxia caused significant loss of tumour cells vs undepleted controls. SENP1 was ascertained to restrict the abnormal SUMOylation of pH3(Ser10) in both normoxia and hypoxia, although not so efficiently in hypoxia, due to the opposing activity of SENP7. Co-treatment with Momordin Ic (MC), a natural SENP1 inhibitor, and Gallic Acid (GA), an inhibitor of identified major pro-tumourigenic signalling (both enriched in Momordica charantia), eliminated surviving tumour cells in normal glucose, HG and HG-HO normoxic and hypoxic microenvironments, suggesting that appropriate and enhanced polySUMOylation of pH3(Ser10) in response to HG/HG-HO stress was attenuated by this treatment along with further dampening of other key tumourigenic signalling, due to which tumour cells could no longer proliferate and grow.


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