Tunneling nanotube formation is stimulated by hypoxia in ovarian cancer cells

Snider Desir, Elizabeth L. Dickson, Rachel I. Vogel, Venugopal Thayanithy, Phillip Wong, Deanna Teoh, Melissa A. Geller, Clifford J. Steer, Subbaya Subramanian, Emil Lou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we demonstrated that hypoxic conditions stimulated an increase in tunneling nanotube (TNT) formation in chemoresistant ovarian cancer cells (SKOV3, C200).We found that suppressing the mTOR pathway using either everolimus or metformin led to suppression of TNT formation in vitro, verifying TNTs as a potential target for cancer-directed therapy. Additionally, TNT formation was detected in cocultures including between platinum-resistant SKOV3 cells, between SKOV3 cells and platinum-chemosensitive A2780 cells, and between SKOV3 cells cultured with benign ovarian epithelial (IOSE) cells; these findings indicate that TNTs are novel conduits for malignant cell interactions and tumor cell interactions with other cells in the microenvironment. When chemoresistant C200 and parent chemosensitive A2780 cells were co-cultured, chemoresistant cells displayed a higher likelihood of TNT formation to each other than to chemosensitive malignant or benign epithelial cells. Hypoxia-induced TNT formation represents a potential mechanism for intercellular communication in ovarian cancer and other forms of invasive refractory cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43150-43161
Number of pages12
JournalOncotarget
Volume7
Issue number28
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Chemoresistance
  • Hypoxia
  • Intercellular communication
  • MTOR
  • Tunneling nanotubes

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