Metabolomics. 2023 Sep 10;19(9):80. doi: 10.1007/s11306-023-02045-3.
INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer is one of the most malignant cancers and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, while acquired chemoresistance would represent a major problem in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) because of the reduced treatment effect and increased rates of recurrence.
METHODS: To establish the chemoresistant NSCLC cells, doxorubicin was treated to A549 cells over 3 months at gradually increasing concentrations from 0.03 to 0.5 µM. Real-time PCR and Western blotting were employed for investigating mRNA and protein expression of the glutathione peroxidase (GPX) protein family and multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) in A549 and A549/CR cells. We also employed gas chromatography mass-spectrometry and nano electrospray ionization mass-spectrometry coupled with multivariate statistical analysis to characterize the unique metabolic and lipidomic profiles of chemoresistant NSCLC cells in order to identify potential therapeutic targets.
RESULTS: Reactive oxygen species levels were decreased, and mRNA and protein levels of GPX2 and multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) were increased in A549/CR. We identified 87 metabolites and intact lipid species in A549 and A549/CR. Among these metabolites, lactic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, aspartic acid, succinic acid, and ceramide, alongside the PC to PE ratio, and arachidonic acid-containing phospholipids were suggested as characteristic features of chemoresistant NSCLC cells (A549/CR).
CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals characteristic feature differences between drug-resistance NSCLC cells and their parental cells. We suggest potential therapeutic targets in chemoresistant NSCLC. Our results provide new insight into metabolic and lipidomic alterations in chemoresistant NSCLC. This could be used as fundamental information to develop therapeutic strategies for the treatment of chemoresistant NSCLC patients.