Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Metabolic adaptations to micro-environmental stress in tumour spheroids
Author: Smith, Hannah
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
Alterations in energy metabolism due to factors including cellular stress from the hostile tumour micro-environment are a emerging cancer hallmark. Distinct hypoxic and quiescent cell populations develop, which are resistant to chemotherapy due to lack of proliferation, drug inactivity in the altered redox status of the cell and enhanced drug biotransformation. The present study characterises the metabolic strategies employed by these distinct populations of cancer cells. The in vitro 3-dimensional tumour spheroid model, which reflects tumour architecture and behaviour, cultured under different micro-environmental conditions was utilized in this study. Metabolic enzyme activity and expression, overall metabolic flux rates for nutrients, metabolomics profiles of specific pathways and tissue status were assessed. Metabolic adaptations consistent with the Warburg effect were observed in fully oxygenated, proliferative tumour spheroids, with glucose being metabolised to produce lactate. Additionally, metabolomics investigations determined glucose was metabolised by the pentose phosphate pathway, demonstrated by high enrichment of glucose-derived carbon in 6-phophogluconate. The extraction of 39.7 ± 7.6 μ moles (mg protein) -1 glutamine from the medium over 24 hours was observed in these spheroids, consistent with glutaminolysis pathway activity. A 2-fold higher rate of glycolytic flux (measured by production of 3h2O from 5-3H-glucose) was measured in hypoxic tumour spheroids, despite reduced levels of glycolytic enzymes being determined. Surprisingly, although lower rates of glycolysis (2.6-fold) were measured in quiescent spheroids, increased glycolytic enzyme activities (HK 1.9 fold, PK 2 fold and LDH 1.8 fold), glucose (1.9 fold over 24 hours) and glutamine uptake (5.5 fold over 12 hours) as well as lactate production (1.8 fold) were measured, relative to their proliferating counterparts. This study demonstrates that metabolic strategies employed by tumour spheroids differ upon exposure to distinct micro-environmental stresses, additionally identifying hexokinase as a potential therapeutic target for the inhibition of glycolysis under all micro-environmental stress conditions analysed.
Supervisor: Callaghan, Richard; Board, Mary; Boultwood, Jacqueline Sponsor: Medical Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biochemistry ; Cancer ; Micro-Environmental Stress ; tumour spheroids ; metabolism