Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Beta-blockers : functional properties and signalling mechanisms in cancer cell lines
Author: Reyes Corral, Marta
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 5697
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
β-Blockers or class II antiarrhythmics are antisympathetic nervous system agents that act by blocking β-adrenoceptors. Despite their common clinical use, little is known about the effects of β-blockers on free intracellular calcium (Ca²⁺ᵢ), an important cytosolic second messenger and a key regulator of cell function. Together with the transcription factor co-activator β-catenin, Ca²⁺ᵢ is also a key transducer of Wnt signalling pathways, which control numerous biological processes including cancer development and progression. Although used primarily to treat cardiac conditions, several epidemiological studies have linked the use of β-blockers with a lower incidence of cancer progression and mortality for various cancers, including prostate cancer. The mechanisms of action of β-blockers in cancer cells are still poorly understood. In this thesis, I explored the in vitro functional properties of several β-blockers and their potential to regulate Wnt signalling, using a combination of live cell calcium imaging, patch clamp electrophysiology, and molecular biology techniques. First, I characterised the activation of free Ca²⁺ᵢ release and the regulation of cell growth by six β-blockers in PC3 and LNCaP prostate cancer and MCF7 breast cancer cell lines. Second, I investigated the mechanisms by which propranolol activates Ca²⁺ᵢ stores in PC3 cells and the regulation of whole-cell currents by this β-blocker. Third, I evaluated the effects of propranolol on Wnt signalling pathways, focusing on the intracellular Wnt transducers Ca²⁺ᵢ and β-catenin and the whole-cell currents activated by Wnts. Propranolol suppressed cancer cell growth in a concentration dependent manner by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, whereas the other five β-blockers examined did not affect cell growth. Moreover, propranolol was the only β-blocker studied that activated the release of free Ca²⁺ᵢ in the cells, via a calcium-induced calcium release mechanism that could be mediated by the β₂-adrenoceptor. The rise in Ca2+i levels led to the activation of a Ca²⁺-activated K⁺ current that hyperpolarised the cell membrane. Finally, propranolol inhibited some components of the Wnt signalling pathways: it precluded Wnt-induced Ca²⁺ᵢ release, reduced the translocation of β-catenin to the nucleus, and decreased the amplitude of the Wnt-induced currents. The differential actions of the β-blockers investigated may have implications on their pharmacology, and the new functional properties of propranolol described here add up to the emerging line of research that supports the repurposing of this β-blocker as a novel anti-cancer agent.
Supervisor: Ahmed, Aamir ; Dasgupta, Prokar Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available