Journal of the Endocrine Society
Oxford University Press
SAT-119 Targeting Glutamate Metabolism and Signaling in ER+, Endocrine Therapy-Resistant Breast Cancer
DOI 10.1210/jendso/bvaa046.1086, Volume: 4, Issue: Suppl 1,




Estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of this malignancy. Aromatase inhibitors and selective estrogen receptor modulators or degraders (SERMS, SERDs) can be highly effective in treating ER+ breast cancer, but de novo and acquired resistance to these interventions is a persistent clinical problem. Endocrine therapy resistant breast cancer cells rewire their metabolism to support cellular demands associated with rapid proliferation and/or increased invasion and metastasis. An important feature of this metabolic flexibility is conversion of glutamine to glutamate, an amino acid integral to protection of cells from oxidative stress. Consistent with this, we show multiple cellular models of ER+, endocrine resistant breast cancer cells markedly increase glutamate release and upregulate expression of essential glutamine/glutamate metabolic enzymes and transporters, including the glutamate/cystine antiporter xCT, glutamate dehydrogenase (GLUD1/2), and/or the glutamine importer SLC1A5. Riluzole (RIL) is FDA-approved for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and has several proposed mechanisms of action, including suppression of glutamate release and increased glutamate uptake. We show ER+, endocrine responsive and resistant breast cancer cells are growth-inhibited by RIL. This is due to an increase in cell death, particularly in endocrine resistant breast cancer cells, and cell cycle arrest. Interestingly, histologic subtype confers a different cell cycle arrest profile, with invasive ductal cancer (IDC) models arresting in G1 but invasive lobular cancer (ILC) models arresting in G2/M. Isobologram analysis of RIL plus SERMs or SERDs shows additive-to-synergistic activity in a subset of ER+ cell line models, and preliminary studies show combination activity in patient-derived explants (PDEs). Mechanistically, we tested whether signaling through metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs, GRMs) and/or cystine import contribute to RIL’s growth-inhibitory phenotype. Antagonists of mGluRs/GRMs don’t phenocopy the effects of RIL, suggesting extracellular glutamate signaling through these receptors is not a key mechanism. Rescue experiments with β-mercaptoethanol to promote cystine uptake through transporters other than xCT show partial reversal of RIL-mediated cell cycle arrest in some cells, suggesting xCT may contribute to RIL-induced growth inhibition. In summary, we show RIL may be a viable addition to endocrine therapy in ER+ breast cancer. Ongoing studies will test additional mechanism(s) by which RIL may attenuate the growth of ER+ breast cancer models in vitro, including inhibition of protein kinase C and casein kinase 1 delta. We are further testing RIL efficacy alone and in combination with a SERD in primary tumors and lung metastases in a ER+ patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model.

Olukoya, Stires, Guerra, Persaud, Ma, Raj, and Riggins: SAT-119 Targeting Glutamate Metabolism and Signaling in ER+, Endocrine Therapy-Resistant Breast Cancer Targeting Glutamate Metabolism and Signaling in ER+, Endocrine Therapy-Resistant Breast Cancer&author=Ayodeji O Olukoya,Hillary Stires,Yanira Guerra,Sonali Persaud,Shihong Ma,Ganesh V Raj,Rebecca B Riggins,&keyword=&subject=Tumor Biology,Tumor Biology: General, Tumorigenesis, Progression, and Metastasis,AcademicSubjects/MED00250,