Understanding and exploiting the mechanistic basis for selectivity of polyketide inhibitors of F(0)F(1)-ATPase.


Salomon, A R; Voehringer, D W; Herzenberg, L A; Khosla, C

Publication Year 1905
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Pages 14766-14771
Volume 97
Issue 26
PMID 11121076.0
DOI 10.1073/pnas.97.26.14766
URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.97.26.14766

Recently, a family of polyketide inhibitors of F(0)F(1)-ATPase, including apoptolidin, ossamycin, and oligomycin, were shown to be among the top 0.1% most cell line selective cytotoxic agents of 37, 000 molecules tested against the 60 human cancer cell lines of the National Cancer Institute. Many cancer cells maintain a high level of anaerobic carbon metabolism even in the presence of oxygen, a phenomenon that is historically known as the Warburg effect. A mechanism-based strategy to sensitize such cells to this class of potent small molecule cytotoxic agents is presented. These natural products inhibit oxidative phosphorylation by targeting the mitochondrial F(0)F(1) ATP synthase. Evaluation of gene expression profiles in a panel of leukemias revealed a strong correlation between the expression level of the gene encoding subunit 6 of the mitochondrial F(0)F(1) ATP synthase (known to be the binding site of members of this class of macrolides) and their sensitivity to these natural products. Within the same set of leukemia cell lines, comparably strong drug-gene correlations were also observed for the genes encoding two key enzymes involved in central carbon metabolism, pyruvate kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase. We propose a simple model in which the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway is activated in response to a shift in balance between aerobic and anaerobic ATP biosynthesis. Inhibitors of both lactate formation and carbon flux through the Embden-Meyerhof pathway significantly sensitized apoptolidin-resistant tumors to this drug. Nine different cell lines derived from human leukemias and melanomas, and colon, renal, central nervous system, and ovarian tumors are also sensitized to killing by apoptolidin.