HSF1-mediated control of cellular energy metabolism and mTORC1 activation drive acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia progression

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Abstract

Deregulated oncogenic signaling linked to PI3K/AKT and mTORC1 pathway activation is a hallmark of human T-cell acute leukemia (T-ALL) pathogenesis and contributes to leukemic cell resistance and adverse prognosis. Notably, although the multiagent chemotherapy of leukemia leads to a high rate of complete remission, options for salvage therapy for relapsed/ refractory disease are limited due to the serious side effects of augmenting cytotoxic chemotherapy. We report that ablation of HSF1, a key transcriptional regulator of the chaperone response and cellular bioenergetics, from mouse T-ALL tumors driven by PTEN loss or human T-ALL cell lines, has significant therapeutic effects in reducing tumor burden and sensitizing malignant cell death. From a mechanistic perspective, the enhanced sensitivity of T-ALLs to HSF1 depletion resides in the reduced MAPK-ERK signaling and metabolic and ATP-producing capacity of malig Deregulated oncogenic signaling linked to PI3K/AKT and mTORC1 pathway activation is a hallmark of human T-cell acute leukemia (T-ALL) pathogenesis and contributes to leukemic cell resistance and adverse prognosis. Notably, although the multiagent chemotherapy of leukemia leads to a high rate of complete remission, options for salvage therapy for relapsed/ refractory disease are limited due to the serious side effects of augmenting cytotoxic chemotherapy. We report that ablation of HSF1, a key transcriptional regulator of the chaperone response and cellular bioenergetics, from mouse T-ALL tumors driven by PTEN loss or human T-ALL cell lines, has significant therapeutic effects in reducing tumor burden and sensitizing malignant cell death. From a mechanistic perspective, the enhanced sensitivity of T-ALLs to HSF1 depletion resides in the reduced MAPK-ERK signaling and metabolic and ATP-producing capacity of malignant cells lacking HSF1 activity. Impaired mitochondrial ATP production and decreased intracellular amino acid content in HSF1-deficient T-ALL cells trigger an energy-saving adaptive response featured by attenuation of the mTORC1 activity, which is coregulated by ATP, and its downstream target proteins (p70S6K and 4E-BP). This leads to protein translation attenuation that diminishes oncogenic signals and malignant cell growth. Collectively, these metabolic alterations in the absence of HSF1 activity reveal cancer cell liabilities and have a profound negative impact on T-ALL progression. Implications: Targeting HSF1 and HSF1-dependent cancerspecific anabolic and protein homeostasis programs has a significant therapeutic potential for T-ALL and may prevent progression of relapsed/refractory disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-476
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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