Rational Targeting of Cellular Cholesterol in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Enabled by Functional Lipoprotein Nanoparticles: A Therapeutic Strategy Dependent on Cell of Origin

Jonathan S. Rink, Shuo Yang, Osman Cen, Tim Taxter, Kaylin M. McMahon, Sol Misener, Amir Behdad, Richard Longnecker, Leo I. Gordon*, C. Shad Thaxton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cancer cells have altered metabolism and, in some cases, an increased demand for cholesterol. It is important to identify novel, rational treatments based on biology, and cellular cholesterol metabolism as a potential target for cancer is an innovative approach. Toward this end, we focused on diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) as a model because there is differential cholesterol biosynthesis driven by B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling in germinal center (GC) versus activated B-cell (ABC) DLBCL. To specifically target cellular cholesterol homeostasis, we employed high-density lipoprotein-like nanoparticles (HDL NP) that can generally reduce cellular cholesterol by targeting and blocking cholesterol uptake through the high-affinity HDL receptor, scavenger receptor type B-1 (SCARB1). As we previously reported, GC DLBCL are exquisitely sensitive to HDL NP as monotherapy, while ABC DLBCL are less sensitive. Herein, we report that enhanced BCR signaling and resultant de novo cholesterol synthesis in ABC DLBCL drastically reduces the ability of HDL NPs to reduce cellular cholesterol and induce cell death. Therefore, we combined HDL NP with the BCR signaling inhibitor ibrutinib and the SYK inhibitor R406. By targeting both cellular cholesterol uptake and BCR-associated de novo cholesterol synthesis, we achieved cellular cholesterol reduction and induced apoptosis in otherwise resistant ABC DLBCL cell lines. These results in lymphoma demonstrate that reduction of cellular cholesterol is a powerful mechanism to induce apoptosis. Cells rich in cholesterol require HDL NP therapy to reduce uptake and molecularly targeted agents that inhibit upstream pathways that stimulate de novo cholesterol synthesis, thus, providing a new paradigm for rationally targeting cholesterol metabolism as therapy for cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4042-4051
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 2017

Keywords

  • B-cell receptor signaling
  • cholesterol
  • high-density lipoproteins
  • lymphoma
  • nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery

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