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5-Fluorouracil dose escalation generated desensitized colorectal cancer cells with reduced expression of protein methyltransferases and no epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition potential

KIMBERLY FENECH1, ISAAC MICALLEF1,2, BYRON BARON1,*

1 Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking, University of Malta, Msida, MSD 2080, Malta
2 Department of Tumor Genetics and Biology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, 860-8556, Japan

* Corresponding Author: BYRON BARON. Email: email

Oncology Research 2024, 32(6), 1047-1061. https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.049173

Abstract

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers. In many cases, the poor prognosis of advanced CRC is associated with resistance to treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs such as 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and dysregulation in protein methylation are two mechanisms associated with chemoresistance in many cancers. This study looked into the effect of 5-FU dose escalation on EMT and protein methylation in CRC. Materials and Methods: HCT-116, Caco-2, and DLD-1 CRC cell lines were exposed to dose escalation treatment of 5-FU. The motility and invasive potentials of the cells before and after treatment with 5-FU were investigated through wound healing and invasion assays. This was followed by a Western blot which analyzed the protein expressions of the epithelial marker E-cadherin, mesenchymal marker vimentin, and the EMT transcription factor (EMT-TF), the snail family transcriptional repressor 1 (Snail) in the parental and desensitized cells. Western blotting was also conducted to study the protein expressions of the protein methyltransferases (PMTs), Euchromatic histone lysine methyltransferase 2 (EHMT2/G9A), protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT5), and SET domain containing 7/9 (SETD7/9) along with the global lysine and arginine methylation profiles. Results: The dose escalation method generated 5-FU desensitized CRC cells with distinct morphological features and increased tolerance to high doses of 5-FU. The 5-FU desensitized cells experienced a decrease in migration and invasion when compared to the parental cells. This was reflected in the observed reduction in E-cadherin, vimentin, and Snail in the desensitized cell lines. Additionally, the protein expressions of EHMT2/G9A, PRMT5, and SETD7/9 also decreased in the desensitized cells and global protein lysine and arginine methylation became dysregulated with 5-FU treatment. Conclusion: This study showed that continuous, dose-escalation treatment of 5-FU in CRC cells generated 5-FU desensitized cancer cells that seemed to be less aggressive than parental cells.

Graphical Abstract

5-Fluorouracil dose escalation generated desensitized colorectal cancer cells with reduced expression of protein methyltransferases and no epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition potential

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APA Style
FENECH, K., MICALLEF, I., BARON, B. (2024). 5-fluorouracil dose escalation generated desensitized colorectal cancer cells with reduced expression of protein methyltransferases and no epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition potential. Oncology Research, 32(6), 1047-1061. https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.049173
Vancouver Style
FENECH K, MICALLEF I, BARON B. 5-fluorouracil dose escalation generated desensitized colorectal cancer cells with reduced expression of protein methyltransferases and no epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition potential. Oncol Res. 2024;32(6):1047-1061 https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.049173
IEEE Style
K. FENECH, I. MICALLEF, and B. BARON "5-Fluorouracil dose escalation generated desensitized colorectal cancer cells with reduced expression of protein methyltransferases and no epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition potential," Oncol. Res., vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 1047-1061. 2024. https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.049173



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