Mitotane causes hypercholesterolemia in ACC patients. We suppose that cholesterol increases within the tumor and can be used to activate proliferative pathways. In this study, we used statins to decrease intratumor cholesterol and investigated the effects on ACC growth related to ERα action at the nuclear and mitochondrial levels. We first used microarray to investigate mitotane effect on genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis and evaluated their relationship with patients' survival in ACC TCGA. We then blocked cholesterol synthesis with simvastatin and determined the effects on H295R cell proliferation, estradiol production and ERα activity in vitro and in xenograft tumors. We found that mitotane increases intratumor cholesterol content and expression of genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis, among them INSIG, whose expression affects patients' survival. Treatment of H295R cells with simvastatin to block cholesterol synthesis decreased cellular cholesterol content and this affected cell viability. Simvastatin reduced estradiol production and decreased nuclear and mitochondrial ERα function. A mitochondrial target of ERα, the respiratory complex IV (COX IV) was reduced after simvastatin treatment, which profoundly affected mitochondrial respiration activating apoptosis. In vivo experiments confirmed the ability of simvastatin to reduce tumor volume and weight of grafted H295R cells, intratumor cholesterol content, Ki-67 and ERα, COX IV expression and activity and increase TUNEL positive cells. Collectively these data demonstrate that a reduction in intratumor cholesterol content prevents estradiol production, inhibits mitochondrial respiratory chain inducing apoptosis in ACC cells. Inhibition of mitochondrial respiration by simvastatin represents a novel strategy to counteract ACC growth.
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|Titolo:||Statins reduce intratumor cholesterol affecting adrenocortical cancer growth|
PEZZI, Vincenzo (Corresponding)
SIRIANNI, Rosa (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|