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Open AccessArticle

Targeting Glutathione and Cystathionine β-Synthase in Ovarian Cancer Treatment by Selenium–Chrysin Polyurea Dendrimer Nanoformulation

1
CEDOC, Chronic Diseases Research Centre, NOVA Medical School|Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, 130, 1169-056 Lisboa, Portugal
2
Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil (IPOLFG), Rua Prof Lima Basto, 1099-023 Lisboa, Portugal
3
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (ITQB NOVA), Avenida da República (EAN), 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
4
CQFM-IN and Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
5
Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico, ULisboa, Avenida Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors equally contributed to this work.
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2523; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102523
Received: 1 June 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 19 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glutathione Metabolism)
Ovarian cancer is the main cause of death from gynecological cancer, with its poor prognosis mainly related to late diagnosis and chemoresistance (acquired or intrinsic) to conventional alkylating and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating drugs. We and others reported that the availability of cysteine and glutathione (GSH) impacts the mechanisms of resistance to carboplatin in ovarian cancer. Different players in cysteine metabolism can be crucial in chemoresistance, such as the cystine/glutamate antiporter system Xc (xCT) and the H2S-synthesizing enzyme cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) in the pathway of cysteine catabolism. We hypothesized that, by disrupting cysteine metabolic flux, chemoresistance would be reverted. Since the xCT transporter is also able to take up selenium, we used selenium-containing chrysin (SeChry) as a plausible competitive inhibitor of xCT. For that, we tested the effects of SeChry on three different ovarian cancer cell lines (ES2, OVCAR3, and OVCAR8) and in two non-malignant cell lines (HaCaT and HK2). Results showed that, in addition to being highly cytotoxic, SeChry does not affect the uptake of cysteine, although it increases GSH depletion, indicating that SeChry might induce oxidative stress. However, enzymatic assays revealed an inhibitory effect of SeChry toward CBS, thus preventing production of the antioxidant H2S. Notably, our data showed that SeChry and folate-targeted polyurea dendrimer generation four ([email protected]G4-FA) nanoparticles increased the specificity for SeChry delivery to ovarian cancer cells, reducing significantly the toxicity against non-malignant cells. Collectively, our data support [email protected]G4-FA nanoparticles as a targeted strategy to improve ovarian cancer treatment, where GSH depletion and CBS inhibition underlie SeChry cytotoxicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: ovarian cancer; platinum drugs; glutathione (GSH); cysteine; cystine/glutamate antiporter system Xc- (xCT); cystathionine β-synthase (CBS); hydrogen sulfide (H2S); selenium chrysin (SeChry); folate-targeted polyurea dendrimers ovarian cancer; platinum drugs; glutathione (GSH); cysteine; cystine/glutamate antiporter system Xc- (xCT); cystathionine β-synthase (CBS); hydrogen sulfide (H2S); selenium chrysin (SeChry); folate-targeted polyurea dendrimers
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Santos, I.; Ramos, C.; Mendes, C.; Sequeira, C.O.; Tomé, C.S.; Fernandes, D.G.; Mota, P.; Pires, R.F.; Urso, D.; Hipólito, A.; Antunes, A.M.; Vicente, J.B.; Pereira, S.A.; Bonifácio, V.D.B.; Nunes, S.C.; Serpa, J. Targeting Glutathione and Cystathionine β-Synthase in Ovarian Cancer Treatment by Selenium–Chrysin Polyurea Dendrimer Nanoformulation. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2523.

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