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Bladder cancer has a high incidence worldwide accompanies by high recurrent rate after treatment. The emergence of primary or acquired chemotherapy resistance leads to poor efficacy in many cases. To explore the underlying mechanisms of drug resistance, we firstly established a drug-resistant cell model T24/THP by repeated exposure of T24 cells to pirarubicin (THP) whose concentration increases gradually. Non-targeted metabolomics was performed to identify metabolic changes and key metabolism pathways variance in T24/THP cells. Pathway enrichment analysis demonstrated that the arginine and proline metabolic pathway was the most significantly changed pathway, where two representative members of polyamine, putrescine and spermidine were remarkably down regulated in T24/THP. Subsequent experiments further confirmed that ornithine decarboxylase (ODC1) and spermidine synthase (SRM), the key enzymes involved in the synthesis of these compounds, also showed a stable low expression in T24/THP. However, knocking down of ODC1 and SRM sensitized cells to chemotherapy treatment while overexpression of these two enzymes enhances chemotherapy resistance. This leaded to the point that ODC1 and SRM themselves are more likely to promote the drug resistance, which appears to contradict their low expression in T24/THP. We hypothesize that their diminished levels were due to the declined activity of genes upstream. According to this line of thought, we found that c-MYC was also down-regulated in T24/THP and its content could be significantly affected by drug administration. In addition, c-MYC could not only regulate the expression levels of ODC1 and SRM but also influence drug resistance in T24/THP. In conclusion, alterations in gene expression of ODC1 and SRM in drug resistance cell line is probably mediated by some upstream regulators rather than antineoplastic agents alone. Exploration of upstream signals and research on detailed regulatory mechanism, thereby understanding the actual role of c-MYC and polyamine in response to chemotherapy, can become a potential field direction to overcome drug resistance in bladder cancer. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Yiming Zhu, Chiyuan Piao, Zhe Zhang, Yuanjun Jiang, Chuize Kong. The potential role of c-MYC and polyamine metabolism in multiple drug resistance in bladder cancer investigated by metabonomics. Genomics. 2022 Jan;114(1):125-137

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PMID: 34843906

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