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Inhibition of mitochondrial translation selectively targets osteosarcoma

Chen, Jianguo, Xu, Xiaoming, Fan, Mingyu
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2019 v.515 no.1 pp. 9-15
apoptosis, biogenesis, cell lines, growth retardation, metabolism, mice, mitochondria, neoplasm cells, osteoblasts, osteosarcoma, therapeutics, tigecycline, toxicity
The unique dependence of cancer cells on mitochondrial metabolism has been exploited therapeutically in various cancers but not osteosarcoma. In this work, we demonstrate that inhibition of mitochondrial translation is effective and selective in targeting osteosarcoma. We firstly showed that tigecycline at pharmacological achievable concentrations inhibited growth and induced apoptosis of multiple osteosarcoma cell lines while sparing normal osteoblast cells. Similarly, tigecycline at effective doses that delayed osteosarcoma growth did not cause significant toxicity to mice. We next showed that tigecycline specifically inhibits mitochondrial translation, resulting in defective mitochondrial respiration in both osteosarcoma and normal osteoblast cells. We further confirm mitochondrial respiration as the target of tigecycline using three independent approaches. In addition, we demonstrate that compared to normal osteoblasts, osteosarcoma cells have higher mitochondrial biogenesis. We finally show that specific inhibition of mitochondrial translation via EF-Tu depletion produces the similar anti-osteosarcoma effects of tigecycline. Our work highlights the therapeutic value of targeting mitochondrial metabolism in osteosarcoma and tigecycline as a useful addition to the treatment of osteosarcoma.