Anti-claudin 18.2 antibody as new targeted therapy for advanced gastric cancer
BACKGROUND Trastuzumab, a humanized antibody targeting HER2, exhibits remarkable therapeutic efficacy against HER2-positive gastric cancer. However, recurrent therapeutic resistance presents revolutionary claims. Warburg effect and AKT signaling pathway was involved in the resistance to trastuzumab. Our previous studies have demonstrated that overexpression of metastasis associated with the colon cancer 1 (MACC1) predicted poor prognosis of GC and promoted tumor cells proliferation and invasion. In this study, we found that MACC1 was significantly upregulated in trastuzumab-resistant cell lines. Besides, downregulation of MACC1 reversed this resistance. METHODS The effect of trastuzumab and glycolysis inhibitor combination on cell viability, apoptosis, and cell metabolism was investigated in vitro using established trastuzumab-resistant GC cell lines. We assessed the impact of trastuzumab combined with oxamate on tumor growth and metabolism in an established xenograft model of HER2-positive GC cell lines. RESULTS Here, we found that MACC1 was significantly upregulated in trastuzumab-resistant cell lines. Besides, downregulation of MACC1 in trastuzumab-resistant cells reversed this resistance. Overexpression of MACC1-induced trastuzumab resistance, enhanced the Warburg effect, and activated the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, while downregulation of MACC1 presented the opposite effects. Moreover, when the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway was inhibited, the effects of MACC1 on resistance and glycolysis were diminished. Our findings indicated that MACC1 promoted the Warburg effect mainly through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, which further enhanced GC cells trastuzumab resistance. CONCLUSIONS Our results indicate that co-targeting of HER2 and the Warburg effect reversed trastuzumab resistance in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that the combination might overcome trastuzumab resistance in MACC1-overexpressed, HER2-positive GC patients.