Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
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Efficient Heat Shock Response Affects Hyperthermia-Induced Radiosensitization in a Tumor Spheroid Control Probability Assay
Chen, O.; Michlíková, S.; Eckhardt, L.; Wondrak, M.; M. De Mendoza, A.; Krause, M.; D. McLeod, D.; A. Kunz-Schughart, L.
Hyperthermia (HT) combined with irradiation is a well-known concept to improve the curative potential of radiotherapy. Technological progress has opened new avenues for thermoradiotherapy, even for recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Preclinical evaluation of the curative radiosensitizing potential of various HT regimens remains ethically, economically, and technically challenging. One key objective of our study was to refine an advanced 3-D assay setup for HT + RT research and treatment testing. For the first time, HT-induced radiosensitization was systematically examined in two differently radioresponsive HNSCC spheroid models using the unique in vitro "curative" analytical endpoint of spheroid control probability. We further investigated the cellular stress response mechanisms underlying the HT-related radiosensitization process with the aim to unravel the impact of HT-induced proteotoxic stress on the overall radioresponse. HT disrupted the proteome's thermal stability, causing severe proteotoxic stress. It strongly enhanced radiation efficacy and affected paramount survival and stress response signaling networks. Transcriptomics, q-PCR, and western blotting data revealed that HT + RT co-treatment critically triggers the heat shock response (HSR). Pre-treatment with chemical chaperones intensified the radiosensitizing effect, thereby suppressing HT-induced Hsp27 expression. Our data suggest that HT-induced radiosensitization is adversely affected by the proteotoxic stress response. Hence, we propose the inhibition of particular heat shock proteins as a targeting strategy to improve the outcome of combinatorial HT + RT.
Keywords: head and heck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC); heat shock proteins (Hsps); hyperthermia; proteotoxic stress; radiation therapy; spheroids
Cancers 13(2021), 3168