Coenzyme Q10 in association with metabolism-related AMPK/PFKFB3 and angiogenic VEGF/VEGFR2 genes in breast cancer patients.
Mol Biol Rep. 2020 Mar 5. Epub 2020 Mar 5. PMID: 32140960
Low levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) have been reported in the circulation of patients with breast cancer, particularly in metastatic features. Our objective was to study the correlation between plasma levels of CoQ10 and the tumoral expression levels of AMPK, PFKFB3, VEGF, and VEGFR2. This study was a part of consecutive case series conducted on 100 women with newly diagnosed invasive ductal breast carcinoma, with an age range of 30-60 years. Plasma levels of CoQ10 were measured using HPLC coupled to an UV detector. The expression levels were quantified using quantitative real-time PCR. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to generate pathways describing gene-to-gene inter-correlations. Using SEM identified AMPK expression to contribute positively to VEGF-A/VEGFR2 ratio (coefficient b = 0.64, P < 0.001). The VEGFR2 expression positively correlated with tumor size (coefficient b = 0.31, P < 0.001). A linear correlation between expression levels of AMPK and PFKFB3 was observed (r = - 0.273, P = 0.02). Similarly, VEGF-A was correlated with VEGFR2 (r = 0.698, P < 0.001). There were inverse significant correlations between CoQ10 and the fold changes of AMPK (r = - 0.276, P = 0.030), VEGF-A (r = - 0.319, P = 0.011) and VEGFR2 (r = - 0.262, P = 0.045). The correlation between CoQ10 and the fold changes of PFKFB3 was significantly progesterone receptor (PR) dependent (r = - 0.284, P = 0.041). Plasma CoQ10 was correlated with VEGF-A in hormone receptor-dependent mode (ER + : r = - 0.286, P = 0.032 and PR + : r = - 0.313, P = 0.025). Our findings could provide new insights suggesting CoQ10 can inversely correlate to the expression levels of VEGF-A/VEGFR2 as angiogenic factors and AMPK/PFKFB3 as biomarkers for tumoral glycolysis, especially in a hormone receptor-dependent manner to possibly prevent the progression of breast carcinogenesis.