Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Whey Protein Concentrate Renders MDA-MB-231 Cells Sensitive to Rapamycin by Altering Cellular Redox State and Activating GSK3β/mTOR Signaling.

Abstract Source:

Sci Rep. 2017 11 21 ;7(1):15976. Epub 2017 Nov 21. PMID: 29162840

Abstract Author(s):

Shih-Hsuan Cheng, Yang-Ming Tseng, Szu-Hsien Wu, Shih-Meng Tsai, Li-Yu Tsai

Article Affiliation:

Shih-Hsuan Cheng


Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is an amino acid-rich supplement that has been shown to increase cellular antioxidant capacity. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a crucial regulator of signaling in mammalian cells, and serves as a therapeutic target for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This study was designed to investigate the effect of combining WPC with rapamycin on MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. These cells were found to be insensitive to rapamycin and exhibited higher glutathione (GSH) and reactive oxygen species levels than non-tumorigenic MCF-10A cells. However, for MDA-MB-231 cells, the half maximal inhibitory concentration of rapamycin was lower when this drug was administered in combination with WPC than when used alone. Furthermore, combining WPC with rapamycin depleted GSH levels and reduced Nrf2 nuclear accumulation. In addition, WPC activated GSK3β/mTOR signaling, and GSK3β appeared to be involved in the WPC-mediated Nrf2 reduction and mTOR activation. In conclusion, WPC induced rapamycin sensitivity in MDA-MB-231 cells by altering their redox state and activating GSK3β/mTOR signaling. These results not only suggest a novel therapeutic approach for breast cancer treatment, but also provide insight into the critical pathways affecting the resistance to mTOR inhibition observed in a subgroup of TNBC patients.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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Sayer Ji
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