DNA damage-induced senescence is associated with metabolomic reprogramming in breast cancer cells.
Senescence due to exogenous and endogenous stresses triggers metabolic reprogramming and is associated with many pathologies, including cancer. In solid tumors, senescence promotes tumorigenesis, facilitates relapse, and changes the outcomes of anti-cancer therapies. Hence, cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating senescent pathways make attractive therapeutic targets. Cancer cells undergo metabolic reprogramming to sustain the growth-arrested state of senescence. In the present study, we aimed to understand the metabolic reprogramming in MCF-7 breast tumor cells in response to two independent inducers of DNA damage-mediated senescence, including ionizing radiation and doxorubicin. Increased DNA double-strand breaks, as demonstrated by γH2AX staining, showed a senescence phenotype, with expression of senescence-associated β-galactosidase accompanied by the upregulation of p21 and p16 in both groups. Further, untargeted analysis of the senescence-related extracellular metabolome profile of MCF-7 cells showed significantly reduced concentrations of carnitine and pantothenic acid and increased levels of S-adenosylhomocysteine in doxorubicin-treated cells, indicating the accumulation of ROS mediated DNA damage and impaired mitochondrial membrane potential. Similarly, a significant decline in the creatine level was observed in radiation-exposed cells, suggesting an increase in oxidative stress-mediated DNA damage. Our study, therefore, provides key effectors of the metabolic changes in doxorubicin and radiation-induced early senescence in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
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