Synergistic Effects between mTOR Complex 1/2 and Glycolysis Inhibitors in Non-Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma Cells.
Cancer metabolism has greatly interested researchers. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is dysregulated in a variety of cancers and considered to be an appealing therapeutic target. It has been proven that growth factor signal, mediated by mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), drives cancer metabolism by regulating key enzymes in metabolic pathways. However, the role of mTORC2 in cancer metabolism has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, by employing automated spectrophotometry, we found the level of glucose uptake was decreased in non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) A549, PC-9 and SK-MES-1 cells treated with rapamycin or siRNA against Raptor, indicating that the inhibition of mTORC1 attenuated glycolytic metabolism in NSCLC cells. Moreover, the inhibition of AKT reduced glucose uptake in the cells as well, suggesting the involvement of AKT pathway in mTORC1 mediated glycolytic metabolism. Furthermore, our results showed a significant decrease in glucose uptake in rictor down-regulated NSCLC cells, implying a critical role of mTORC2 in NSCLC cell glycolysis. In addition, the experiments for MTT, ATP, and clonogenic assays demonstrated a reduction in cell proliferation, cell viability, and colony forming ability in mTOR inhibiting NSCLC cells. Interestingly, the combined application of mTORC1/2 inhibitors and glycolysis inhibitor not only suppressed the cell proliferation and colony formation, but also induced cell apoptosis, and such an effect of the combined application was stronger than that caused by mTORC1/2 inhibitors alone. In conclusion, this study reports a novel effect of mTORC2 on NSCLC cell metabolism, and reveals the synergistic effects between mTOR complex 1/2 and glycolysis inhibitors, suggesting that the combined application of mTORC1/2 and glycolysis inhibitors may be a new promising approach to treat NSCLC.