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Transcriptomics predicts compound synergy in drug and natural product treated glioblastoma cells

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  • Lavinia-Lorena Pruteanu
  • Liliya Kopanitsa
  • Dezső Módos
  • Edgars Kletnieks
  • Elena Samarova
  • Andreas Bender
  • Leonardo Dario Gomez
  • David Stanley Bailey


Publication details

JournalPLoS ONE
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Sep 2020
DatePublished (current) - 18 Sep 2020
Issue number9
Number of pages25
Original languageEnglish


Pathway analysis is an informative method for comparing and contrasting drug-induced gene expression in cellular systems. Here, we define the effects of the marine natural product fucoxanthin, separately and in combination with the prototypic phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY-294002, on gene expression in a well-established human glioblastoma cell system, U87MG. Under conditions which inhibit cell proliferation, LY-294002 and fucoxanthin modulate many pathways in common, including the retinoblastoma, DNA damage, DNA replication and cell cycle pathways. In sharp contrast, we see profound differences in the expression of genes characteristic of pathways such as apoptosis and lipid metabolism, contributing to the development of a differentiated and distinctive drug-induced gene expression signature for each compound. Furthermore, in combination, fucoxanthin synergizes with LY-294002 in inhibiting the growth of U87MG cells, suggesting complementarity in their molecular modes of action and pointing to further treatment combinations. The synergy we observe between the dietary nutraceutical fucoxanthin and the synthetic chemical LY-294002 in producing growth arrest in glioblastoma, illustrates the potential of nutri-pharmaceutical combinations in targeting this challenging disease.

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© 2020 Pruteanu et al.

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