Antineoplastic effect of 1α,25(OH) 2 D 3 in spheroids from endothelial cells transformed by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus G protein coupled receptor

Published on Friday, 23 September 2022


The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus G protein-coupled receptor (KSHV/vGPCR) is a key molecule in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma.

In endothelial cells, tumor maintenance and NF-κB activation depends on vGPCR constitutive expression and activity. We have previously demonstrated that 1α,25(OH)2D3 induces apoptosis in a VDR dependent manner, inhibits vGPCR cell growth and NF-κB activity.

In this study, we developed a method to obtain multicellular spheroids (MCS) from endothelial cells expressing vGPCR in order to test whether MCS have a similar response to 2D-cultures after 1α,25(OH)2D3 treatment.

Firstly, we found that vGPCR MCS started to form at 2nd day-growth, reaching a diameter up to 300 μm at 7th day-growth, whereas cells without vGPCR expression (SVEC) developed spheroids earlier and remained smaller throughout the period monitored.

Secondly, vGPCR MCS size and architecture were analyzed during 1α,25(OH)2D3 (0.1-100 nM, 48 h) treatment. We found that once treated with 10 nM of 1α,25(OH)2D3 the initials MCS began a slight disaggregation with no changes in size; whereas at the higher dose (100 nM) the architecture of MCS was found completely broken.

Furthermore, VDR mRNA expression increased significantly and this change was accompanied by a reduction of HIF-1α, an increase of VEGF, p21 and Bim mRNA expression.

Finally, results from Western blot analysis showed that 1α,25(OH)2D3 decreased Akt and ERK1/2 protein phosphorylation.

In conclusion, these data have revealed that 1α,25(OH)2D3 inhibits vGPCR MCS proliferation and induces apoptosis similar to vGPCR cells growing in 2D-cultures.


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- Publication, 2019 Aug: The Entrapment of Somatostatin in a Lipid Formulation: Retarded Release and Free Radical Reactivity (from Di Bella's Foundation);

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- Publication, 2019 Sep: Effects of somatostatin, curcumin, and quercetin on the fatty acid profile of breast cancer cell membranes (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2020 Sep: Two neuroendocrine G protein-coupled receptor molecules, somatostatin and melatonin: Physiology of signal transduction and therapeutic perspectives (from Di Bella's Foundation);

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- A Retrospective Observational Study on Cases of Sarcoma Treated with the Di Bella Method: Rationale and Effectiveness;

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- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

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