Supplementary Methods from Glycolytic Phenotype and AMP Kinase Modify the Pathologic Response of Tumor Xenografts to VEGF Neutralization
ARTICLE ABSTRACTVEGF antagonists are now widely used cancer therapeutics, but predictive biomarkers of response or toxicity remain unavailable. In this study, we analyzed the effects of anti-VEGF therapy on tumor metabolism and therapeutic response by using an integrated set of imaging techniques, including bioluminescence metabolic imaging, 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography, and MRI imaging and spectroscopy. Our results revealed that anti-VEGF therapy caused a dramatic depletion of glucose and an exhaustion of ATP levels in tumors, although glucose uptake was maintained. These metabolic changes selectively accompanied the presence of large necrotic areas and partial tumor regression in highly glycolytic tumors. In addition, we found that the central metabolic protein kinase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)—a cellular sensor of ATP levels that supports cell viability in response to energy stress—was activated by anti-VEGF therapy in experimental tumors. AMPK-α2 attenuation increased glucose consumption, tumor cell sensitivity to glucose starvation, and tumor necrosis following anti-VEGF therapy. Taken together, our findings reveal functional links between the Warburg effect and the AMPK pathway with therapeutic responses to VEGF neutralization in tumor xenograft models. Cancer Res; 71(12); 4214–25. ©2011 AACR.