Gastric cancer is a common cancer worldwide, particularly in East Asia. Chemotherapy is used in adjuvant or palliative therapies for gastric cancer. However, subsequent chemoresistance often develops. Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) links to several cancers, but its effect on chemoresistance in gastric cancer remains unclear. Here, we analyzed clinical samples from genetic databases and included patients with gastric cancer. We dissected the regulatory mechanism underlying GDF15-mediated resistance of cisplatin in human gastric cancer cells. We showed that GDF15 serum levels might be a valuable biomarker for predicting prognosis in gastric cancer. The expressions of GDF15 and its receptor glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor family receptor a-like (GFRAL) in gastric tumors are important for malignant progression. Moreover, GDF15 expression is increased in gastric cancer cells with cisplatin resistance, resulting from elevated intracellular glutathione (GSH) and antioxidant activities. Upregulated GDF15 could increase intracellular GSH content by activating the GFRAL-GCN2-eIF2α-ATF4 signaling, enhancing cystine-uptake transporter xCT expression, and contributing biosynthesis of GSH in human gastric cancer cells. In conclusion, our results indicate that GDF15 could induce chemoresistance by upregulating xCT expression and GSH biosynthesis in human gastric cancer cells. Targeting GDF15 could be a promising treatment method for gastric cancer progression.
- gastric cancer
- glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor family receptor a-like
- growth differentiation factor 15