Tan, Z., Chu, D., Chan, Y. et al. Mammalian Cells Undergo Endoreduplication in Response to Lactic Acidosis. Sci Rep 8, 2890 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20186-7
Polyploidization, a common event during the evolution of different tumours, has been proposed to confer selective advantages to tumour cells by increasing the occurrence of mutations promoting cancer progression and by conferring chemotherapy resistance. While conditions leading to polyploidy in cancer cells have been described, a general mechanism explaining the incidence of this karyotypic change in tumours is still missing. In this study, we tested whether a widespread tumour microenvironmental condition, low pH, could induce polyploidization in mammalian cells. We found that an acidic microenvironment, in the range of what is commonly observed in tumours, together with the addition of lactic acid, induced polyploidization in transformed and non-transformed human cell lines in vitro. In addition, we provide evidence that polyploidization was mainly driven through the process of endoreduplication, i.e. the complete skipping of mitosis in-between two S-phases. These findings suggest that acidic environments, which characterize solid tumours, are a plausible path leading to polyploidization of cancer cells.
This work was supported by an A*STAR Investigatorship awarded to G.R. (1437a00119).