Analysis of autophagic flux in response to sulforaphane in metastatic prostate cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: The phytochemical sulforaphane (SF) has been shown to decrease prostate cancer metastases in a genetic mouse model of prostate carcinogenesis, though the mechanism of action is not fully known. SF has been reported to stimulate autophagy, and modulation of autophagy has been proposed to influence SF cytotoxicity; however, no conclusions about autophagy can be drawn without assessing autophagic flux, which has not been characterized in prostate cancer cells following SF treatment.We conducted an investigation to assess the impact of SF on autophagic flux in two metastatic prostate cancer cell lines at a concentration shown to decrease metastasis in vivo. Autophagic flux was assessed by multiple autophagy related proteins and substrates. We found that SF can stimulate autophagic flux and cell death only at high concentrations, above what has been observed in vivo.These results suggest that SF does not directly stimulate autophagy or cell death in metastatic prostate cancer cells under physiologically relevant conditions, but instead supports the involvement of in vivo factors as important effectors of SF-mediated prostate cancer suppression.
Project description:Histone deacetylase 6 is a multifunctional lysine deacetylase that is recently emerging as a central facilitator of response to stress and may play an important role in cancer cell proliferation. The histone deacetylase 6-inhibitor tubacin has been shown to slow the growth of metastatic prostate cancer cells and sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents. However, the proteins histone deacetylase 6 interacts with, and thus its role in cancer cells, remains poorly characterized. Histone deacetylase 6 deacetylase activity has recently been shown to be required for efficient basal autophagic flux. Autophagy is often dysregulated in cancer cells and may confer stress resistance and allow for cell maintenance and a high proliferation rate. Tubacin may therefore slow cancer cell proliferation by decreasing autophagic flux. We characterized the histone deacetylase 6-interacting proteins in LNCaP metastatic prostate cancer cells and found that histone deacetylase 6 interacts with proteins involved in several cellular processes, including autophagy. Based on our interaction screen, we assessed the impact of the histone deacetylase 6-inhibitor tubacin on autophagic flux in two metastatic prostate cancer cell lines and found that tubacin does not influence autophagic flux. Histone deacetylase 6 therefore influences cell proliferation through an autophagy-independent mechanism.
Project description:Autophagy reallocates nutrients and clears normal cells of damaged proteins and organelles. In the context of metastatic disease, invading cancer cells hijack autophagic processes to survive and adapt in the host microenvironment. We sought to understand how autophagy is regulated in the metastatic niche for prostate cancer (PCa) cells where bone marrow stromal cell (BMSC) paracrine signaling induces PCa neuroendocrine differentiation (NED). In PCa, this transdifferentiation of metastatic PCa cells to neuronal-like cells correlates with advanced disease. Because autophagy provides a survival advantage for cancer cells and promotes cell differentiation, we hypothesized that autophagy mediates PCa NED in the bone. Thus, we determined the ability of paracrine factors in conditioned media (CM) from two separate BMSC subtypes, HS5 and HS27a, to induce autophagy in C4-2 and C4-2B bone metastatic PCa cells by characterizing the autophagy marker, LC3. Unlike HS27a CM, HS5 CM induced LC3 accumulation in PCa cells, suggesting autophagy was induced and indicating that HS5 and HS27a secrete a different milieu of paracrine factors that influence PCa autophagy. We identified interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine more highly expressed in HS5 cells than in HS27a cells, as a paracrine factor that regulates PCa autophagy. Pharmacological inhibition of STAT3 activity did not attenuate LC3 accumulation, implying that IL-6 regulates NED and autophagy through different pathways. Finally, chloroquine inhibition of autophagic flux blocked PCa NED; hence autophagic flux maintains NED. Our studies imply that autophagy is cytoprotective for PCa cells in the bone, thus targeting autophagy is a potential therapeutic strategy.
Project description:The antitumor activity of an inhibitor of 26S proteasome bortezomib (Velcade) has been observed in various malignancies, including colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Bortezomib has been proposed to stimulate autophagy, but scientific observations did not always support this. Interactions between ERK activity and autophagy are complex and not completely clear. Autophagy proteins have recently been shown to regulate the functions of ERK, and ERK activation has been found to induce autophagy. On the other hand, sustained activation of ERK has also been shown to inhibit the maturation step of the autophagy process. In this study, we sought to identify the mechanism of autophagy regulation in cancer cells treated with bortezomib. Our results indicate that bortezomib blocked the autophagic flux without inhibiting the fusion of the autophagosome and lysosome. In ovarian cancer, as well as endometrial cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma cells, bortezomib inhibited protein degradation in lysosomes by suppressing cathepsins, which requires the participation of ERK phosphorylation, but not JNK or p38. Our findings that ERK phosphorylation reduced cathepsins further explain how ERK phosphorylation inhibits the autophagic flux. In conclusion, bortezomib may induce ERK phosphorylation to suppress cathepsin B and inhibit the catalytic process of autophagy in ovarian cancer and other solid tumors. The inhibition of cisplatin-induced autophagy by bortezomib can enhance chemotherapy efficacy in ovarian cancer. As we also found that bortezomib blocks the autophagic flux in other cancers, the synergistic cytotoxic effect of bortezomib by abolishing chemotherapy-related autophagy may help us develop strategies of combination therapies for multiple cancers.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:5?-reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) is a commonly used medicine in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Our study mainly focuses on the mechanism of BPH development after 5ARI treatment. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Prostate specimens from patients were collected. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), Beclin-1, LC3 levels, was analysed by immunohistochemistry. The role IGF-1 on autophagic flux in prostate epithelial cells was studied. Additionally, effect of autophagy on recombinant grafts consisting of prostate stromal and epithelial cells in nude mice was investigated. RESULTS:We demonstrated that IGF-1 expression is down-regulated in prostate fibroblasts after long-term 5-ARI application. A decrease in IGF-1 levels was found to activate autophagic flux through the mTOR pathway in prostate epithelial cells, while the inhibition of IGF-1 receptor function induced autophagy in prostate epithelial cells. In addition, we revealed that blocking autophagic flux initiation can reduce the volume of recombinant grafts in vivo. Finally, our findings suggest that long-term 5-ARI application reduces IGF-1 secretion by prostatic stromal cells, thereby inducing autophagy of prostatic epithelial cells, which is one of the mechanisms underlying BPH pathogenesis and progression. CONCLUSIONS:Focusing on the autophagy induced by low levels of IGF-1 in prostatic epithelial cells, after elucidating AR signalling impairment of prostate stromal cells, might provide a novel strategy for the treatment and prevention of BPH development.
Project description:Macroautophagy is a catabolic process that can mediate cell death or survival. Apo2 ligand (Apo2L)/tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) treatment (TR) is known to induce autophagy. Here we investigated whether SQSTM1/p62 (p62) overexpression, as a marker of autophagic flux, was related to aggressiveness of human prostate cancer (PCa) and whether autophagy regulated the treatment response in sensitive but not resistant PCa cell lines.Immunostaining and immunoblotting analyses of the autophagic markers p62 [in PCa tissue microarrays (TMAs) and PCa cell lines] and LC3 (in PCa cell lines), transmission electron microscopy, and GFP-mCherry-LC3 were used to study autophagy induction and flux. The effect of autophagy inhibition using pharmacologic (3-methyladenine and chloroquine) and genetic [(short hairpin (sh)-mediated knock-down of ATG7 and LAMP2) and small interfering (si)RNA-mediated BECN1 knock-down] approaches on TR-induced cell death was assessed by clonogenic survival, sub-G1 DNA content, and annexinV/PI staining by flow cytometry. Caspase-8 activation was determined by immunoblotting.We found that increased cytoplasmic expression of p62 was associated with high-grade PCa, indicating that autophagy signaling might be important for survival in high-grade tumors. TR-resistant cells exhibited high autophagic flux, with more efficient clearance of p62-aggregates in four TR-resistant PCa cell lines: C4-2, LNCaP, DU145, and CWRv22.1. In contrast, autophagic flux was low in TR-sensitive PC3 cells, leading to accumulation of p62-aggregates. Pharmacologic (chloroquine or 3-methyladenine) and genetic (shATG7 or shLAMP2) inhibition of autophagy led to cell death in TR-resistant C4-2 cells. shATG7-expressing PC3 cells, were less sensitive to TR-induced cell death whereas those shLAMP2-expressing were as sensitive as shControl-expressing PC3 cells. Inhibition of autophagic flux using chloroquine prevented clearance of p62 aggregates, leading to caspase-8 activation and cell death in C4-2 cells. In PC3 cells, inhibition of autophagy induction prevented p62 accumulation and hence caspase-8 activation.We show that p62 overexpression correlates with advanced stage human PCa. Pharmacologic and genetic inhibition of autophagy in PCa cell lines indicate that autophagic flux can determine the cellular response to TR by regulating caspase-8 activation. Thus, combining various autophagic inhibitors may have a differential impact on TR-induced cell death.
Project description:Transient receptor potential channel M2 (TRPM2) is a Ca<sup>2+</sup>-permeable channel that is activated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In many cell types, ROS activate TRPM2 to induce excessive Ca<sup>2+</sup> influx, resulting in Ca<sup>2+</sup> overload and consequent cell death. Recent studies suggest that TRPM2 may also regulate autophagy in pericytes and cancer cells by acting on the early step of autophagy, i.e. autophagic induction. However, there is no report on the role of TRPM2 in autophagic degradation, which is the late stage of autophagy. In the present study, we found abundant TRPM2 expression in lysosomes/autolysosomes in the primary cultured mouse aortic smooth muscle cells (mASMCs). Nutrient starvation stimulated autophagic flux in mASMCs mainly by promoting autophagic degradation. This starvation-induced autophagic degradation was reduced by TRPM2 knockout. Importantly, starvation-induced lysosomal/autolysosomal acidification and cell death were also substantially reduced by TRPM2 knockout. Taken together, the present study uncovered a novel mechanism that lysosomal TRPM2 facilitates lysosomal acidification to stimulate excessive autolysosome degradation and consequent cell death.
Project description:Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells acquire resistance to chemotherapy and apoptosis, in part, due to enhanced aerobic glycolysis and biomass production, known as the Warburg effect. We previously demonstrated that combination simvastatin (SIM) and metformin (MET) ameliorates critical Warburg effect-related metabolic aberrations of C4-2B cells, synergistically and significantly decreases CRPC cell viability and metastatic properties, with minimal effect on normal prostate epithelial cells, and inhibits primary prostate tumor growth, metastasis, and biochemical failure in an orthotopic model of metastatic CRPC, more effectively than docetaxel chemotherapy. Several modes of cell death activated by individual treatment of SIM or MET have been reported; however, the cell death process induced by combination SIM and MET treatment in metastatic CRPC cells remains unknown. This must be determined prior to advancing combination SIM and MET to clinical trial for metastatic CRPC. Treatment of C4-2B cells with combination 4??M SIM and 2?mM MET (SIM+MET) led to significant G1-phase cell cycle arrest and decrease in the percentage of DNA-replicating cells in the S-phase by 24?h; arrest was sustained throughout the 96-h treatment. SIM+MET treatment led to enhanced autophagic flux in C4-2B cells by 72-96?h, ascertained by increased LC3B-II (further enhanced with lysosomal inhibitor chloroquine) and reduced Sequestosome-1 protein expression, significantly increased percentage of acidic vesicular organelle-positive cells, and increased autophagic structure accumulation assessed by transmission electron microscopy. Chloroquine, however, could not rescue CRPC cell viability, eliminating autophagic cell death; rather, autophagy was upregulated by C4-2B cells in attempt to withstand chemotherapy. Instead, SIM+MET treatment led to Ripk1- and Ripk3-dependent necrosis by 48-96?h, determined by propidium iodide-Annexin V flow cytometry, increase in Ripk1 and Ripk3 protein expression, necrosome formation, HMGB-1 extracellular release, and necrotic induction and viability rescue with necrostatin-1 and Ripk3-targeting siRNA. The necrosis-inducing capacity of SIM+MET may make these drugs a highly-effective treatment for apoptosis- and chemotherapy-resistant metastatic CRPC cells.
Project description:Deregulation of autophagy has been linked to multiple degenerative diseases and cancer, thus the identification of novel autophagy regulators for potential therapeutic intervention is important. To meet this need, we developed a high content image-based short hairpin RNA screen monitoring levels of the autophagy substrate p62/SQSTM1. We identified 186 genes whose loss caused p62 accumulation indicative of autophagy blockade, and 67 genes whose loss enhanced p62 elimination indicative of autophagy stimulation. One putative autophagy stimulator, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 4 (PFKFB4), drives flux through pentose phosphate pathway. Knockdown of PFKFB4 in prostate cancer cells increased p62 and reactive oxygen species (ROS), but surprisingly increased autophagic flux. Addition of the ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine prevented p62 accumulation in PFKFB4-depleted cells, suggesting that the upregulation of p62 and autophagy was a response to oxidative stress caused by PFKFB4 elimination. Thus, PFKFB4 suppresses oxidative stress and p62 accumulation, without which autophagy is stimulated likely as a ROS detoxification response.
Project description:The physiological role of autophagic flux within the vascular endothelial layer remains poorly understood. Here, we show that in primary endothelial cells, oxidized and native LDL stimulates autophagosome formation. Moreover, by both confocal and electron microscopy, excess native or modified LDL appears to be engulfed within autophagic structures. Transient knockdown of the essential autophagy gene ATG7 resulted in higher levels of intracellular (125) I-LDL and oxidized LDL (OxLDL) accumulation, suggesting that in endothelial cells, autophagy may represent an important mechanism to regulate excess, exogenous lipids. The physiological importance of these observations was assessed using mice containing a conditional deletion of ATG7 within the endothelium. Following acute intravenous infusion of fluorescently labeled OxLDL, mice lacking endothelial expression of ATG7 demonstrated prolonged retention of OxLDL within the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroidal endothelium of the eye. In a chronic model of lipid excess, we analyzed atherosclerotic burden in ApoE(-/-) mice with or without endothelial autophagic flux. The absence of endothelial autophagy markedly increased atherosclerotic burden. Thus, in both an acute and chronic in vivo model, endothelial autophagy appears critically important in limiting lipid accumulation within the vessel wall. As such, strategies that stimulate autophagy, or prevent the age-dependent decline in autophagic flux, might be particularly beneficial in treating atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Given that autophagy inhibition is a feasible way to enhance sensitivity of cancer cells towards chemotherapeutic agents, identifying potent autophagy inhibitor has obvious clinical relevance. Here, we investigated ability of TN-16, a microtubule disrupting agent, on modulation of autophagic flux and its significance in promoting in vitro and in vivo cancer cell death. MATERIALS AND METHODS:The effect of TN-16 on cancer cell proliferation, cell division, autophagic process and apoptotic signalling was assessed by various biochemical (Western blot and SRB assay), morphological (TEM, SEM, confocal microscopy) and flowcytometric assays. In vivo anti-tumour efficacy of TN-16 was investigated in syngeneic mouse model of breast cancer. RESULTS:TN-16 inhibited cancer cell proliferation by impairing late-stage autophagy and induction of apoptosis. Inhibition of autophagic flux was demonstrated by accumulation of autophagy-specific substrate p62 and lack of additional LC3-II turnover in the presence of lysosomotropic agent. The effect was validated by confocal micrographs showing diminished autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Further studies revealed that TN-16-mediated inhibition of autophagic flux promotes apoptotic cell death. Consistent with in vitro data, results of our in vivo study revealed that TN-16-mediated tumour growth suppression is associated with blockade of autophagic flux and enhanced apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS:Our data signify that TN-16 is a potent autophagy flux inhibitor and might be suitable for (pre-) clinical use as standard inhibitor of autophagy with anti-cancer activity.