Imidazole Ketone Erastin Induces Ferroptosis and Slows Tumor Growth in a Mouse Lymphoma Model.
ABSTRACT: Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that can be induced by inhibition of the cystine-glutamate antiporter, system xc-. Among the existing system xc- inhibitors, imidazole ketone erastin (IKE) is a potent, metabolically stable inhibitor of system xc- and inducer of ferroptosis potentially suitable for in vivo applications. We investigated the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic features of IKE in a diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) xenograft model and demonstrated that IKE exerted an antitumor effect by inhibiting system xc-, leading to glutathione depletion, lipid peroxidation, and the induction of ferroptosis biomarkers both in vitro and in vivo. Using untargeted lipidomics and qPCR, we identified distinct features of lipid metabolism in IKE-induced ferroptosis. In addition, biodegradable polyethylene glycol-poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles were employed to aid in IKE delivery and exhibited reduced toxicity compared with free IKE in a DLBCL xenograft model.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that can be induced by inhibition of the cystine-glutamate antiporter, system xc-. Among the existing system xc- inhibitors, imidazole ketone erastin (IKE) is a potent, metabolically stable inhibitor of system xc- and inducer of ferroptosis potentially suitable for in vivo applications. We investigated the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic features of IKE in a diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) xenograft model and demonstrated that IKE exerted an antitumor effect by inhibiting system xc-, leading to glutathione depletion, lipid peroxidation, and the induction of ferroptosis biomarkers both in vitro and in vivo. Using untargeted lipidomics and qPCR, we identified distinct features of lipid metabolism in IKE-induced ferroptosis. In addition, biodegradable polyethylene glycol-poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles were employed to aid in IKE delivery and exhibited reduced toxicity compared with free IKE in a DLBCL xenograft model.
Project description:The amino acid antiporter system Xc<sup>-</sup> is important for the synthesis of glutathione (GSH) that functions to prevent lipid peroxidation and protect cells from nonapoptotic, iron-dependent death (i.e., ferroptosis). While the activity of system Xc<sup>-</sup> often positively correlates with the expression level of its light chain encoded by SLC7A11, inhibition of system Xc<sup>-</sup> activity by small molecules (e.g., erastin) causes a decrease in the intracellular GSH level, leading to ferroptotic cell death. How system Xc<sup>-</sup> is regulated during ferroptosis remains largely unknown. Here we report that activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), a common stress sensor, can promote ferroptosis induced by erastin. ATF3 suppressed system Xc<sup>-</sup>, depleted intracellular GSH, and thereby promoted lipid peroxidation induced by erastin. ATF3 achieved this activity through binding to the SLC7A11 promoter and repressing SLC7A11 expression in a p53-independent manner. These findings thus add ATF3 to a short list of proteins that can regulate system Xc<sup>-</sup> and promote ferroptosis repressed by this antiporter.
Project description:Erastin was initially discovered as a small molecule compound that selectively kills tumor cells expressing ST and RASV12 and was later widely investigated as an inducer of ferroptosis. Ferroptosis is a recently discovered form of cell death caused by peroxidation induced by the accumulation of intracellular lipid reactive oxygen species (L-ROS) in an iron-dependent manner. Erastin can mediate ferroptosis through a variety of molecules including the cystine-glutamate transport receptor (system XC -), the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), and p53. Erastin is able to enhance the sensitivity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, suggesting a promising future in cancer therapy. We hope that this review will help to better understand the role of erastin in ferroptosis and lay the foundation for further research and the development of erastin-based cancer therapies in the future.
Project description:System xc- was recently described as the most upstream node in a novel form of regulated necrotic cell death, called ferroptosis. In this context, the small molecule erastin was reported to target and inhibit system xc-, leading to cysteine starvation, glutathione depletion and consequently ferroptotic cell death. Although the inhibitory effect of erastin towards system xc- is well-documented, nothing is known about its mechanism of action. Therefore, we sought to interrogate in more detail the underlying mechanism of erastin's pro-ferroptotic effects. When comparing with some well-known inhibitors of system xc-, erastin was the most efficient inhibitor acting at low micromolar concentrations. Notably, only a very short exposure of cells with low erastin concentrations was sufficient to cause a strong and persistent inhibition of system xc-, causing glutathione depletion. These inhibitory effects towards system xc- did not involve cysteine modifications of the transporter. More importantly, short exposure of tumor cells with erastin strongly potentiated the cytotoxic effects of cisplatin to efficiently eradicate tumor cells. Hence, our data suggests that only a very short pre-treatment of erastin suffices to synergize with cisplatin to efficiently induce cancer cell death, findings that might guide us in the design of novel cancer treatment paradigms.
Project description:<b>Background:</b> The discovery of ferroptosis is a major breakthrough in the development of cancer treatments. However, the mechanism by which ferroptosis contributes to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is to be clarified. Here, we explored erastin-induced ferroptosis in ALL cells and the impact of autophagic activity on this process. <b>Materials and Methods:</b> Cell viability was evaluated in various ALL cell lines following erastin treatment by the MTS assay, while cell death was evaluated via a trypan blue assay. Immunoblotting and quantitative real-time PCR were used to detect protein and mRNA expression, respectively. The UbiBrowser database was used to predict the E3 ligase of VDAC3, which was confirmed by immunoprecipitation. The role of FBXW7 in erastin-induced ferroptosis <i>in vitro</i> was evaluated via lentiviral-mediated silencing and overexpression. ALL xenograft mice were used to observe the impact of autophagy on erastin-induced ferroptosis. <b>Results:</b> Resistance to erastin-induced ferroptosis was higher in Jurkat and CCRF-CEM cells than in Reh cells. The sensitivity could be modified by the autophagy activator rapamycin (Rapa) and the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ). Rapa sensitized ALL cells to erastin-induced ferroptosis. In ALL xenograft mice, the combination treatment of Rapa and erastin resulted in longer survival time than those observed with erastin or Rapa treatment alone. VDAC3 was regulated by autophagy post-transcriptionally, mainly via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). FBXW7 was verified as a specific E3 ligase of VDAC3. <i>FBXW7</i> knockdown attenuated VDAC3 degradation by suppressing its ubiquitination, thereby increasing the sensitivity of ALL cells to erastin. <b>Conclusion:</b> Autophagy regulated erastin-induced ferroptosis via the FBXW7-VDAC3 axis. Rapa sensitized ALL cells to erastin-induced ferroptosis both <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>. Our findings provide potential therapeutic targets for ALL.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death triggered by lipid peroxidation after inhibition of the cystine/glutamate antiporter system Xc-. However, key regulators of system Xc- activity in ferroptosis remain undefined. Here, we show that BECN1 plays a hitherto unsuspected role in promoting ferroptosis through directly blocking system Xc- activity via binding to its core component, SLC7A11 (solute carrier family 7 member 11). Knockdown of BECN1 by shRNA inhibits ferroptosis induced by system Xc- inhibitors (e.g., erastin, sulfasalazine, and sorafenib), but not other ferroptosis inducers including RSL3, FIN56, and buthionine sulfoximine. Mechanistically, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-mediated phosphorylation of BECN1 at Ser90/93/96 is required for BECN1-SLC7A11 complex formation and lipid peroxidation. Inhibition of PRKAA/AMPK? by siRNA or compound C diminishes erastin-induced BECN1 phosphorylation at S93/96, BECN1-SLC7A11 complex formation, and subsequent ferroptosis. Accordingly, a BECN1 phosphorylation-defective mutant (S90,93,96A) reverses BECN1-induced lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis. Importantly, genetic and pharmacological activation of the BECN1 pathway by overexpression of the protein in tumor cells or by administration of the BECN1 activator peptide Tat-beclin 1, respectively, increases ferroptotic cancer cell death (but not apoptosis and necroptosis) in vitro and in vivo in subcutaneous and orthotopic tumor mouse models. Collectively, our work reveals that BECN1 plays a novel role in lipid peroxidation that could be exploited to improve anticancer therapy by the induction of ferroptosis.
Project description:Regulated cell death by way of ferroptosis involves iron-dependent accumulation of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Ferroptosis is attracting attention as a potential therapeutic target for cancer treatments without drug resistance. The relationship between irisin, a myokine involved in autophagy and ROS metabolism, and ferroptosis is unclear. In this study, we used erastin-induced ferroptosis in PANC-1 cells to examine potential interactions of irisin with ferroptosis. Using western blots and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions, we found that irisin can further exacerbate erastin-induced upregulation in free iron, lipid ROS levels, and glutathione depletion, relative to cells treated with erastin only. Conversely, removal of irisin limited erastin effects. Furthermore, irisin modulation of ferroptosis was associated with the expression changes in molecules important for ROS metabolism, iron metabolism, and the cysteine/glutamate antiporter system (system Xc -). These study findings suggest that irisin can act as a master factor of ferroptosis, and that potential implications for harnessing irisin-mediated ferroptosis for cancer treatment are warranted.
Project description:High concentrations of antioxidants in cancer cells are huge obstacle in cancer radiotherapy. Erastin was first discovered as an inducer of iron-dependent cell death called ferroptosis accompanied by antioxidant depletion caused by cystine glutamate antiporter inhibition. Therefore, treatment with erastin is expected to potentially enhance cellular radiosensitivity. In this study, we investigated the influence of treatment with erastin on the radiation efficiency against cancers. The clonogenic ability, glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) expression, and glutathione concentration were evaluated using HeLa and NCI-H1975 adenocarcinoma cell lines treated with erastin and/or X-ray irradiation. For in vivo studies, NCI-H1975 cells were transplanted in the left shoulder of nude mice, and then radiosensitizing effect of erastin and glutathione concentration in the cancer were evaluated. Treatment with erastin induced ferroptosis and decreased the concentration of glutathione and GPX4 protein expression levels in the two tumor cell lines. Moreover, erastin enhanced X-ray irradiation-induced cell death in both human tumor cell lines. Furthermore, erastin treatment of a tumor-transplanted mouse model similarly demonstrated the radiosensitizing effect and decrease in intratumoral glutathione concentration in the in vitro study. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the radiosensitizing effect of erastin on two adenocarcinoma cell lines and the tumor xenograft model accompanied by glutathione depletion, indicating that ferroptosis inducers that reduce glutathione concentration could be applied as a novel cancer therapy in combination with radiotherapy.
Project description:Ferroptosis has been defined as an oxidative and iron-dependent pathway of regulated cell death that is distinct from caspase-dependent apoptosis and established pathways of death receptor-mediated regulated necrosis. While emerging evidence linked features of ferroptosis induced e.g. by erastin-mediated inhibition of the Xc- system or inhibition of glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) to an increasing number of oxidative cell death paradigms in cancer cells, neurons or kidney cells, the biochemical pathways of oxidative cell death remained largely unclear. In particular, the role of mitochondrial damage in paradigms of ferroptosis needs further investigation. In the present study, we find that erastin-induced ferroptosis in neuronal cells was accompanied by BID transactivation to mitochondria, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, enhanced mitochondrial fragmentation and reduced ATP levels. These hallmarks of mitochondrial demise are also established features of oxytosis, a paradigm of cell death induced by Xc- inhibition by millimolar concentrations of glutamate. Bid knockout using CRISPR/Cas9 approaches preserved mitochondrial integrity and function, and mediated neuroprotective effects against both, ferroptosis and oxytosis. Furthermore, the BID-inhibitor BI-6c9 inhibited erastin-induced ferroptosis, and, in turn, the ferroptosis inhibitors ferrostatin-1 and liproxstatin-1 prevented mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in the paradigm of oxytosis. These findings show that mitochondrial transactivation of BID links ferroptosis to mitochondrial damage as the final execution step in this paradigm of oxidative cell death.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a non‑apoptotic form of cell death that relies on iron and lipid peroxidation, which is associated with multiple pathological processes in several diseases. Erastin is a small molecule capable of initiating ferroptotic cell death in cancer cells, which has shown great potential for cancer therapy. However, the physiological and pathological role of erastin‑induced ferroptosis on healthy tissues has not been well characterized. The present study intraperitoneally injected erastin into healthy mice to detect the metabolic changes of several tissues of mice. Erastin injection induced typical characteristics of ferroptosis with higher level of serum iron and malondialdehyde and lower level of glutathione and glutathione peroxidase 4 protein. Erastin injection enhanced iron deposition in the brain, duodenum, kidney and spleen of mice. Erastin‑induced ferroptosis altered the blood index values, causing mild cerebral infarction of brain and enlarged glomerular volume of kidney. It also promoted the growth of duodenal epithelium with thicker, longer and denser villi in erastin‑treated mice. The findings provided evidence that erastin induced ferroptosis and caused pathological changes in healthy tissues of mice. This suggested that the anti‑tumor drug erastin was somewhat toxic to healthy tissues.