Microtubule disrupting agent-mediated inhibition of cancer cell growth is associated with blockade of autophagic flux and simultaneous induction of apoptosis.
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:Background:Marsdenia tenacissima is an herb medicine which has been utilized to treat malignant diseases for decades. The M. tenacissima extract (MTE) shows significant anti-proliferation activity against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we explored the potential anti-proliferation mechanisms of MTE in NSCLC cells in relation to apoptosis as well as autophagy, which are two critical forms to control cancer cell survival and death. Methods:The proliferation of H1975 and A549 cells was evaluated by MTT assay. Cell apoptosis was assessed by Annexin V and PI staining, Caspase 3 expression and activity. Autophagy flux proteins were detected by Western blot with or without autophagy inducer and inhibitor. Endogenous LC3-II puncta and LysoTracker staining were monitored by confocal microscopy. The formation of autophagic vacuoles was measured by acridine orange staining. ERK is a crucial molecule to interplay with cell autophagy and apoptosis. The role of ERK on cell apoptosis and autophagy influenced by MTE was determined in the presence of MEK/ERK inhibitor U0126. Results:The significant growth inhibition and apoptosis induction were observed in MTE treated NSCLC cells. MTE induced cell apoptosis coexisted with elevated Caspase 3 activity. MTE also impaired autophagic flux by upregulated LC3-II and p62 expression. Autophagy inducer EBSS could not abolish the impaired autophagic flux by MTE, while it was augmented in the presence of autophagy inhibitor Baf A1. The autophagosome-lysosome fusion was blocked by MTE via affecting lysosome function as evidenced by decreased expression of LAMP1 and Cathepsin B. The molecule ERK became hyperactivated after MTE treatment, but the MEK/ERK inhibitor U0126 abrogated autophagy inhibition and apoptosis induction caused by MTE, suggested that ERK signaling pathways partially contributed to cell death caused by MTE. Conclusion:Our results demonstrate that MTE caused apoptosis induction as well as autophagy inhibition in NSCLC cells. The activated ERK is partially associated with NSCLC apoptotic and autophagic cell death in response to MTE treatment. The present findings reveal new mechanisms for the anti-tumor activity of MTE against NSCLC.
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 is a major degradative process responsible for the disposal of cytoplasmic proteins and dysfunctional organelles via the lysosomal pathway. During the autophagic process, cells form double-membraned vesicles called autophagosomes that sequester disposable materials in the cytoplasm and finally fuse with lysosomes. In the present study, we investigated the inhibition of autophagy by a synthesized compound, MHY1485, in a culture system by using Ac2F rat hepatocytes. Autophagic flux was measured to evaluate the autophagic activity. Autophagosomes were visualized in Ac2F cells transfected with AdGFP-LC3 by live-cell confocal microscopy. In addition, activity of mTOR, a major regulatory protein of autophagy, was assessed by western blot and docking simulation using AutoDock 4.2. In the result, treatment with MHY1485 suppressed the basal autophagic flux, and this inhibitory effect was clearly confirmed in cells under starvation, a strong physiological inducer of autophagy. The levels of p62 and beclin-1 did not show significant change after treatment with MHY1485. Decreased co-localization of autophagosomes and lysosomes in confocal microscopic images revealed the inhibitory effect of MHY1485 on lysosomal fusion during starvation-induced autophagy. These effects of MHY1485 led to the accumulation of LC3II and enlargement of the autophagosomes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, MHY1485 induced mTOR activation and correspondingly showed a higher docking score than PP242, a well-known ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitor, in docking simulation. In conclusion, MHY1485 has an inhibitory effect on the autophagic process by inhibition of fusion between autophagosomes and lysosomes leading to the accumulation of LC3II protein and enlarged autophagosomes. MHY1485 also induces mTOR activity, providing a possibility for another regulatory mechanism of autophagy by the MHY compound. The significance of this study is the finding of a novel inhibitor of autophagy with an mTOR activating effect.
Project description:Abnormalities of autophagy have been implicated in an increasing number of human cancers, including glioma. To date, there is a wealth of evidence indicating that microRNAs (miRNAs) contribute significantly to autophagy in a variety of cancers. Previous studies have suggested that miR-129 functioned as an important inhibitor of the cell cycle and could promote the apoptosis of many cancer cell lines in vitro. Here, we reported that miR-129 acted as a potent inducer of autophagy. Forced expression of miR-129 could induce autophagic flux by targetedly suppressing Notch-1 in glioma cells. The autophagy induced by miR-129 could restrain the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and upregulate Beclin-1. Moreover, we demonstrated that E2F transcription factor 7 (E2F7) could also trigger autophagic flux by upregulating Beclin-1 and mediating miR-129-induced autophagy. Additionally, knockdown of Notch-1 could upregulate the expression of E2F7, whereas downregulation of E2F7 alleviated shNotch-1-induced autophagic flux. In particular, knockdown of endogenous Beclin-1 could effectively reduce autophagic flux stimulated by miR-129 and E2F7. Interestingly, upon attenuation of miR-129- or E2F7-triggered autophagic flux rescued cell viability suppressed by them. More importantly, intratumoral injection of pHAGE-miR-129 lentivirus in a nude mouse xenograft model significantly restrained tumor growth and triggered autophagy. In conclusion, these findings identify a new function for miR-129 as a potent inducer of autophagy through a novel Notch-1/E2F7/Beclin-1 axis in glioma.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Autophagy is an intracellular process through which intracellular components are recycled in response to nutrient or growth factor deficiency to maintain homeostasis. We identified the peptide autophagy-related cancer-suppressing peptide (ARCSP), a potential antitumor peptide that disrupts intracellular homeostasis by blocking autophagic flux and causes cytotoxic death. METHODS:The proliferative ability of ARCSP-treated cervical cancer cells was examined by the CCK8, EdU, and colony formation assays. The TUNEL assay was used to detect apoptosis. Mitochondrial function was evaluated based on the mitochondrial membrane potential. Autophagic flux was detected by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. The autophagy-related proteins AMPK, Raptor, mTOR, p62, LC3B, atg7, Rab7, LAMP1, LAMP2, and cathepsin D were detected by Immunoblotting. The antitumor effect of ARCSP was explored in vivo by establishing a transplant tumor model in nude mice. RESULTS:The results demonstrated that ARCSP induced cell death and inhibited proliferation. ARCSP induced AMPK/mTOR activation, resulting in the accumulation of the proteins LC3B, p62 and Atg7. ARCSP also blocked autophagosome-lysosome fusion by inhibiting endosomal maturation and increasing the lysosomal pH. The accumulation of nonfused autophagosomes exacerbated cytotoxic death, whereas knocking down Atg7 reversed the cytotoxic death induced by ARCSP. ARCSP-treated cells exhibited increased cytotoxic death after cotreatment with an autophagy inhibitor (Chloroquine CQ). Furthermore, the tumors of ARCSP-treated nude mice were significantly smaller than those of untreated mice. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings demonstrate that ARCSP, a novel lethal nonfused autophagosome inducer, might cause mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy-related cytotoxic death and is thus a prospective agent for cancer therapy.
Project description:The nucleolus is the site of ribosome biogenesis and has been recently described as important sensor for a variety of cellular stressors. In the last two decades, it has been largely demonstrated that many chemotherapeutics act by inhibiting early or late rRNA processing steps with consequent alteration of ribosome biogenesis and activation of nucleolar stress response. The overall result is cell cycle arrest and/or apoptotic cell death of cancer cells. Our previously data demonstrated that ribosomal protein uL3 is a key sensor of nucleolar stress activated by common chemotherapeutic agents in cancer cells lacking p53. We have also demonstrated that uL3 status is associated to chemoresistance; down-regulation of uL3 makes some chemotherapeutic drugs ineffective. Here, we demonstrate that in colon cancer cells, the uL3 status affects rRNA synthesis and processing with consequent activation of uL3-mediated nucleolar stress pathway. Transcriptome analysis of HCT 116p53-/- cells expressing uL3 and of a cell sub line stably depleted of uL3 treated with Actinomycin D suggests a new extra-ribosomal role of uL3 in the regulation of autophagic process. By using confocal microscopy and Western blotting experiments, we demonstrated that uL3 acts as inhibitory factor of autophagic process; the absence of uL3 is associated to increase of autophagic flux and to chemoresistance. Furthermore, experiments conducted in presence of chloroquine, a known inhibitor of autophagy, indicate a role of uL3 in chloroquine-mediated inhibition of autophagy. On the basis of these results and our previous findings, we hypothesize that the absence of uL3 in cancer cells might inhibit cancer cell response to drug treatment through the activation of cytoprotective autophagy. The restoration of uL3 could enhance the activity of many drugs thanks to its pro-apoptotic and anti-autophagic activity.
Project description: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:Multiple myeloma (MM) is a tumor of plasma cells (PCs). Due to the intense immunoglobulin secretion, PCs are prone to endoplasmic reticulum stress and activate several stress-managing pathways, including autophagy. Indeed, autophagy deregulation is maladaptive for MM cells, resulting in cell death. CK1α, a pro-survival kinase in MM, has recently been involved as a regulator of the autophagic flux and of the transcriptional competence of the autophagy-related transcription factor FOXO3a in several cancers. In this study, we investigated the role of CK1α in autophagy in MM. To study the autophagic flux we generated clones of MM cell lines expressing the mCherry-eGFP-LC3B fusion protein. We observed that CK1 inhibition with the chemical ATP-competitive CK1 α/δ inhibitor D4476 resulted in an impaired autophagic flux, likely due to an alteration of lysosomes acidification. However, D4476 caused the accumulation of the transcription factor FOXO3a in the nucleus, and this was paralleled by the upregulation of mRNA coding for autophagic genes. Surprisingly, silencing of CK1α by RNA interference triggered the autophagic flux. However, FOXO3a did not shuttle into the nucleus and the transcription of autophagy-related FOXO3a-dependent genes was not observed. Thus, while the chemical inhibition with the dual CK1α/δ inhibitor D4476 induced cell death as a consequence of an accumulation of ineffective autophagic vesicles, on the opposite, CK1α silencing, although it also determined apoptosis, triggered a full activation of the early autophagic flux, which was then not supported by the upregulation of autophagic genes. Taken together, our results indicate that the family of CK1 kinases may profoundly influence MM cells survival also through the modulation of the autophagic pathway.
Project description:Background:The cardioprotective effect of FSTL1 has been extensively studied in recent years, but its role in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effect of FSTL1 pretreatment on myocardial IRI as well as the possible involvement of autophagic pathways in its effects. Methods:The effects of FSTL1 on the viability and apoptosis of rat cardiomyocytes were investigated after exposure of cardiomyocytes to hypoxia/ischemia by using the CCK-8 assay and Annexin V/PI staining. Further, western blot analysis was used to detect the effects of FSTL1 pretreatment on autophagy-associated proteins, and confocal microscopy was used to observe autophagic flux. To confirm the role of autophagy, the cells were treated with the autophagy promoter rapamycin or the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine, and cell viability and apoptosis during IRI were observed. These effects were also observed after treatment with rapamycin or 3-methyladenine followed by FSTL1 administration and IRI. Results:FSTL1 pretreatment significantly increased viability and reduced apoptosis in cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia/ischemia conditions. Further, FSTL1 pretreatment affected the levels of the autophagy-related proteins and enhanced autophagic flux during IRI. In addition, cell viability was enhanced and apoptosis was decreased by rapamycin treatment, while these effects were reversed by 3-MA treatment. However, when the myocardial cells were pretreated with rapamycin or 3-methyladenine, there was no significant change in their viability or apoptosis with FSTL1 treatment during IRI. Conclusions:FSTL1 plays a protective role in myocardial IRI by regulating autophagy.