Redox Modulation and Induction of Ferroptosis as a New Therapeutic Strategy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Ferroptosis, a newly discovered form of cell death mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation, has recently been shown to have an impact on various cancer types; however, so far there are only few studies about its role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The delicate equilibrium of ROS in cancer cells has found to be crucial for cell survival, thus increased levels may trigger ferroptosis in HCC. In our study, we investigated the effect of different ROS modulators and ferroptosis inducers on a human HCC cell line and a human hepatoblastoma cell line. We identified a novel synergistic cell death induction by the combination of Auranofin and buthionine sulfoxime (BSO) or by Erastin and BSO at subtoxic concentrations. We found a caspase-independent, redox-regulated cell death, which could be rescued by different inhibitors of ferroptosis. Both cotreatments stimulated lipid peroxidation. All these findings indicated ferroptotic cell death. Both cotreatments affected the canonical ferroptosis pathway through GPX4 downregulation. We also found an accumulation of Nrf2 and HO-1, indicating an additional effect on the non-canonical pathway. Our results implicate that targeting these two main ferroptotic pathways simultaneously can overcome chemotherapy resistance in HCC.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a recently recognized form of regulated cell death that is characterized by lipid peroxidation. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating ferroptosis are largely unknown. In this study, we report that the RNA-binding protein ELAVL1/HuR plays a crucial role in regulating ferroptosis in liver fibrosis. Upon exposure to ferroptosis-inducing compounds, ELAVL1 protein expression was remarkably increased through the inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. ELAVL1 siRNA led to ferroptosis resistance, whereas ELAVL1 plasmid contributed to classical ferroptotic events. Interestingly, upregulated ELAVL1 expression also appeared to increase autophagosome generation and macroautophagic/autophagic flux, which was the underlying mechanism for ELAVL1-enhanced ferroptosis. Autophagy depletion completely impaired ELAVL1-mediated ferroptotic events, whereas autophagy induction showed a synergistic effect with ELAVL1. Importantly, ELAVL1 promoted autophagy activation via binding to the AU-rich elements within the F3 of the 3'-untranslated region of BECN1/Beclin1 mRNA. The internal deletion of the F3 region abrogated the ELAVL1-mediated BECN1 mRNA stability, and, in turn, prevented ELAVL1-enhanced ferroptosis. In mice, treatment with sorafenib alleviated murine liver fibrosis by inducing hepatic stellate cell (HSC) ferroptosis. HSC-specific knockdown of ELAVL1 impaired sorafenib-induced HSC ferroptosis in murine liver fibrosis. Noteworthy, we retrospectively analyzed the effect of sorafenib on HSC ferroptosis in advanced fibrotic patients with hepatocellular carcinoma receiving sorafenib monotherapy. Attractively, ELAVL1 upregulation, ferritinophagy activation, and ferroptosis induction occurred in primary human HSCs from the collected human liver tissue. Overall, these results reveal novel molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways of ferroptosis, and also identify ELAVL1-autophagy-dependent ferroptosis as a potential target for the treatment of liver fibrosis. Abbreviations: ACTA2/alpha-SMA: actin, alpha 2, smooth muscle, aorta; ACTB/beta-actin: actin beta; ARE: AU-rich element; ATG: autophagy related; BDL: bile duct ligation; BECN1: beclin 1; BSO: buthionine sulfoximine; COL1A1: collagen type I alpha 1 chain; ELAVL1/HuR: ELAV like RNA binding protein 1; FDA: fluorescein diacetate; FTH1: ferritin heavy chain 1; GOT1/AST: glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase 1; GPT/ALT: glutamic-pyruvic transaminase; GPX4: glutathione peroxidase 4; GSH: glutathione; HCC: hepatocellular carcinoma; HSC: hepatic stellate cell; LCM: laser capture microdissection; MAP1LC3B: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MDA: malondialdehydep; NCOA4: nuclear receptor coactivator 4; PTGS2: prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; TBIL: total bilirubin; TEM: transmission electron microscopy; TGFB1: trasforming growth factor beta 1; UTR: untranslated region; VA-Lip-ELAVL1-siRNA: vitamin A-coupled liposomes carrying ELAVL1-siRNA.
Project description:Discovering compounds and mechanisms for inhibiting ferroptosis, a form of regulated, nonapoptotic cell death, has been of great interest in recent years. In this study, we demonstrate the ability of XJB-5-131, JP4-039, and other nitroxide-based lipid peroxidation mitigators to prevent ferroptotic cell death in HT-1080, BJeLR, and panc-1 cells. Several analogues of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers XJB-5-131 and JP4-039 were synthesized to probe structure-activity relationships and the influence of subcellular localization on the potency of these novel ferroptosis suppressors. Their biological activity correlated well over several orders of magnitude with their structure, relative lipophilicity, and respective enrichment in mitochondria, revealing a critical role of intramitochondrial lipid peroxidation in ferroptosis. These results also suggest that preventing mitochondrial lipid oxidation might offer a viable therapeutic opportunity in ischemia/reperfusion-induced tissue injury, acute kidney injury, and other pathologies that involve ferroptotic cell death pathways.
Project description:Ferroptosis is form of regulated nonapoptotic cell death that is involved in diverse disease contexts. Small molecules that inhibit glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), a phospholipid peroxidase, cause lethal accumulation of lipid peroxides and induce ferroptotic cell death. Although ferroptosis has been suggested to involve accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in lipid environments, the mediators and substrates of ROS generation and the pharmacological mechanism of GPX4 inhibition that generates ROS in lipid environments are unknown. We report here the mechanism of lipid peroxidation during ferroptosis, which involves phosphorylase kinase G2 (PHKG2) regulation of iron availability to lipoxygenase enzymes, which in turn drive ferroptosis through peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) at the bis-allylic position; indeed, pretreating cells with PUFAs containing the heavy hydrogen isotope deuterium at the site of peroxidation (D-PUFA) prevented PUFA oxidation and blocked ferroptosis. We further found that ferroptosis inducers inhibit GPX4 by covalently targeting the active site selenocysteine, leading to accumulation of PUFA hydroperoxides. In summary, we found that PUFA oxidation by lipoxygenases via a PHKG2-dependent iron pool is necessary for ferroptosis and that the covalent inhibition of the catalytic selenocysteine in Gpx4 prevents elimination of PUFA hydroperoxides; these findings suggest new strategies for controlling ferroptosis in diverse contexts.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a novel form of programmed cell death in which the accumulation of intracellular iron promotes lipid peroxidation, leading to cell death. Recently, the induction of autophagy has been suggested during ferroptosis. However, this relationship between autophagy and ferroptosis is still controversial and the autophagy-inducing mediator remains unknown. In this study, we confirmed that autophagy is indeed induced by the ferroptosis inducer erastin. Furthermore, we show that autophagy leads to iron-dependent ferroptosis by degradation of ferritin and induction of transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) expression, using wild-type and autophagy-deficient cells, BECN1+/- and LC3B-/-. Consistently, autophagy deficiency caused depletion of intracellular iron and reduced lipid peroxidation, resulting in cell survival during erastin-induced ferroptosis. We further identified that autophagy was triggered by erastin-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) in ferroptosis. These data provide evidence that ROS-induced autophagy is a key regulator of ferritin degradation and TfR1 expression during ferroptosis. Our study thus contributes toward our understanding of the ferroptotic processes and also helps resolve some of the controversies associated with this phenomenon.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a form of regulated necrosis characterized by a chain-reaction of detrimental membrane lipid peroxidation following collapse of glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) activity. This lipid peroxidation is catalyzed by labile ferric iron. Therefore, iron import mediated via transferrin receptors and both, enzymatic and non-enzymatic iron-dependent radical formation are crucial prerequisites for the execution of ferroptosis. Intriguingly, the dynamin inhibitor dynasore, which has been shown to block transferrin receptor endocytosis, can protect from ischemia/reperfusion injury as well as neuronal cell death following spinal cord injury. Yet, it is unknown how dynasore exerts these cell death-protective effects. Using small interfering RNA suppression, lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS), iron tracers and bona fide inducers of ferroptosis, we find that dynasore treatment in lung adenocarcinoma and neuronal cell lines strongly protects these from ferroptosis. Surprisingly, while the dynasore targets dynamin 1 and 2 promote extracellular iron uptake, their silencing was not sufficient to block ferroptosis suggesting that this route of extracellular iron uptake is dispensable for acute induction of ferroptosis and dynasore must have an additional off-target activity mediating full ferroptosis protection. Instead, in intact cells, dynasore inhibited mitochondrial respiration and thereby mitochondrial ROS production which can feed into detrimental lipid peroxidation and ferroptotic cell death in the presence of labile iron. In addition, in cell free systems, dynasore showed radical scavenger properties and acted as a broadly active antioxidant which is superior to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in blocking ferroptosis. Thus, dynasore can function as a highly active inhibitor of ROS-driven types of cell death via combined modulation of the iron pool and inhibition of general ROS by simultaneously blocking two routes required for ROS and lipid-ROS driven cell death, respectively. These data have important implications for the interpretation of studies observing tissue-protective effects of this dynamin inhibitor as well as raise awareness that off-target ROS scavenging activities of small molecules used to interrogate the ferroptosis pathway should be taken into consideration.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) provide a bright prospect in the biomedical application because they contain low-toxic compounds and promise imaging of deep tissues and tiny vascular structures. However, the biosafety of this novel QDs has not been thoroughly evaluated, especially in the central nervous system (CNS). The microarray analysis provides a hint that nitrogen-doped GQDs (N-GQDs) exposure could cause ferroptosis in microglia, which is a novel form of cell death dependent on iron overload and lipid peroxidation. RESULTS:The cytosolic iron overload, glutathione (GSH) depletion, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lipid peroxidation (LPO) were observed in microglial BV2 cells treated with N-GQDs, which indicated that N-GQDs could damage the iron metabolism and redox balance in microglia. The pre-treatments of a specific ferroptosis inhibitor Ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1) and an iron chelater Deferoxamine mesylate (DFO) not only inhibited cell death, but also alleviated iron overload, LPO and alternations in ferroptosis biomarkers in microglia, which were caused by N-GQDs. When assessing the potential mechanisms of N-GQDs causing ferroptosis in microglia, we found that the iron content, ROS generation and LPO level in mitochondria of BV2 cells all enhanced after N-GQDs exposure. When the antioxidant ability of mitochondria was increased by the pre-treatment of a mitochondria targeted ROS scavenger MitoTEMPO, the ferroptotic biological changes were effectively reversed in BV2 cells treated with N-GQDs, which indicated that the N-GQDs-induced ferroptosis in microglia could be attributed to the mitochondrial oxidative stress. Additionally, amino functionalized GQDs (A-GQDs) elicited milder redox imbalance in mitochondria and resulted in less ferroptotic effects than N-GQDs in microglia, which suggested a slight protection of amino group functionalization in GQDs causing ferroptosis. CONCLUSION:N-GQDs exposure caused ferroptosis in microglia via inducing mitochondrial oxidative stress, and the ferroptotic effects induced by A-GQDs were milder than N-GQDs when the exposure method is same. This study will not only provide new insights in the GQDs-induced cell damage performed in multiple types of cell death, but also in the influence of chemical modification on the toxicity of GQDs.
Project description:Ferroptosis, a novel form of programmed cell death, is characterized by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation and has been shown to be involved in multiple diseases, including cancer. Stimulating ferroptosis in cancer cells may be a potential strategy for cancer therapy. Therefore, ferroptosis-inducing drugs are attracting more attention for cancer treatment. Here, we showed that erianin, a natural product isolated from Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl, exerted its anticancer activity by inducing cell death and inhibiting cell migration in lung cancer cells. Subsequently, we demonstrated for the first time that erianin induced ferroptotic cell death in lung cancer cells, which was accompanied by ROS accumulation, lipid peroxidation, and GSH depletion. The ferroptosis inhibitors Fer-1 and Lip-1 but not Z-VAD-FMK, CQ, or necrostatin-1 rescued erianin-induced cell death, indicating that ferroptosis contributed to erianin-induced cell death. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Ca2+/CaM signaling was a critical mediator of erianin-induced ferroptosis and that blockade of this signaling significantly rescued cell death induced by erianin treatment by suppressing ferroptosis. Taken together, our data suggest that the natural product erianin exerts its anticancer effects by inducing Ca2+/CaM-dependent ferroptosis and inhibiting cell migration, and erianin will hopefully serve as a prospective compound for lung cancer treatment.
Project description:Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent type of cell death distinct from apoptosis or necrosis characterized by accumulation of reactive oxygen species. The combination of siramesine, a lysosomotropic agent, and lapatinib, a dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), synergistically induced cell death in breast cancer cells mediated by ferroptosis. In this study, we showed that this combination of siramesine and lapatinib induces synergistic cell death in glioma cell line U87 and lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549. This cell death was characterized by the increase in iron content, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and lipid peroxidation accumulation after 24 hours of treatment. Moreover, iron chelator DFO and ferrostatin-1, a ferroptosis inhibitor, significantly reduced cell death. The mechanism underlying the activation of the ferroptotic pathway involves lysosomal permeabilization and increase in reactive iron levels in these cells. In addition, the downregulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) protein occurred. Overexpression of HO-1 resulted in reduction of ROS and lipid peroxidation production and cell death. Furthermore, knocking down of HO-1 combined with siramesine treatment resulted in increased cell death. Finally, we found that the inhibition of the proteasome system rescued HO-1 expression levels. Our results suggest that the induction of ferroptosis by combining a lysosomotropic agent and a tyrosine kinase inhibitor is mediated by iron release from lysosomes and HO-1 degradation by the proteasome system.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dihydroartemisinin (DHA) has been shown to exert anticancer activity through iron-dependent reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which is similar to ferroptosis, a novel form of cell death. However, whether DHA causes ferroptosis in glioma cells and the potential regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. METHODS:Effects of DHA on the proliferation, cell death, ROS and lipid ROS generation as well as reduced gluthione consumption were assessed in glioma cells with or without ferroptosis inhibitor. The biological mechanisms by which glioma cells attenuate the pro-ferroptotic effects of DHA were assessed using molecular methods. RESULTS:DHA induced ferroptosis in glioma cells, as characterized by iron-dependent cell death accompanied with ROS generation and lipid peroxidation. However, DHA treatment simultaneously activated a feedback pathway of ferroptosis by increasing the expression of heat shock protein family A (Hsp70) member 5 (HSPA5). Mechanistically, DHA caused endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in glioma cells, which resulted in the induction of HSPA5 expression by protein kinase R-like ER kinase (PERK)-upregulated activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). Subsequent HSPA5 upregulation increased the expression and activity of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), which neutralized DHA-induced lipid peroxidation and thus protected glioma cells from ferroptosis. Inhibition of the PERK-ATF4-HSPA5-GPX4 pathway using siRNA or small molecules increased DHA sensitivity of glioma cells by increasing ferroptosis both in vitro and in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, these data suggested that ferroptosis might be a novel anticancer mechanism of DHA in glioma and HSPA5 may serve as a negative regulator of DHA-induced ferroptosis. Therefore, inhibiting the negative feedback pathway would be a promising therapeutic strategy to strengthen the anti-glioma activity of DHA.
Project description:Ferroptosis is a recently recognized caspase-independent form of regulated cell death that is characterized by the accumulation of lethal lipid ROS produced through iron-dependent lipid peroxidation. Considering that regulation of fatty acid metabolism is responsible for the membrane-resident pool of oxidizable fatty acids that undergo lipid peroxidation in ferroptotic processes, we examined the contribution of the key fatty acid metabolism enzyme, acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 (ACSL4), in regulating ferroptosis. By using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we found that knockout of Acsl4 in ferroptosis-sensitive murine and human cells conferred protection from erastin- and RSL3-induced cell death. In the same cell types, deletion of mixed lineage kinase domain-like (Mlkl) blocked susceptibility to necroptosis, as expected. Surprisingly, these studies also revealed ferroptosis and necroptosis are alternative, in that resistance to one pathway sensitized cells to death via the other pathway. These data suggest a mechanism by which one regulated necrosis pathway compensates for another when either ferroptosis or necroptosis is compromised. We verified the synergistic contributions of ferroptosis and necroptosis to tissue damage during acute organ failure in vivo. Interestingly, in the course of pathophysiological acute ischemic kidney injury, ACSL4 was initially upregulated and its expression level correlated with the severity of tissue damage. Together, our findings reveal ACSL4 to be a reliable biomarker of the emerging cell death modality of ferroptosis, which may also serve as a novel therapeutic target in preventing pathological cell death processes.