Inhibition of autophagy augments 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy in human colon cancer in vitro and in vivo model.
ABSTRACT Although 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based adjuvant chemotherapy is widely used in the treatment of colorectal cancer, novel therapeutic strategies need to be explored. It has been reported that autophagy is extensively implicated in cancer. However, the function of autophagy is not fully understood. In the present study, apoptosis induced by 5-FU in 3 human colon cancer cell lines (HCT116, DLD-1, and DLD-1/5-FU (a specific 5-FU-resistant sub-line)) was measured using MTT assay, DNA fragmentation assay, Hoechst 33342 staining, and caspase-3 immunoblotting. The autophagy activation induced by 5-FU treatment was revealed by microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) immunofluorescence and immunoblotting and p62 immunoblotting. Inhibition of autophagy by 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or small interference RNA targeting Atg7 (Atg7 siRNA) significantly augmented 5-FU-induced apoptosis. This synergistic effect of 5-FU and 3-MA was further confirmed in the DLD-1 xenograft tumour model. Tumour growth was suppressed more significantly with combination treatment than 5-FU treatment alone. In conclusion, autophagy was activated as a protective mechanism against 5-FU-induced apoptosis and its inhibition could be a promising strategy for adjuvant chemotherapy in colon cancer.
Article: Blockade of irradiation-induced autophagosome formation impairs proliferation but does not enhance cell death in HCT-116 human colorectal carcinoma cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This work was undertaken to gain further information on the molecular mechanisms underlying autophagosome formation and its relation with tumor cell survival in response to radiation in colon cancer. A human colon cancer cell line, HCT-116, was examined with respect to cell survival after blockade of irradiation-induced autophagosome formation by pharmacological interference. Autophagosome formation was confirmed using a kinetic study with incorporated bovine serum albumin gold-conjugate (BSA-Au) analyzed by electron microscopy and an autophagosome-associated LC3B antibody measured by immunofluorescence and Western blotting. Annexin V/PI double staining was used to monitor cell death by apoptosis, and cell cycle profiles by flow cytometry. Ionizing radiation (IR) promoted autophagosome formation in the HCT-116 IR-surviving cells. Pharmacological interference showed that PI3K/Akt and Src were involved in early stages of autophagosome formation. IR alone decreased cell proliferation by arresting cells in the G2/M phase, and pharmacological interference of autophagosome formation decreased proliferation, but did not affect cell survival. Also, our data suggest that decreased proliferation caused by PI3K and Src inhibitors could be through S phase cell cycle delay. Our results clearly indicate that blockade of IR-induced autophagosome formation impairs proliferation but does not enhance cell death in colon cancer cells.International Journal of Oncology 04/2012; 40(4):1267-76. · 2.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The intestine lies at the interface between the organism and its environment and responds to infection/inflammation in a multi-leveled manner, potentially leading to chronic inflammatory pathologies and cancer formation. Indeed, the immune response at the intestinal epithelium has been found to be involved in the origin and development of colorectal cancer, which is the third most commonly diagnosed neoplastic disease. Among the mechanisms induced upon inflammation, autophagy appears as a defensive strategy for the clearance of invading microbes and intracellular waste components. Autophagy has also been found to play an important role in colorectal cancer, where it seems to have a pro-survival or pro-death function depending on the stage of the neoplastic process. In this paper we discuss the dual role of autophagy in colorectal cancer and review evidence showing that modulation of autophagy affects the immune response and cancer biology. The study of key players involved in autophagy might contribute to the design of new approaches for colorectal cancer, consisting in combined therapies capable of modifying cancer-specific metabolism rather than simply evoking a generic apoptotic and/or autophagic response, thus enhancing the efficacy of currently used drugs and treatments.Cells. 01/2012; 1(special Issue Autophagy):535-557.
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ABSTRACT: Chloroquine (CQ), the worldwide used anti-malarial drug, has recently being focused as a potential anti-cancer agent as well as a chemosensitizer when used in combination with anti-cancer drugs. It has been shown to inhibit cell growth and/or to induce cell death in various types of cancer. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is the chemotherapeutic agent of first choice in colorectal cancer, but in most cases, resistance to 5-FU develops through various mechanisms. Here, we focused on the combination of CQ as a mechanism to potentiate the inhibitory effect of 5-FU on human colon cancer cells. HT-29 cells were treated with CQ and/or 5-FU, and their proliferative ability, apoptosis and autophagy induction effects, and the affection of the cell cycle were evaluated. The proliferative ability of HT-29 was analyzed by the MTS assay. Apoptosis was quantified by flow-cytometry after double-staining of the cells with AnnexinV/PI. The cell cycle was evaluated by flow-cytometry after staining of cells with PI. Autophagy was quantified by flow-cytometry and Western blot analysis. Finally, to evaluate the fate of the cells treated with CQ and/or 5-FU, the colony formation assay was performed. 5-FU inhibited the proliferative activity of HT-29 cells, which was mostly dependent on the arrest of the cells to the G0/G1-phase but also partially on apoptosis induction, and the effect was potentiated by CQ pre-treatment. The potentiation of the inhibitory effect of 5-FU by CQ was dependent on the increase of p21Cip1 and p27Kip1 and the decrease of CDK2. Since CQ is reported to inhibit autophagy, the catabolic process necessary for cell survival under conditions of cell starvation or stress, which is induced by cancer cells as a protective mechanism against chemotherapeutic agents, we also analyzed the induction of autophagy in HT-29. HT-29 induced autophagy in response to 5-FU, and CQ inhibited this induction, a possible mechanism of the potentiation of the anti-cancer effect of 5-FU. Our findings suggest that the combination therapy with CQ should be a novel therapeutic modality to improve efficacy of 5-FU-based chemotherapy, possibly by inhibiting autophagy-dependent resistance to chemotherapy.BMC Cancer 01/2010; 10:370. · 3.01 Impact Factor