[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved cellular process that involves the lysosomal degradation of proteins and organelles and the recycling of cellular components to ensure cellular survival under external or internal stress. Numerous data has indicated that autophagy can be successfully targeted for the treatment of multiple cancers. We have previously demonstrated that tetrandrine, a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid isolated from the broadly used Chinese medicinal herb Stephaniae tetrandrae, exhibits potent antitumor effects when used either alone or in combination with other drugs.
In the present study, we showed that tetrandrine is a broad-spectrum potent autophagy agonist. Although low-dose tetrandrine treatment does not affect cell viability, it can potently induce autophagy in a variety of cell lines, including cancerous cells and nontumorigenic cells. The autophagy inhibitors 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and chloroquine (CQ), effectively blocked tetrandrine-induced autophagy. Moreover, tetrandrine significantly triggered the induction of mitophagy. The underlying mechanisms are associated with the tetrandrine-induced production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which plays a critical role in tetrandrine-induced autophagy.
Here, we report that tetrandrine is a potent cell autophagy agonist and may have a wide range of applications in the fields of antitumor therapy and basic scientific research.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Cell and Bioscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MS-275 is a synthetic benzamide derivative of the histone deacetylase inhibitor and is currently in phase I/II clinical trials. Many reports have shown that the anti-tumor activity of MS-275 in several types of cancer is mainly attributable to its capacity to induce the apoptotic death of tumor cells. It remains unclear if autophagy is involved in MS-275 treatment of cancer cells. Here, we first show that MS-275 induces human colon cancer cell HCT116 autophagy as well as apoptosis. Short-term treatment (24h) induced HCT116 cells to undergo autophagy with dependence on intracellular reactive oxygen species production and ERK activation. The activated reactive oxygen species/ERK signal promoted Atg7 protein expression, which triggered MS-275-induced cancer cell autophagy. However, after prolonged treatment with MS-275 (over 48h), autophagic cells turned apoptotic, which was also dependent on reactive oxygen species generation. Interestingly, we found that p38 MAP kinase played a vital role in the switch from autophagy to apoptosis in MS-275-induced human colon cancer cells. High expression of p38 induced cell autophagy, but low expression resulted in apoptosis. In addition, observations in vivo are strongly consistent with the in vitro results. Therefore, these findings extend our understanding of the action of MS-275 in inducing cancer cell death and suggest that it may be a promising clinical chemotherapeutic agent with multiple effects.
No preview · Article · May 2012 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising anticancer agent due to its selective cytotoxicity to transformed cells. However, most human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) develop resistance to TRAIL. Thus, there is an urgent need to investigate the molecular targets and the underlying mechanisms that may be involved in overriding the resistance of tumor cells to TRAIL.
Cell viability analysis was performed in HCC cells after treatment with TRAIL and/or ABT-263. Flow cytometry was used to assess apoptosis. The expression of caspases and members of the Bcl-2 family was examined through immunoblot analysis. Finally, the viability of cancer cells transfected with a plasmid containing HBx (hepatitis B virus X protein) following treatment with TRAIL was also measured.
In this study, we demonstrate that ABT-263, a potent and orally bioavailable inhibitor of the Bcl-2 family, was able to reverse the resistance of hepatocarcinoma cell lines to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, while sparing normal liver cells. The molecular mechanism of the reversal in resistance may be attributed to the inhibition by ABT-263 of anti-apoptosis proteins of the Bcl-2 family. In addition, we determined that HBx was able to sensitize TRAIL-resistant hepatocarcinoma Huh7 cells.
These findings provide a novel insight into the clinical application of TRAIL-induced apoptosis of HCC cells.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology