bims-istrec Biomed News
on Integrated stress response in cancer
Issue of 2022‒03‒27
eleven papers selected by
Vincenzo Ciminale’s Lab
Istituto Oncologico Veneto

  1. Pharmaceutics. 2022 Mar 04. pii: 564. [Epub ahead of print]14(3):
      Alpinumisoflavone is a prenylated isoflavonoid derived from the Cudrania tricuspidate fruit and Genista pichisermolliana. Alpinumisoflavone has anticancer properties in a variety of cancer cells, including colorectal, esophageal, renal and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, its mechanisms and effects in ovarian cancer remain unexplored. Our findings indicate that alpinumisoflavone triggers anti-proliferation in 2D- and 3D-cultured human ovarian cancer (ES2 and OV90) cells, including a reduction in the proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression and sub-G1 phase arrest of the cell cycle. Both alpinumisoflavone-treated ES2 and OV90 cells exhibited an augmentation in late apoptotic cells and the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). We also observed a decrease in respiratory chain activity in ovarian cancer cells, owing to lower energy output by the alpinumisoflavone. In addition, combining cisplatin (a chemotherapeutic drug used in several malignancies) with alpinumisoflavone boosted apoptosis in ES2 and OV90 cells via a reduction in cell proliferation, induction of late apoptotic cells, and depolarization of MMP. Furthermore, alpinumisoflavone also regulated the PI3K/AKT, MAPK and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress regulatory signaling pathways, leading to cell death in both ES2 and OV90 cells. In general, our findings verified that alpinumisoflavone inhibited ovarian cancer cell growth via mitochondrial malfunction.
    Keywords:  ER stress; alpinumisoflavone; apoptosis; mitochondria respiration; ovarian cancer
  2. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2022 Mar 24.
      OBJECTIVE: Peimine (PM) is a bioactive compound obtained from Fritillaria. It has been documented that PM exhibits potent antitumor properties against multiple cancers. However, the antitumor properties of PM in breast cancer and its associated mechanisms have not been clarified Methods: Proliferation and Apoptosis of MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells were detected by CCK8, colony formation, and flow cytometry assays. Cytotoxicity was measured by Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage assay. The level of IL-1β and IL-18 were detected with ELISA kits. Western blotting and real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction were performed to analyze the expression of proteins and genes related to the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway and Endoplasmic reticulum stress.RESULTS: The doses of PM (5, 10, and 20 μM) inhibited cell viability significantly, apoptotic induction, and inflammasome activation in breast cancer cells in vitro. Inflammasome components were decreased, including the apoptosis-associated speck like protein containing a CARD (ASC) and NOD-like receptor pyrindomain-containing protein3 (NLRP3), as well as the inhibition of caspase-1 and interleukin-1β activation. Moreover, inflammasome inhibitors suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis, implying that PM suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells through regulating inflammasome. Mechanistically, PM inhibited the activity of inflammasome by alleviating endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and by down-regulating the expression of multiple proteins in transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling pathways.
    CONCLUSION: These findings show that PM suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells by inhibiting inflammasome activation, to a certain extent, by primarily acting on the MAPK/NF-κB pathways inactivation-dependent mechanisms.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; Inflammasomes; MAPK; MCF-7.; NF-κB; Peimine
  3. Arch Pharm Res. 2022 Mar 24.
      Ginsenoside-Rh1 (Rh1) is a ginseng-derived compound that has been reported to exert anticancer effects by regulating cell cycle arrest and apoptosis according to reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. However, the effects of Rh1 on mitochondrial dysfunction are involved in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell apoptosis, and the related molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Rh1 treatment induced cell toxicity less than 50% at 50 μM. In addition, Rh1 induced apoptosis in TNBC cells through cleaved caspase-3 activation and G1/S arrest. The Rh1-treated TNBC cells showed a significant increase in mitochondrial ROS (mtROS), which in turn increased protein expression of mitochondrial molecules, such as Bak and cytochrome C, and caused the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Pretreatment with mitochondria-targeted antioxidant Mito-TEMPO alters the Rh1-reduced rate of mito- and glycol-ATP. Furthermore, Rh1 induces ER stress-mediated calcium accumulation via PERK/eIF2α/ATF4/CHOP pathway. Inhibition of ATF4 by siRNA transfection significantly inhibited Rh1-mediated apoptosis and calcium production. Interestingly, Mito-TEMPO treatment significantly reduced apoptosis and ER stress induced by Rh1. Finally, Rh1 at 5 mg/kg suppressed tumor growth through increased levels of ROS production, cleaved caspase-3, and ATF4 more than 5-fluorouracil treated group. Overall, our results suggest that Rh1 has potential for use in TNBC treatment.
    Keywords:  Cell proliferation; ER stress; Ginsenoside Rh1; Mitochondrial ROS; Triple negative breast cancer cells
  4. Anim Cells Syst (Seoul). 2022 ;26(1): 28-36
      Autophagy modulators are considered putative therapeutic targets because of the role of autophagy in cancer progression. Kazinol C, a 1,3-diphenylpropane from the plant Broussonetia kazinoki, has been shown to induce apoptosis in colon cancer cells through the activation of AMPK at high concentrations. In the present study, we found that Kazinol C induced autophagy through endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated unfolded protein response signaling in several normal and cancer cell lines at low concentrations of Kazinol C that did not induce apoptosis. Kazinol C activated the transducers of unfolded protein response signaling, leading to target gene expression, LC3-II conversion, and TFEB nuclear translocation. Chemical inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum stress reduced LC3-II conversion. In addition, blockade of autophagy by knockout of Atg5 or treatment with 3-MA enhanced Kazinol C-induced apoptosis. In summary, we have uncovered Kazinol C as a novel autophagy inducer and confirmed the role of autophagy as a cellular stress protector.
    Keywords:  Kazinol C; apoptosis; autophagy; endoplasmic reticulum stress; unfolded protein response
  5. Cell Commun Signal. 2022 Mar 24. 20(1): 37
      BACKGROUND: Lung cancer remains a major cause of cancer-related mortality throughout the world at present. Repositioning of existing drugs for other diseases is a promising strategy for cancer therapies, which may rapidly advance potentially promising agents into clinical trials and cut down the cost of drug development. Ciclopirox (CPX), an iron chelator commonly used to treat fungal infections, which has recently been shown to have antitumor activity against a variety of cancers including both solid tumors and hematological malignancies in vitro and in vivo. However, the effect of CPX on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the underlying mechanism is still unclear.METHODS: CCK-8, clonal formation test and cell cycle detection were used to observe the effect of inhibitor on the proliferation ability of NSCLC cells. The effects of CPX on the metastasis ability of NSCLC cells were analyzed by Transwell assays. Apoptosis assay was used to observe the level of cells apoptosis. The role of CPX in energy metabolism of NSCLC cells was investigated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection, glucose uptake, oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) experiments. Western blot was used to examine the protein changes.
    RESULTS: We report that CPX inhibits NSCLC cell migration and invasion abilities through inhibiting the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, impairing cellular bioenergetics, and promoting reactive oxygen species to activate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced apoptotic cell death. Moreover, CPX intraperitoneal injection can significantly inhibit NSCLC growth in vivo in a xenograft model.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed that CPX targets cellular bioenergetics and activates unfolded protein response in ER to drive apoptosis in NSCLC cells, indicating that CPX may be a potential therapeutic drug for the treatment of NSCLC. Video Abstract.
    Keywords:  Cellular bioenergetics; Ciclopirox; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Non-small cell lung cancer
  6. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Mar 09. pii: 1401. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      Unfolded protein response (UPR) protects malignant cells from endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis. We report that Aurora kinase A (AURKA) promotes cancer cell survival by activating UPR in esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). A strong positive correlation between AURKA and binding immunoglobulin protein (BIP) mRNA expression levels was found in EACs. The in vitro assays indicated that AURKA promoted IRE1α protein phosphorylation, activating prosurvival UPR in FLO-1 and OE33 cells. The use of acidic bile salts to mimic reflux conditions in patients induced high AURKA and IRE1α levels. This induction was abrogated by AURKA knockdown in EAC cells. AURKA and p-IRE1α protein colocalization was observed in neoplastic gastroesophageal lesions of the L2-IL1b mouse model of Barrett's esophageal neoplasia. The combined treatment using AURKA inhibitor and tunicamycin synergistically induced cancer cell death. The use of alisertib for AURKA inhibition in the EAC xenograft model led to a decrease in IRE1α phosphorylation with a significant reduction in tumor growth. These results indicate that AURKA activates UPR, promoting cancer cell survival during ER stress in EAC. Targeting AURKA can significantly reverse prosurvival UPR signaling mechanisms and decrease cancer cell survival, providing a promising approach for the treatment of EAC patients.
    Keywords:  AURKA; ER stress; drug resistance; esophageal adenocarcinoma
  7. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 791365
      BK002 consists of Achyranthes japonica Nakai (AJN) and Melandrium firmum Rohrbach (MFR) that have been used as herbal medicines in China and Korea. AJN and MFR have been reported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-cancer activities, although the synergistic targeting multiple anti-cancer mechanism in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) has not been well reported. However, the drug resistance and transition to the androgen-independent state of prostate cancer contributing to CRPC is not well studied. Here, we reported that BK002 exerted cytotoxicity and apoptosis in CRPC PC3 cell lines and prostate cancer DU145 cell lines examined by cytotoxicity, western blot, a LIVE/DEAD cell imaging assay, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and transfection assays. The results from our investigation found that BK002 showed more cellular cytotoxicity than AJN and MFR alone, suggesting that BK002 exhibited potential cytotoxic properties. Consistently, BK002 increased DNA damage, and activated p-γH2A.X and depletion of survivin-activated ubiquitination of pro-PARP, caspase9, and caspase3. Notably, live cell imaging using confocal microscopy found that BK002 effectively increased DNA-binding red fluorescent intensity in PC3 and DU145 cells. Also, BK002 increased the anti-proliferative effect with activation of the C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and significantly attenuated PI3K/AKT expression. Notably, BK002-treated cells increased ROS generation and co-treatment of N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), an ROS inhibitor, significantly preventing ROS production and cellular cytotoxicity, suggesting that ROS production is essential for initiating apoptosis in PC3 and DU145 cells. In addition, we found that BK002 significantly enhanced miR-192-5p expression, and co-treatment with BK002 and miR-192-5p inhibitor significantly reduced miR-192-5p expression and cellular viability in PC3 and DU145 cells, indicating modulation of miR-192-5p mediated apoptosis. Finally, we found that BK002-mediated CHOP upregulation and PI3K downregulation were significantly reduced and restrained by miR-192-5p inhibitor respectively, suggesting that the anti-cancer effect of BK002 is associated with the miR-192-5p/PI3K/CHOP pathway. Therefore, our study reveals that a combination of AJN and MFR might be more effective than single treatment against apoptotic activities of both CRPC cells and prostate cancer cells.
    Keywords:  Achyranthes japonica Nakai; BK002; Melandryum firmum Rohrbach; castration-resistant prostate cancer; miR-192-5p
  8. Cell Transplant. 2022 Jan-Dec;31:31 9636897221083549
      Under endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, tumor plays multifaceted roles in endothelial cell dysfunction through secreting exosomal miRNAs. However, for the head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), it is still unclear about the impact of ER-stressed HNSCC cell derived exosomes on vascular endothelial cells. To address this gap, herein, systemic research was conducted including isolation and characterization of ER-stressed HNSCC cell (HN4 cell line as an in vitro model) derived exosomes, identification of regulatory exosomal miRNAs, target exploration and downstream signaling pathway investigation of exosomal miRNAs in human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC). ER-stressed HN4 cell-derived exosomes inhibited angiogenesis and migration of HUVEC cells in vitro. Furthermore, RNA-seq analysis demonstrated that miR-424-5p was highly upregulated in ER-stressed HN4 cell-derived exosomes. Through matrigel tube formation and transwell assays of HUVEC cells, miR-424-5p displayed great capabilities on inhibiting angiogenesis and migration. Finally, based on western blot and luciferase reporter, it was demonstrated that LAMC1 is the target of miR-424-5p which could inhibit the angiogenesis and migration of HUVEC cells by repressing the LAMC1-mediated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. ER-stressed HNSCC cell-induced exosomal miR-424-5p inhibits angiogenesis and migration of HUVEC cells through LAMC1-mediated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. This study offers a new insight for understanding the complicated mechanism behind ER-stress induced anti-angiogenesis of HNSCC.
    Keywords:  Wnt/β-catenin; anti-angiogenesis; endoplasmic reticulum stress; exosomal miRNAs; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  9. Mol Biomed. 2022 Mar 21. 3(1): 10
      Mutant KRAS is a key driver in colorectal cancer (CRC) and promotes Myc translation and Myc-dependent stress adaptation and proliferation. Here, we report that the combination of two FDA-approved drugs Bortezomib and Everolimus (RAD001) (BR) is highly efficacious against mutant KRAS CRC cells. Mechanistically, the combination, not single agent, rapidly depletes Myc protein, not mRNA, and leads to GCN2- and p-eIF2α-dependent cell death through the activation of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways. Cell death is selectively induced in mutant KRAS CRC cells with elevated basal Myc and p-eIF2α and is characterized by CHOP induction and transcriptional signatures in proteotoxicity, oxidative stress, metabolic inhibition, and immune activation. BR-induced p-GCN2/p-eIF2α elevation and cell death are strongly attenuated by MYC knockdown and enhanced by MYC overexpression. The BR combination is efficacious against mutant KRAS patient derived organoids (PDO) and xenografts (PDX) by inducing p-eIF2α/CHOP and cell death. Interestingly, an elevated four-gene (DDIT3, GADD45B, CRYBA4 and HSPA1L) stress signature is linked to shortened overall survival in CRC patients. These data support that Myc-dependent stress adaptation drives the progression of mutant KRAS CRC and serves as a therapeutic vulnerability, which can be targeted using dual translational inhibitors.
    Keywords:  Bortezomib; Colorectal cancer; Everolimus; Mutant KRAS; Myc; eIF2α
  10. Redox Biol. 2022 Mar 11. pii: S2213-2317(22)00054-4. [Epub ahead of print]51 102282
      Protein methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) symmetrically dimethylates arginine residues leading to regulation of transcription and splicing programs. Although PRMT5 has emerged as an attractive oncology target, the molecular determinants of PRMT5 dependency in cancer remain incompletely understood. Our transcriptomic analysis identified PRMT5 regulation of the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) pathway in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). PRMT5 inhibition resulted in the expression of unstable, intron-retaining ATF4 mRNA that is detained in the nucleus. Concurrently, the decrease in the spliced cytoplasmic transcript of ATF4 led to lower levels of ATF4 protein and downregulation of ATF4 target genes. Upon loss of functional PRMT5, cells with low ATF4 displayed increased oxidative stress, growth arrest, and cellular senescence. Interestingly, leukemia cells with EVI1 oncogene overexpression demonstrated dependence on PRMT5 function. EVI1 and ATF4 regulated gene signatures were inversely correlated. We show that EVI1-high AML cells have reduced ATF4 levels, elevated baseline reactive oxygen species and increased sensitivity to PRMT5 inhibition. Thus, EVI1-high cells demonstrate dependence on PRMT5 function and regulation of oxidative stress response. Overall, our findings identify the PRMT5-ATF4 axis to be safeguarding the cellular redox balance that is especially important in high oxidative stress states, such as those that occur with EVI1 overexpression.
    Keywords:  ATF4; EVI1; Epigenetics; Intron retention; Oxidative stress; PRMT5; Splicing
  11. Biomedicines. 2022 Mar 18. pii: 707. [Epub ahead of print]10(3):
      As an organelle, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is closely related to protein synthesis and modification. When physiological or pathological stimuli induce disorders of ER function, misfolded proteins trigger ER-phagy, which is beneficial for restoring cell homeostasis or promoting cell apoptosis. As a double-edged sword, ER-phagy actively participates in various stages of development and progression in tumor cells, regulating tumorigenesis and maintaining tumor cell homeostasis. Through the unfolded protein response (UPR), the B cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) protein family, the Caspase signaling pathway, and others, ER-phagy plays an initiating role in tumor occurrence, migration, stemness, and proliferation. At the same time, many vital proteins strongly associated with ER-phagy, such as family with sequence similarity 134 member B (FAM134B), translocation protein SEC62 (SEC62), and C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), can produce a marked effect in many complex environments, which ultimately lead to entirely different tumor fates. Our article comprehensively focused on introducing the relationship and interaction between ER-phagy and cancers, as well as their molecular mechanism and regulatory pathways. Via these analyses, we tried to clarify the possibility of ER-phagy as a potential target for cancer therapy and provide ideas for further research.
    Keywords:  ER-phagy; apoptosis; cancer; unfolded protein response