bims-rehoca Biomed News
on Redox homeostasis in cancer
Issue of 2021‒06‒27
thirty-four papers selected by
Vittoria Raimondi
Veneto Institute of Oncology

  1. Redox Biol. 2021 Jun 12. pii: S2213-2317(21)00188-9. [Epub ahead of print]45 102030
      Potassium channels are important regulators of cellular homeostasis and targeting these proteins pharmacologically is unveiling important mechanisms in cancer cell biology. Here we demonstrate that pharmacological stimulation of the Kv11.1 potassium channel activity results in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and fragmentation in breast cancer cell lines and patient-derived organoids independent of breast cancer subtype. mRNA expression profiling revealed that Kv11.1 activity significantly altered expression of genes controlling the production of ROS and endoplasmic-reticulum (ER) stress. Characterization of the transcriptional signature of breast cancer cells treated with Kv11.1 potassium channel activators strikingly revealed an adaptive response to the potentially lethal augmentation of ROS by increasing Nrf2-dependent transcription of antioxidant genes. Nrf2 in this context was shown to promote survival in breast cancer, whereas knockdown of Nrf2 lead to Kv11.1-induced cell death. In conclusion, we found that the Kv11.1 channel activity promotes oxidative stress in breast cancer cells and that suppression of the Nrf2-mediated anti-oxidant survival mechanism strongly sensitized breast cancer cells to a lethal effect of pharmacological activation of Kv11.1.
    Keywords:  Cancer cell survival; Mitochondria; NRF2; Potassium channels
  2. Mol Cancer Ther. 2021 Jun 22. pii: molcanther.0210.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Nrf2-Keap1-ARE pathway, a master regulator of oxidative stress, has emerged as a promising target for cancer therapy. Mutations in NFE2L2, KEAP1, and related genes have been found in many human cancers, especially lung cancer. These mutations lead to constitutive activation of the Nrf2 pathway, which promotes proliferation of cancer cells and their resistance to chemotherapies. Small molecules that inhibit the Nrf2 pathway are needed to arrest tumor growth and overcome chemoresistance in Nrf2 addicted cancers. Here, we identified a novel small molecule, MSU38225, which can suppress Nrf2 pathway activity. MSU38225 downregulates Nrf2 transcriptional activity and decreases the expression of Nrf2 downstream targets, including NQO1, GCLC, GCLM, AKR1C2 and UGT1A6. MSU38225 strikingly decreases the protein level of Nrf2, which can be blocked by the proteasome inhibitor MG132. Ubiquitination of Nrf2 is enhanced following treatment with MSU38225. By inhibiting production of antioxidants, MSU38225 increases the level of reactive oxygen species when cells are stimulated with tert-butyl hydroperoxide. MSU38225 also inhibits the growth of human lung cancer cells in both 2D cell culture and soft agar. Cancer cells addicted to Nrf2 are more susceptible to MSU38225 for suppression of cell proliferation. MSU38225 also sensitizes human lung cancer cells to chemotherapies both in vitro and in vivo. Our results suggest that MSU38225 is a novel Nrf2 pathway inhibitor that could potentially serve as an adjuvant therapy to enhance the response to chemotherapies in lung cancer patients.
  3. Exp Ther Med. 2021 Aug;22(2): 829
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancer types and a leading cause of cancer-associated mortality in China. Increased thioredoxin reductase 1 (TrxR1) levels have been previously identified as possible target for CRC. The present study revealed that the natural product hydroxytyrosol (HT), which exhibits a polyphenol scaffold, is a potent inhibitor of TrxR1. Inhibition of TrxR1 was indicated to result in accumulation of reactive oxygen species, inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis and G1/S cell cycle arrest of CRC cells. Using a C-terminal mutant TrxR1 enzyme activity assay, TrxR1 RNA interference assay and HT binding model assay, the present study demonstrated the core character of the selenocysteine residue in the interaction between HT and TrxR1. HT can serve as polyphenol scaffold to develop novel TrxR1 inhibitors for CRC treatment in the future.
    Keywords:  antitumor; apoptosis; hydroxytyrosol; oxidative stress; thioredoxin
  4. Chem Sci. 2020 Oct 22. 12(1): 148-157
      Many cancer treatments including photodynamic therapy (PDT) utilize reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill tumor cells. However, elevated antioxidant defense systems in cancer cells result in resistance to the therapy involving ROS. Here we describe a highly effective phototherapy through regulation of redox homeostasis with a biocompatible and versatile nanotherapeutic to inhibit tumor growth and metastasis. We systematically explore and exploit methylene blue adsorbed polydopamine nanoparticles as a targeted and precise nanocarrier, oxidative stress amplifier, photodynamic/photothermal agent, and multimodal probe for fluorescence, photothermal and photoacoustic imaging to enhance anti-tumor efficacy. Remarkably, following the glutathione-stimulated photosensitizer release to generate exogenous ROS, polydopamine eliminates the endogenous ROS scavenging system through depleting the primary antioxidant, thus amplifying the phototherapy and effectively suppressing tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, this approach enables a robust inhibition against breast cancer metastasis, as oxidative stress is a vital impediment to distant metastasis in tumor cells. Innovative, safe and effective nanotherapeutics via regulation of redox balance may provide a clinically relevant approach for cancer treatment.
  5. J Mol Recognit. 2021 Jun 23. e2924
      Dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLDH) is a homodimeric flavin-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the NAD+ -dependent oxidation of dihydrolipoamide. The enzyme is part of several multi-enzyme complexes such as the Pyruvate Dehydrogenase system that transforms pyruvate into acetyl-co-A. Concomitantly with its redox activity, DLDH produces Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which are involved in cellular apoptotic processes. DLDH possesses several moonlighting functions. One of these is the capacity to adhere to metal-oxides surfaces. This was first exemplified by the presence of an exocellular form of the enzyme on the cell-wall surface of Rhodococcus ruber. This capability was evolutionarily conserved and identified in the human, mitochondrial, DLDH. The enzyme was modified with Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) groups, which enabled its interaction with integrin-rich cancer cells followed by "integrin-assisted-endocytosis." This allowed harnessing the enzyme for cancer therapy. Combining the TiO2 -binding property with DLDH's ROS-production, enabled us to develop several medical applications including improving oesseointegration of TiO2 -based implants and photodynamic treatment for melanoma. The TiO2 -binding sites of both the bacterial and human DLDH's were identified on the proteins' molecules at regions that overlap with the binding site of E3-binding protein (E3BP). This protein is essential in forming the multiunit structure of PDC. Another moonlighting activity of DLDH, which is described in this Review, is its DNA-binding capacity that may affect DNA chelation and shredding leading to apoptotic processes in living cells. The typical ROS-generation by DLDH, which occurs in association with its enzymatic activity and its implications in cancer and apoptotic cell death are also discussed.
    Keywords:  RGD; cancer; dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase; integrin; melanoma; moonlighting activity; reactive oxygen species; titanium dioxide
  6. Clin Med Insights Oncol. 2021 ;15 11795549211012672
      Background: The death rate (the number of deaths per 100 000 people per year) of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been dropping since 1980 due to increased screening, lifestyle-related risk factors, and improved treatment options; however, CRC is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. Therefore, successful therapy for CRC is an unmet clinical need. This study aimed to investigate the impacts of andrographolide (AGP) and melatonin (MLT) on CRC and the underlying mechanism.Methods: To investigate AGP and MLT anticancer effects, a series of metastatic colon cancer cell lines (T84, Colo 205, HT-29, and DLD-1) were selected. In addition, a metastatic patient-derived organoid model (PDOD) was used to monitor the anticancer effects of AGP and MLT. A series of bioassays including 3D organoid cell culture, MTT, colony formation, western blotting, immunofluorescence, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were performed.
    Results: The dual therapy significantly promotes CRC cell death, as compared with the normal cells. It also limits CRC colony formation and disrupts the PDOD membrane integrity along with decreased Ki-67 expression. A significantly higher cleaved caspase-3 and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress proteins, IRE-1 and ATF-6 expression, by 48 hours were found. This combinatorial treatment increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Apoptosis signaling molecules BAX, XBP-1, and CHOP were significantly increased as determined by qPCR.
    Conclusions: These findings indicated that AGP and MLT associated ER stress-mediated apoptotic metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) cell death through the IRE-1/XBP-1/CHOP signaling pathway. This novel combination could be a potential therapeutic strategy for mCRC cells.
    Keywords:  Andrographolide; endoplasmic reticulum stress; melatonin; metastatic colon cancer; patient-derived organoids; reactive oxygen species
  7. Arch Oral Biol. 2021 Jun 16. pii: S0003-9969(21)00163-1. [Epub ahead of print]129 105200
      OBJECTIVE: Cannabinoids, including delta-8- and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have a palliative care impact and may therefore be beneficial against cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC on oral cancer cell behaviors.DESIGN: The Ca9-22 oral cancer cells were cultured in the presence or not of various concentrations of Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC for different times. The cultures were then used to measure cell viability/proliferation, apoptosis, autophagy, oxidative stress, antioxidant activity, and inhibition of signaling pathways MAP-Kinase, NF-κB, and β-catenin.
    RESULTS: Both cannabinoids were found to decrease cell viability/proliferation by blocking the cell cycle progression from the S to the G2/M phase and enhancing their apoptosis and autophagy. Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC also suppressed the migration/invasion by inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers, such as E-cadherin, in addition to decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and increasing glutathione (GSH) and the expression of mtMP. Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC also downregulated cyclin D1, p53, NOXA, PUMAα, and DRAM expressions but increased p21 and H2AX expression.
    CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that cannabinoids (Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC) were able to decrease oral cancer cell growth through various mechanisms, including apoptosis, autophagy, and oxidative stress. These results suggest a potential use of these molecules as a therapy against oral cancer.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Autophagy; Cannabinoids; Oral cancer; Oxidative stress; Signaling pathways
  8. J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Jun 23.
      Intracellular polymerization is an emerging technique that can potentially modulate cell behavior, but remains challenging because of the complexity of the cellular environment. Herein, taking advantage of the chemical properties of organotellurides and the intracellular redox environment, we develop a novel oxidative polymerization reaction that can be conducted in cells without external stimuli. We demonstrate that this polymerization reaction is triggered by the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus selectively proceeding in cancer cells and inducing apoptosis via a unique self-amplification mechanism. The polymerization products are shown to disrupt intracellular antioxidant systems through interacting with selenoproteins, leading to greater oxidative stress that would further the oxidative polymerization and eventually activate ROS-related apoptosis pathways. The selective anticancer efficacy and biosafety of our strategy are proven both in vitro and in vivo. Ultimately, this study enables a new possibility for chemists to manipulate cellular proliferation and apoptosis through artificial chemical reactions.
  9. Mol Cancer Ther. 2021 Jun 22. pii: molcanther.0019.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Solid tumors start as a local disease, but some are capable of metastasizing to the lymph nodes and distant organs. The hypoxic microenvironment, which is critical during cancer development, plays a key role in regulating cancer progression and metastasis. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating the disseminated cancer cell metastasis remain incompletely understood. Here we show that C/EBPβ/AEP signaling that is upregulated in breast cancers mediates oxidative stress and lung metastasis, and inactivation of asparagine endopeptidase (AEP, also known as legumain) robustly regulates breast cancer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and metastasis. AEP, a protease activated in acidic conditions, is overexpressed in numerous cancers and promotes metastasis. Employing a breast cancer cell line MDA-MD-231, we show that C/EBPβ, an oxidative stress or inflammation-activated transcription factor, and its downstream target AEP mediate ROS production as well as migration and invasion in cancer cells. Deficiency of AEP in the MMTV-PyMT transgenic breast cancer mouse model significantly regulates oxidative stress and suppresses lung metastasis. Administration of an innovative AEP inhibitor substantially mitigates ROS production and cancer metastasis. Hence, our study demonstrates that pharmacological inhibition of AEP activity might provide a disease-modifying strategy to suppress cancer metastasis.
  10. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2021 Jun 24.
      PURPOSE: Prior studies have noted that zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) is a master transcription regulator, affecting the expression of nearly 2000 genes in breast cancer cells, especially in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. We now tested the role of ZEB1 on the oxidative stress of cancer cells and explored its possible mechanisms.METHODS: Two human breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 were selected for the ROS test, PCR, immunofluorescence, Western blot, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, luciferase assay, and enzyme assay. Mouse models experiments and bioinformatics analysis were conducted to test the indicated molecules.
    RESULTS: We observed ZEB1 could inhibit GPX4 transcription by binding to the E-box motifs and promote breast cancer progression by accumulating intracellular ROS. From the perspective of ROS clearance, Vitamin E enhanced GPX4 function to consume L-glutathione and eliminated excess intracellular ROS.
    CONCLUSIONS: ZEB1 could not only regulate EMT, but also inhibit GPX4 transcription by binding to the E-box motif. It was important to note that the ZEB1/GPX4 axis had a therapeutic effect on breast cancer metabolism.
    Keywords:  Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4); Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1)
  11. Redox Biol. 2021 Jun 05. pii: S2213-2317(21)00190-7. [Epub ahead of print]45 102032
      SIGNIFICANCE: Cellular growth arrest, associated with 'senescence', helps to safeguard against the accumulation of DNA damage which is often recognized as the underlying mechanism of a wide variety of age-related pathologies including cancer. Cellular senescence has also been described as a 'double-edged sword'. In cancer, for example, the creation of an immune-suppressive milieu by senescent tumor cells through the senescence-associated secretory phenotype contributes toward carcinogenesis and cancer progression.RECENT ADVANCES: The potential for cellular senescence to confer multi-faceted effects on tissue fate has led to a rejuvenated interest in its landscape and targeting. Interestingly, redox pathways have been described as both triggers and propagators of cellular senescence, leading to intricate cross-links between both pathways.
    CRITICAL ISSUES: In this review, we describe the mechanisms driving cellular senescence, the interface with cellular redox metabolism as well as the role that chemotherapy-induced senescence plays in secondary carcinogenesis. Notably, the role that anti-apoptotic proteins of the Bcl-2 family play in inducing drug resistance via mechanisms that involve senescence induction.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Though the therapeutic targeting of senescent cells as cancer therapy remains in its infancy, we summarize the current development of senotherapeutics, including recognized senotherapies, as well as the repurposing of drugs as senomorphic/senolytic candidates.
    Keywords:  Cancer therapy; ROS; SASP; Senescence; Senolytics
  12. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 22. 11(1): 13087
      Oral cancer is one of the major public health problems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of anethole, 1-methoxy-4-[(E)-1-propenyl]-benzene, on growth and apoptosis of oral tumor cells, and to identify the signaling pathways involved in its interaction with these cancer cells. Cancer gingival cells (Ca9-22) were treated with different concentrations of anethole. Cell proliferation and cytotoxic effects were measured by MTT and LDH assays. Cell death, autophagy and oxidative stress markers were assessed by flow cytometry while cell migration was determined by a healing capacity assay. The effect of anethole on apoptotic and pro-carcinogenic signaling pathways proteins was assessed by immunoblotting. Our results showed that anethole selectively and in a dose-dependent manner decreases the cell proliferation rate, and conversely induces toxicity and apoptosis in oral cancer cells. This killing effect was mediated mainly through NF-κB, MAPKinases, Wnt, caspase 3, 9 and PARP1 pathways. Anethole showed an ability to induce autophagy, decrease reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and increased intracellular glutathione (GSH) activity. Finally, anethole treatment inhibits the expression of oncogenes (cyclin D1) and up-regulated cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (p21WAF1), increases the expression of p53 gene, but inhibits the epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers. These results indicate that anethole could be a potential molecule for the therapy of oral cancer.
  13. Toxicol In Vitro. 2021 Jun 19. pii: S0887-2333(21)00126-0. [Epub ahead of print] 105201
      Cobalt (III) Schiff base complexes are of attraction in the context of their potential application in cancer therapy. The aim of this study has been to find the mechanism of action of cobalt (III) Schiff base complexes 1 and 2, the synthesis and characterization of which have already been reported, in inhibiting growth of human breast cancer cell MCF-7 and lung cancer cell A549. The already proclaimed anti-proliferative effect of the cobalt complexes was ascertained using MTT cytotoxicity assay. More assays such as Acridine orange & Ethidium bromide staining, AnnexinV-Cy3 staining, Hoechst staining, comet assay, and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) assay- all supported the cytotoxic property of the complexes. Moreover, the expression levels of mRNA of pro- and antiapoptotic genes also supported the effectiveness of cobalt complexes by modifying the ratio of Bax: Bcl-2. In addition, the cobalt complexes induced apoptosis in MCF- 7 and A549 cells through modulation of pro-apoptotic, anti-apoptotic, and ROS modulatory gene expressions. The present study validates the scientific evidence for antiproliferative efficacy of cobalt complexes against MCF-7 and A549 cells. Thus, this study takes cobalt complexes 1 and 2 to a step higher towards their use as anticancer agents.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Cobalt (III) Schiff base complexes; DNA damage; Immunofluorescence; ROS; RT-PCR
  14. Chem Sci. 2020 Nov 06. 12(1): 427-434
      Two-photon photodynamic therapy (TP-PDT) is a promising approach for the treatment of cancer because of its better penetration depth and superior spatial selectivity. Here, we describe an azo group containing cyclized-cyanine derivatives (ACC1 and ACC2) as a two-photon activated, type I based photosensitizer (PS). These small-molecule and heavy atom-free organic dyes showed marked reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating ability under physiological conditions, as well as fast loading ability into the cells and negligible dark toxicity. Live cell analyses with one- and two-photon microscopy revealed that these dyes showed higher ROS generation ability upon two-photon excitation than upon one-photon excitation via the type I process. The PSs have superior PDT properties compared to conventional Visudyne and 5-ALA under mild conditions. These characteristics allowed for precise PDT at the target region in mimic tumor spheroids, demonstrating that the developed TP PS could be useful in efficient PDT applications and in designing various PSs.
  15. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jun 18. pii: S0753-3322(21)00391-7. [Epub ahead of print]141 111606
      INTRODUCTION: The development of multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major cause for the failure of chemotherapy, which requires the aid of nanomedicine.METHODS: Here in our study, a Cu2+ based metal-organic framework (COF) was firstly developed and employed as a carrier for the delivery of glucose oxidase (GOx) and doxorubicin (Dox) (COF/GOx/Dox) for the therapy of MDR lung cancers.
    RESULTS: Our results showed that the GOx can catalyze glucose and produce H2O2. In the mean time, the Cu2+ can react with GSH and then transform into Cu+, which resulted in GSH depletion. Afterwards, the produced Cu+ and H2O2 trigger Fenton reaction to generate ROS to damage the redox equilibrium of cancer cells. Both effects contributed to the reverse of MDR in A549/Dox cells and finally resulted in significantly enhanced in vitro/in vivo anticancer performance.
    DISCUSSION: The combination of glutathione depletion/reactive oxygen species elevation might be a promising strategy to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy and reverse MDR in cancers.
    Keywords:  Glutathione depletion; Lung cancer therapy; MOF; Multidrug resistance
  16. Chembiochem. 2021 Jun 21.
      The conditional control of protein function in response to the physiological change of cells is of great interest for studying protein function in biological settings and developing protein therapeutics. We report herein that catalase (CAT)-targeting DNAzyme can potentiate the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in living cells by knocking down catalase expression, which could further activate a ROS-responsive pro-protein, RNase A-NBC in situ. Using an optimized lipid nanoparticle delivery system to simultaneously introduce CAT DNAzyme and RNase A-NBC into cells, we show that the pro-protein, RNase A-NBC could be activated in a significantly enhanced manner to prohibit tumor cell growth, and in different types of cancer cells. We believe the methodology of regulating pro-protein activity using DNAzyme biocatalysis to differentiate intracellular environment could further be extended to other functional proteins, and even fundamental investigations in living systems to develop pro-protein therapeutics.
    Keywords:  DNAzyme; pro-protein; protein delivery; protein regulation; reactive oxygen species
  17. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jun 17. pii: S0753-3322(21)00318-8. [Epub ahead of print] 111533
      Ovarian cancer (OC) is one of the most common gynecologic malignancies with poor survival rate, and Iberin is a member of isothiocyanate family with anti-tumor activity. However, the role of Iberin in OC development has not been reported yet. In this study, A2780 and OVCAR-3 cells were treated with gradient concentrations of Iberin to investigate the effect of Iberin on OC in vitro. Meanwhile, the in vivo tumorgenesis experiment was performed using female BALB/c nude mice treated with Iberin. Iberin inhibited cell proliferation, induced G2 cell cycle arrest and promoted cell apoptosis in OC cells. Besides, Iberin reduced GSH/GSSG level, enhanced ROS accumulation, and activated MAPK signaling in OC cells. More interestingly, ROS scavenger (NAC) compensated the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of Iberin on OC cells, suggesting the involvement of ROS in the regulation of Iberin on OC cell growth. Notably, Iberin induced down-regulation of glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPX1), and over-expression of GPX1 reversed Iberin-mediated alterations in the proliferation, apoptosis and ROS accumulation of OC cells. The in vivo tumorgenesis study further evidenced the protection of Iberin against OC development. Besides, Iberin displayed a synergistic effect on the enhancement of chemo-sensitivity in OC cells. In summary, our study demonstrates the anti-tumor effect of Iberin on OC and its potential as a therapeutic agent against OC in the future.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Cell proliferation; GPX1; Iberin; Ovarian cancer; ROS accumulation
  18. Cancer Lett. 2021 Jun 18. pii: S0304-3835(21)00296-2. [Epub ahead of print]518 82-93
      Despite HER2-targeted cancer treatments have provided considerable clinical benefits, resistance to HER2-targeted agents will inevitably develop. Targeting non-oncogene vulnerabilities including endoplasmic reticulum (EnR) stress has emerged as an attractive alternative approach to improve the efficacy of existing targeted cancer therapies. In the current study, we find that Melatonin sensitizes HER2-positive breast cancer cells to the dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor Lapatinib in vitro. Mechanistically, Melatonin enhances the cytotoxic effects of Lapatinib through promoting excessive EnR stress-induced unfolded protein response (UPR) and ROS overaccumulation. Consistently, the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine remarkably reverses the effects of the drug combination on ROS production, DNA damage and cytotoxicity. Furthermore, Melatonin significantly enhances the anti-tumor effect of Lapatinib in an HCC1954 xenograft model. Meanwhile, Lapatinib resistant HER2-positive breast cancer cells (LapR) display lower basal expression levels of UPR genes and enhanced tolerance to EnR stress with attenuated response to Brefeldin A and Tunicamycin. Importantly, Melatonin also increases the sensitivity of HCC1954 LapR cells to Lapatinib. Together, our findings highlight the potential utility of Melatonin as an adjuvant in the treatment of primary or therapy resistant HER2-positive breast cancer via EnR stress-mediated mechanisms.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; EnR stress; HER2 targeted therapy; Lapatinib resistance; ROS
  19. Cytokine. 2021 Jun 20. pii: S1043-4666(21)00211-8. [Epub ahead of print]146 155625
      This review examines the concerted role of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and integrins in regulating Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production through different signaling pathways. ROS as such are not always deleterious to the cells but they also act as signaling molecules, that regulates numerous indespensible physiological fuctions of life. Many adaptor proteins, particularly Shc and Grb2, are involved in mediating the downstream signaling pathways stimulated by EGFR and integrins. Integrin-induced activation of EGFR and subsequent tyrosine phosphorylation of a class of acceptor sites on EGFR leads to alignment and tyrosine phosphorylation of Shc, PLCγ, the p85 subunit of PI-3 K, and Cbl, followed by activation of the downstream targets Erk and Akt/PKB. Functional interactions between these receptors result in the activation of Rac1 via these adaptor proteins, thereby leading to Reactive Oxygen Species. Both GF and integrin activation can produce oxidants independently, however synergistically there is increased ROS generation, suggesting a mutual cooperation between integrins and GFRs for redox signalling. The ROS produced further promotes feed-forward stimulation of redox signaling events such as MAPK activation and gene expression. This relationship has not been reviewed previously. The literature presented here can have multiple implications, ranging from looking at synergistic effects of integrin and EGFR mediated signaling mechanisms of different proteins to possible therapeutic interventions operated by these two receptors. Furthermore, such mutual redox regulation of crosstalk between EGFR and integrins not only add to the established models of pathological oxidative stress, but also can impart new avenues and opportunities for targeted antioxidant based therapeutics.
    Keywords:  Epidermal Growth factor Receptor; Integrins; P66shc; Rac1; Reactive Oxygen Species
  20. Life Sci. 2021 Jun 22. pii: S0024-3205(21)00733-5. [Epub ahead of print] 119747
      BZD9L1 was previously described as a SIRT1/2 inhibitor with anti-cancer activities in colorectal cancer (CRC), either as a standalone chemotherapy or in combination with 5-fluorouracil. BZD9L1 was reported to induce apoptosis in CRC cells; however, the network of intracellular pathways and crosstalk between molecular players mediated by BZD9L1 is not fully understood. This study aimed to uncover the mechanisms involved in BZD9L1-mediated cytotoxicity based on previous and new findings for the prediction and identification of related pathways and key molecular players. BZD9L1-regulated candidate targets (RCTs) were identified using a range of molecular, cell-based and biochemical techniques on the HCT116 cell line. BZD9L1 regulated major cancer pathways including Notch, p53, cell cycle, NFκB, Myc/MAX, and MAPK/ERK signalling pathways. BZD9L1 also induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), regulated apoptosis-related proteins, and altered cell polarity and adhesion profiles. In silico analyses revealed that most RCTs were interconnected, and were involved in the modulation of catalytic activity, metabolism and transcription regulation, response to cytokines, and apoptosis signalling pathways. These RCTs were implicated in p53-dependent apoptosis pathway. This study provides the first assessment of possible associations of molecular players underlying the cytotoxic activity of BZD9L1, and establishes the links between RCTs and apoptosis through the p53 pathway.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; Functional class scoring; Gene ontology; Pathway topology; Protein-protein interaction; Sirtuin
  21. Tissue Cell. 2021 Jun 09. pii: S0040-8166(21)00093-8. [Epub ahead of print]71 101577
      PURPOSE: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a high-risk type of lung cancer. Raddeanin A exerts anti-tumor activity by regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis, but its role in NSCLC remains to be elucidated. This study was to investigate the effect of raddeanin A in NSCLC and its mechanism.METHODS: The effect of raddeanin A (2, 4, 8, 10 μmol/L) on the viability, proliferation and apoptosis of A549 and H1299 cells was determined by cell counting kit-8, colony formation and flow cytometry assays, respectively. Next, western blot was performed to examine the protein expressions of cleaved caspase-3, Bax, phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3) and STAT3. Subsequently, the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and mitochondrial membrane potential of NSCLC cells were detected by 2', 7'-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate (DCFH-DA) and JC-1 assay. Lastly, the effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on the apoptosis, ROS generation, and STAT3 was evaluated by the above-mentioned assays again.
    RESULTS: Raddeanin A treatment had no obvious effect on 16HBE cells viability, but it inhibited viability and proliferation of A549 and H1299 cells, promoted the apoptosis, increased the protein expressions of cleaved caspase-3 and Bax, generated intracellular ROS, as well as decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and the expressions of p-STAT3 and STAT3 in A549 and H1299 cells. After cells treated with NAC, the effect of raddeanin A was reversed, as evidenced by the apoptosis and ROS generation were suppressed, and the expression of p-STAT3 was promoted.
    CONCLUSION: Raddeanin A suppressed the proliferation and induced apoptosis of NSCLC cells via promoting the ROS-mediated STAT3 inactivation.
    Keywords:  Non-small cell lung cancer; Raddeanin A; Reactive oxygen species; Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3
  22. Exp Cell Res. 2021 Jun 22. pii: S0014-4827(21)00210-X. [Epub ahead of print] 112678
      Tumor cell apoptosis evasion is one of the main reasons for easy metastasis occurrence, chemotherapy resistance, and the low five-year survival rate of digestive system tumors. Current research has shown that non-apoptotic cell death plays an important role in tumors of the digestive system. Therefore, increasing the proportion of non-apoptotic tumor cells is one of the effective methods of improving therapeutic efficacies for digestive system tumors. Non-apoptotic cell death modes mainly include autophagic cell death, pyroptosis, ferroptosis, in addition to other cell death modes. This review covers a systematic review relating to the research progress made into autophagic cell death, pyroptosis, ferroptosis, and other cell death modes in the treatment of digestive system tumors. It also highlights how treatment is a reasonable prospect based on clinical experience and provides reliable guidance for the further development of digestive system tumor treatments.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Digestive tumors; Drug-resistance; Pyroptosis; Treatment; ferroptosis
  23. Oncogene. 2021 Jun 23.
      The polybromo-associated PBAF (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex, which includes PBRM1, ARID2, and BRD7, regulates cell differentiation and genomic integrity. MUC1-C is an oncogenic protein that drives lineage plasticity in prostate cancer (PC) progression. The present work demonstrates that MUC1-C induces PBRM1, ARID2, and BRD7 expression by the previously unrecognized E2F1-mediated activation of their respective promoters. The functional significance of the MUC1-C→PBAF pathway is supported by demonstrating involvement of MUC1-C in associating with nuclear PBAF and driving the NRF2 antioxidant gene transcriptome in PC cells. Mechanistically, MUC1-C forms a complex with NRF2 and PBRM1 on the NRF2 target SLC7A11 gene that encodes the xCT cystine-glutamate antiporter, increases chromatin accessibility and induces SLC7A11/xCT expression. We also show that MUC1-C and PBRM1 are necessary for induction of other NRF2 target genes, including G6PD and PGD that regulate the pentose phosphate pathway. Our results further demonstrate that MUC1-C integrates activation of PBRM1 with the regulation of antioxidant genes, ROS levels, pluripotency factor expression and the cancer stem cell (CSC) state. These findings reveal a role for MUC1-C in regulating PBAF, redox balance and lineage plasticity of PC CSC progression. Our findings also uncover involvement of MUC1-C in integrating the PBAF and BAF pathways in cancer.
  24. Cancer Lett. 2021 Jun 21. pii: S0304-3835(21)00300-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) has attracted a considerable attention in CRC. It is of great interest to explore novel therapies that inhibit OXPHOS for CRC treatment. Compound 6c is a novel naphthalimide derivative. However, the effects of 6c on CRC and the underlying mechanism are unclear. In this study, 6c suppressed CRC tumor growth and metastasis. RNA-seq data showed that 6c triggered the inhibition of OXPHOS and tricarboxylic acid cycle. 6c specifically inhibited mitochondrial complex III activity and the expression of isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2), resulting in oxidative stress. Antioxidants reversed 6c-induced cell death, senescence, and autophagosomes formation. 6c inhibited autophagy flux; however, pretreatment with autophagy inhibitors resulted in the reduction of 6c-induced cytoplasmic vacuolization and proliferation inhibition. Moreover, combinatory treatment of 6c and mitoxantrone (MIT) showed stronger inhibitory effects on CRC compared with the single agent. Downregulation of IDH2 induced reactive oxygen species production, leading to MIT accumulation and autophagic cell death after co-treatment with 6c and MIT. In summary, our findings indicated 6c as a promising candidate for CRC treatment.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Senescence; Tricarboxylic acid cycle
  25. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 701328
      Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of several types of cancer, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), as well as in the resistance to treatment. In this work, we assessed the potential of oxidative stress parameters to predict the response to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in lower-risk MDS patients. To this end, we analyzed the systemic levels of reactive species (peroxides and NO), antioxidant defenses (uric acid, vitamin E, vitamin A, GSH, GSSG, TAS, as well as GPX and GR activities], and oxidative damage (8-OH-dG and MDA) in 66 MDS patients, from those 44 have been treated with ESA. We also calculated the peroxides/TAS and NO/TAS ratios and analyzed the gene expression of levels of the redox regulators, NFE2L2 and KEAP1. We found that patients that respond to ESA treatment showed lower levels of plasma peroxides (p < 0.001), cellular GSH (p < 0.001), and cellular GR activity (p = 0.001) when compared to patients who did not respond to ESA treatment. ESA responders also showed lower levels of peroxides/TAS ratio (p < 0.001) and higher levels of the expression of the NFE2L2 gene (p = 0.001) than those that did not respond to ESA treatment. The levels of plasmatic peroxides shown to be the most accurate biomarker of ESA response, with good sensitivity (80%) and specificity (100%) and is an independent biomarker associated with therapy response. Overall, the present study demonstrated a correlation between oxidative stress levels and the response to ESA treatment in lower-risk MDS patients, with the plasmatic peroxides levels a good predictive biomarker of drug (ESA) response.
    Keywords:  antioxidant defenses; erythropoiesis-stimulating agents; myelodysplastic syndrome; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; response biomarker
  26. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 25. 11(1): 13302
      Pathogenic mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase (ND) gene mutations enhance the invasion and metastasis of various cancer cells, and they are associated with metastasis in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Moreover, monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) is overexpressed in solid cancers and plays a role in cancer cell proliferation and survival. Here, we report that MCT4 is exclusively expressed in mouse transmitochondrial cybrids with metastasis-enhancing pathogenic ND6 mutations. A high level of MCT4 is also detected in human NSCLC cell lines and tissues predicted to carry pathogenic ND mutations and is associated with poor prognosis in NSCLC patients. MCT4 expression in the cell lines is suppressed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine. Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) are involved in the regulation of MCT4 expression in the transmitochondrial cybrid cells. An MCT1/4 inhibitor effectively kills NSCLC cells with predicted pathogenic ND mutations, but an MCT1/2 inhibitor does not have the same effect. Thus, MCT4 expression is augmented by pathogenic ND mutations and could be a biomarker and a therapeutic target in pathogenic ND mutation-harbouring metastatic tumours.
  27. J Biophotonics. 2021 Jun 11. e202100134
      Multifunctional phototheranostic nanocomposites are promising for early diagnosis and precision therapy of cancer. Aim to enhance their accuracy and efficiency, in this study, we develop a single-laser excited activatable phototheranostic nanocomposite (UCNPs-D-MQ): 808 nm-excited upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) as the matrix programmed assembly with amphipathic compound DSPE-PEG-COOH, a near-infrared absorbing polymer DPP and the pro-photosensitizer MBQB. Upon endocytosed by cancer cells and excited by the 808 nm laser, UCNPs-D-MQ could produce high-yield reactive oxygen species (ROS) as the results of singlet oxygen generation from transferring to methylene blue, GSH depletion and ROS generation from photoactivation. It was proven both in vitro and in vivo that the nanocomposites exhibits remarkable therapeutic efficacy as well as minimal photodamage to normal cells. These results reveal UCNPs-D-MQ as a robust theranostic agent for tumor phototherapy.
    Keywords:  808 nm-excited; a single laser; accuracy and efficiency phototherapy; high-yield reactive oxygen species; multifunctional phototheranostic nanocomposite
  28. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2021 Jun 22.
      BACKGROUND: Cancer is a global threat to humans and a leading cause of death worldwide. Cancer treatment includes, among other things, the use of chemotherapeutic agents, compounds that are vital for treating and preventing cancer. However, chemotherapeutic agents produce oxidative stress along with other side effects that would affect the human body.OBJECTIVE: To reduce the oxidative stress of chemotherapeutic agents in cancer and normal cells by naturally derived compounds with anti-cancer properties, and protect normal cells from the oxidation process. Therefore, the need to develop more potent chemotherapeutics with fewer side effects has become increasingly important.
    METHOD: Recent literature dealing with the antioxidant and anticancer activities of the naturally naturally-derived compounds: morin, myricetin, malvidin, naringin, eriodictyol, isovitexin, daidzein, naringenin, chrysin, and fisetin has been surveyed and examined in this review. For this, data were gathered from different search engines, including Google Scholar, ScienceDirect, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Scopus, and Scifinder, among others. Additionally, several patient offices such as WIPO, CIPO, and USPTO were consulted to obtain published articles related to these compounds.
    RESULT: Numerous plants contain flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds such as morin, myricetin, malvidin, naringin, eriodictyol, isovitexin, daidzein, naringenin, chrysin, and fisetin, which exhibit ‎antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic actions via several mechanisms. These compounds show sensitizers of cancer cells and protectors of healthy cells. Moreover, these compounds can reduce oxidative stress, which is accelerated by chemotherapeutics and exhibit a potent anticancer effect on cancer cells.
    CONCLUSIONS: Based on these findings, more research is recommended to explore and evaluate such flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds.
    Keywords:  Cancer cell therapy; and polyphenolic compounds; flavonoids; natural compounds; normal cell; oxidative stress; protector cells; sensitizer cells
  29. Metallomics. 2021 Jun 24. pii: mfab039. [Epub ahead of print]
      Increasingly explored over the last decade, gold complexes have shown great promise in the field of cancer therapeutics. A major obstacle to their clinical progression has been their lack of in vivo stability, particularly for gold(III) complexes, which often undergo facile reduction in the presence of biomolecules such as glutathione. Herein, we report a new class of promising anti-cancer gold(I)-gold(III) complexes with the general formula [XAuI(µ-2-C6F4PPh2)(κ2-2-C6F4PPh2)AuIIIX] [X = Cl (1), Br (2), NO3 (3)] which feature two gold atoms in different oxidation states (I and III) in a single molecule. Interestingly, gold(I)-gold(III) complexes (1-3) are stable against glutathione reduction under physiological-like conditions. In addition, complexes 1-3 exhibit significant cytotoxicity (276-fold greater than cisplatin) towards the tested cancer cells compared to the non-cancerous cells. Moreover, the gold(I)-gold(III) complexes do not interact with DNA like cisplatin, but target cellular thioredoxin reductase, an enzyme linked to the development of cisplatin drug resistance. Complexes 1-3 also showed potential to inhibit cancer and endothelial cell migration, as well as tube formation during angiogenesis. In vivo studies in a murine HeLa xenograft model further showed the gold compounds may inhibit tumor growth on par clinically used cisplatin, supporting the significant potential this new compound class has for further development as a cancer therapeutic.
    Keywords:  anticancer drug; bimetallic; gold(I)-gold(III) complex; in vivo activity; metallodrug; mixed oxidation states
  30. Chem Sci. 2021 Mar 04. 12(13): 4740-4746
      The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) as "unconventional" therapeutics with precise spatiotemporal control by using light stimuli may open entirely new horizons for innovative therapeutic modalities. Among ROS and RNS, peroxynitrite (ONOO-) plays a dominant role in chemistry and biology in view of its potent oxidizing power and cytotoxic action. We have designed and synthesized a molecular hybrid based on benzophenothiazine as a red light-harvesting antenna joined to an N-nitroso appendage through a flexible spacer. Single photon red light excitation of this molecular construct triggers the release of nitric oxide (˙NO) and simultaneously produces superoxide anions (O2˙-). The diffusion-controlled reaction between these two radical species generates ONOO-, as confirmed by the use of fluorescein-boronate as a highly selective chemical probe. Besides, the red fluorescence of the hybrid allows its tracking in different types of cancer cells where it is well-tolerated in the dark but induces remarkable cell mortality under irradiation with red light in a very low concentration range, with very low light doses (ca. 1 J cm-2). This ONOO- generator activatable by highly biocompatible and tissue penetrating single photon red light can open up intriguing prospects in biomedical research, where precise and spatiotemporally controlled concentrations of ONOO- are required.
  31. Int J Cancer. 2021 Jun 19.
      Lipocalin 2 is a siderophore binding protein that regulates iron homeostasis. Lipocalin 2 expression is elevated in multiple tumor types; however, the mechanisms that drive tumor progression upon Lipocalin 2 expression remain unclear. When Lipocalin 2 is over-expressed it leads to resistance to 5-fluorouracil in colon cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting ferroptosis. Lipocalin 2 inhibits ferroptosis by decreasing intracellular iron levels and stimulating the expression of glutathione peroxidase4 and a component of the cysteine glutamate antiporter, xCT. The increase in xCT levels is dependent on increased levels of ETS1 in Lipocalin 2 over-expressing cells. Inhibiting Lipocalin 2 function with a monoclonal antibody leads to a decrease in chemo-resistance and transformation in vitro, and a decrease in tumor progression and chemo-resistance in xenograft mouse models. Lipocalin 2 and xCT levels exhibit a positive correlation in human tumor samples suggesting that the pathway we have identified in cell lines is operative in human tumor samples. These results indicate that Lipocalin 2 is a potential therapeutic target and that the monoclonal antibody described in this study can serve as the basis for a potential therapeutic in patients that do not respond to chemotherapy.
    Keywords:  Lipocalin 2; chemo-resistance; colorectal cancer; ferroptosis
  32. Biomaterials. 2021 Jun 11. pii: S0142-9612(21)00315-X. [Epub ahead of print]275 120959
      Nanotechnology provides a powerful tool to overcome many disadvantages of small-molecule photosensitizers for photodynamic cancer therapy, such as hydrophobicity, rapid blood clearance, low accumulation in tumor tissue and low cell penetration, etc. The occurrence of quench in photosensitizer-loaded nanoparticle greatly downregulates the ability to generate singlet oxygen with light irradiation. Stimuli-responsive nanocarriers can improve the efficacy of PDT to a certain extent. However, insufficient release of photosensitizer from either endogenous or exogenous stimuli responsive nanocarriers in the short period of light irradiation restricts full usage of the photosensitizer delivered into cancer cells. We here report a dual-step light irradiation strategy to enhance the efficacy of cancer PDT. Ce6 as a photosensitizer is loaded in singlet oxygen-sensitive micelles (Ce6-M) via self-assembly of amphiphilic polymer mPEG2000-TK-C16. After co-incubation of Ce6-M with cancer cells or i.v. injection of Ce6-M, cancer cells or tumor tissues are irradiated with light for a short time to trigger Ce6 release, and 2 h later, re-irradiated for relatively long time. The sufficient release of Ce6 in the period between twice light irradiation significantly improves the generation of singlet oxygen, leading to more efficient cancer therapeutic effects of dual-step irradiation than that of single-step irradiation for the same total irradiation time.
    Keywords:  Cancer therapy; Dual-step irradiation; Micelles; Photodynamic therapy; Singlet oxygen responsive
  33. Int J Nanomedicine. 2021 ;16 4117-4146
      Dysfunction in the mitochondria (Mc) contributes to tumor progression. It is a major challenge to deliver therapeutic agents specifically to the Mc for precise treatment. Smart drug delivery systems are based on stimuli-responsiveness and active targeting. Here, we give a whole list of documented pathways to achieve smart stimuli-responsive (St-) and Mc-targeted DDSs (St-Mc-DDSs) by combining St and Mc targeting strategies. We present the formulations, targeting characteristics of St-Mc-DDSs and clarify their anti-cancer mechanisms as well as improvement in efficacy and safety. St-Mc-DDSs usually not only have Mc-targeting groups, molecules (lipophilic cations, peptides, and aptamers) or materials but also sense the surrounding environment and correspondingly respond to internal biostimulators such as pH, redox changes, enzyme and glucose, and/or externally applied triggers such as light, magnet, temperature and ultrasound. St-Mc-DDSs exquisitely control the action site, increase therapeutic efficacy and decrease side effects of the drug. We summarize the clinical research progress and propose suggestions for follow-up research. St-Mc-DDSs may be an innovative and sensitive precision medicine for cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  cancer therapy; mitochondria-targeting; smart delivery; stimuli-responsive; tumor microenvironment
  34. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2021 Jun 23. 13(24): 27749-27773
      Achieving controlled and accurate delivery of photosensitizers (PSs) into tumor sites is a major challenge in conventional photodynamic therapy (PDT). Aptamer is a short oligonucleotide sequence (DNA or RNA) with a folded three-dimensional structure, which can selectively bind to specific small molecules, proteins, or the whole cells. Aptamers could act as ligands and be modified onto PSs or nanocarriers, enabling specific recognition and binding to tumor cells or their membrane proteins. The resultant aptamer-modified PSs or PSs-containing nanocarriers generate amounts of reactive oxygen species with light irradiation and obtain superior photodynamic therapeutic efficiency in tumors. Herein, we overview the recent progress in the designs and applications of aptamer-targeted photodynamic platforms for tumor therapy. First, we focus on the progress on the rational selection of aptamers and summarize the applications of aptamers which have been applied for targeted tumor diagnosis and therapy. Then, aptamer-targeted photodynamic therapies including various aptamer-PSs, aptamer-nanocarriers containing PSs, and aptamer-nano-photosensitizers are highlighted. The aptamer-targeted synergistically therapeutic platforms including PDT, photothermal therapy, and chemotherapy, as well as the imaging-guided theranostics, are also discussed. Finally, we offer an insight into the development trends and future perspectives of aptamer-targeted photodynamic platforms for tumor therapy.
    Keywords:  aptamer; nanocarriers; photodynamic therapy; photosensitizers; synergistic therapy; theranostics