bims-rehoca Biomed News
on Redox homeostasis in cancer
Issue of 2021‒07‒04
sixty-one papers selected by
Vittoria Raimondi
Veneto Institute of Oncology

  1. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jun 21. pii: 3093. [Epub ahead of print]13(12):
      Cancer metabolism involves different changes at a cellular level, and altered metabolic pathways have been demonstrated to be heavily involved in tumorigenesis and invasiveness. A crucial role for oxidative stress in cancer initiation and progression has been demonstrated; redox imbalance, due to aberrant reactive oxygen species (ROS) production or deregulated efficacy of antioxidant systems (superoxide dismutase, catalase, GSH), contributes to tumor initiation and progression of several types of cancer. ROS may modulate cancer cell metabolism by acting as secondary messengers in the signaling pathways (NF-kB, HIF-1α) involved in cellular proliferation and metastasis. It is known that ROS mediate many of the effects of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), a key cytokine central in tumorigenesis and cancer progression, which in turn can modulate ROS production and the related antioxidant system activity. Thus, ROS synergize with TGF-β in cancer cell metabolism by increasing the redox imbalance in cancer cells and by inducing the epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), a crucial event associated with tumor invasiveness and metastases. Taken as a whole, this review is addressed to better understanding this crosstalk between TGF-β and oxidative stress in cancer cell metabolism, in the attempt to improve the pharmacological and therapeutic approach against cancer.
    Keywords:  EMT; TGF-β; oxidative stress
  2. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jun 12. pii: 950. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
      Recently, small compound-based therapies have provided new insights into the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) by inducing oxidative impairment. Kinetin riboside (KR) and newly designed derivatives (8-azaKR, 7-deazaKR) selectively affect the molecular pathways crucial for cell growth by interfering with the redox status of cancer cells. Thus, these compounds might serve as potential alternatives in the oxidative therapy of GBM. The increased basal levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in GBM support the survival of cancer cells and cause drug resistance. The simplest approach to induce cell death is to achieve the redox threshold and circumvent the antioxidant defense mechanisms. Consequently, cells become more sensitive to oxidative stress (OS) caused by exogenous agents. Here, we investigated the effect of KR and its derivatives on the redox status of T98G cells in 2D and 3D cell culture. The use of spheroids of T98G cells enabled the selection of one derivative-7-deazaKR-with comparable antitumor activity to KR. Both compounds induced ROS generation and genotoxic OS, resulting in lipid peroxidation and leading to apoptosis. Taken together, these results demonstrated that KR and 7-deazaKR modulate the cellular redox environment of T98G cells, and vulnerability of these cells is dependent on their antioxidant capacity.
    Keywords:  ROS; cancer cells; cell death; glioblastoma multiforme; kinetin riboside; oxidative imbalance; oxidative therapy; purine derivatives; spheroids
  3. Biomater Sci. 2021 Jun 29. 9(13): 4613-4629
      Prodrug strategy especially in the field of chemotherapy of cancers possesses significant advantages reducing the side toxicity of anticancer drugs. However, high-efficiency delivery and in situ activation of prodrugs for tumor growth suppression are still a great challenge. Herein, we report rationally engineered pH-responsive endosomolytic polymeric micelles for the delivery of an oxidation-activable prodrug into the cytoplasm of cancer cells and amplification of intracellular oxidative stress for further prodrug activation. The prepared block copolymers consist of a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) block and a segment grafted by endosomolytic moieties and acetal linkage-connected cinnamaldehyde groups. The amphiphilic diblock copolymers can self-assemble to form micelles in water for loading the oxidation-activable phenylboronic pinacol ester-caged camptothecin prodrug (ProCPT). The obtained micelles can release free cinnamaldehyde under acidic conditions in tumor tissues and endo/lysosomes followed by efficient endosomal escape, which further induces enhancement of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) to activate the prodrugs. Simultaneously, intracellular glutathione (GSH) can be reduced by quinone methide that was produced during prodrug activation. The ProCPT-loaded micelles can finally achieve efficient tumor accumulation and retention as well as effective tumor growth inhibition. More importantly, hematological and pathological analysis of toxicity reveals that the ProCPT-loaded micelles do not cause obvious toxic side effects toward important organs of mice. A positive immunomodulatory microenvironment in tumor tissue and serum can be detected after treatment with ProCPT-loaded micelles. Therefore, the endosomolytic ProCPT-loaded micelles exert synergistic therapeutic effects toward tumors through amplification of intracellular oxidative stress and activation of the prodrugs.
  4. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 644197
      Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in cellular metabolism. Many chemotherapeutic drugs are known to promote apoptosis through the production of ROS. In the present study, the novel curcumin derivative, 1g, was found to inhibit tumor growth in colon cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. Bioinformatics was used to analyze the differentially expressed mRNAs. The mechanism of this effect was a change in mitochondrial membrane potential caused by 1g that increased its pro-apoptotic activity. In addition, 1g produced ROS, induced G1 checkpoint blockade, and enhanced endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress in colon cancer cells. Conversely, pretreatment with the ROS scavenging agent N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) inhibited the mitochondrial dysfunction caused by 1g and reversed ER-stress, cell cycle stagnation, and apoptosis. Additionally, pretreatment with the p-PERK inhibitor GSK2606414 significantly reduced ER-stress and reversed the apoptosis induced by colon cancer cells. In summary, the production of ROS plays an important role in the destruction of colon cancer cells by 1g and demonstrates that targeted strategies based on ROS represent a promising approach to inhibit colon cancer proliferation. These findings reveal that the novel curcumin derivative 1g represents a potential candidate therapeutics for the treatment of colon cancer cells, via apoptosis caused by mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum stress.
    Keywords:  1g; ER-stress; ROS—reactive oxygen species; apoptosis; colon cancer
  5. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jun 29. pii: S0891-5849(21)00396-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      While functioning as second messengers in the intracellular signaling, ROS can cause oxidative stress when produced in excess or not neutralized/eliminated properly. Excessive ROS production is implicated in multi-stage carcinogenesis. Our body is equipped with a defense system to cope with constant oxidative stress caused by the external insults, including redox-cycling chemicals, radiation, and microbial infection as well as endogenously generated ROS. The transcription factor, nuclear transcription factor erythroid 2p45 (NF-E2)-related factor 2 (NRF2) is a master switch in the cellular antioxidant signaling and plays a vital role in adaptive survival response to ROS-induced oxidative stress. Although NRF2 is activated when cellular redox balance is disrupted, this can be overwhelmed by massive oxidative stress. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the NRF2-mediated antioxidant defense capacity at an optimal level. This review summarizes the natural NRF2 inducers/activators, especially those present in the plant-based diet, in relation to their cancer chemopreventive potential in humans. The molecular mechanisms underlying their stabilization or activation of NRF2 are also discussed.
    Keywords:  Chemoprevention; NRF2; Oxidative stress; Phytochemicals; Redox signaling
  6. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2021 Jun 26. pii: S0167-4889(21)00141-5. [Epub ahead of print]1868(10): 119087
      Due to its potent anti-tumor activity, well-investigated pharmacokinetic properties and safety profile, disulfiram (DSF) has emerged as a promising candidate for drug repurposing in cancer therapy. Although several molecular mechanisms have been proposed for its anti-cancer effects, the precise underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we showed that DSF inhibited proliferation of cancer cells by inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, a G1 cell cycle arrest and autophagy. Moreover, DSF triggered apoptosis via suppression of the anti-apoptotic protein survivin. To elucidate the mechanisms for the anti-proliferative activities of DSF, we applied a 2-DE combined with MALDI-TOF-MS/MS analysis to identify differentially expressed proteins in breast cancer cells upon treatment with DSF. Nine differentially expressed proteins were identified among which, three candidates including calmodulin (CaM), peroxiredoxin 1 (PRDX1) and collagen type I alpha 1 (COL1A1) are involved in the regulation of the AKT signaling pathway. The results of western blot analysis confirmed that DSF inhibited p-AKT, suggesting that DSF induces its anti-tumor effects via AKT blockade. Moreover, we found that DSF increased the mRNA levels of FOXO1, FOXO3 and FOXO4, and upregulated the expression of their target genes involved in G1 cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and autophagy. Finally, DSF potentiated the anti-proliferative effects of well-known chemotherapeutic agents such as arsenic trioxide (ATO), doxorubicin, paclitaxel and cisplatin. Altogether, these findings provide mechanistic insights into the anti-growth activities of DSF.
    Keywords:  AKT signaling pathway; Disulfiram (DSF); Forkhead box O (FOXO); Proteomics
  7. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 22. pii: 6658. [Epub ahead of print]22(13):
      Photosensitizers (PSs) have received significant attention recently in cancer treatment due to its theranostic capability for imaging and phototherapy. These PSs are highly responsive to light source of a suitable wavelength for image-guided cancer therapy from generated singlet oxygen and/or thermal heat. Various organic dye PSs show tremendous attenuation of tumor cells during cancer treatment. Among them, porphyrin and chlorophyll-based ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) dyes are employed for photodynamic therapy (PDT) by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals generated with 400-700 nm laser lights, which have poor tissue penetration depth. To enhance the efficacy of PDT, other light sources such as red light laser and X-ray have been suggested; nonetheless, it is still a challenging task to improve the light penetration depth for deep tumor treatment. To overcome this deficiency, near infrared (NIR) (700-900 nm) PSs, indocyanine green (ICG), and its derivatives like IR780, IR806 and IR820, have been introduced for imaging and phototherapy. These NIR PSs have been used in various cancer treatment modality by combining photothermal therapy (PTT) and/or PDT with chemotherapy or immunotherapy. In this review, we will focus on the use of different PSs showing photothermal/photodynamic response to UV-Vis or NIR-Vis light. The emphasis is a comprehensive review of recent smart design of PS-loaded nanocomposites for targeted delivery of PSs in light-activated combination cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  cancer therapy; nanocomposite; photodynamic therapy; photosensitizer; photothermal therapy
  8. J Nanobiotechnology. 2021 Jun 28. 19(1): 192
      It is of utmost urgency to achieve effective and safe anticancer treatment with the increasing mortality rate of cancer. Novel anticancer drugs and strategies need to be designed for enhanced therapeutic efficacy. Fenton- and Fenton-like reaction-based chemodynamic therapy (CDT) are new strategies to enhance anticancer efficacy due to their capacity to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxygen (O2). On the one hand, the generated ROS can damage the cancer cells directly. On the other hand, the generated O2 can relieve the hypoxic condition in the tumor microenvironment (TME) which hinders efficient photodynamic therapy, radiotherapy, etc. Therefore, CDT can be used together with many other therapeutic strategies for synergistically enhanced combination therapy. The antitumor applications of Fenton- and Fenton-like reaction-based nanomaterials will be discussed in this review, including: (iþ) producing abundant ROS in-situ to kill cancer cells directly, (ii) enhancing therapeutic efficiency indirectly by Fenton reaction-mediated combination therapy, (iii) diagnosis and monitoring of cancer therapy. These strategies exhibit the potential of CDT-based nanomaterials for efficient cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Chemodynamic therapy; Combination therapy; Fenton reaction; Hypoxia; Theranostics
  9. Cells. 2021 Jun 30. pii: 1647. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Development of resistance to therapy in ovarian cancer is a major hinderance for therapeutic efficacy; however, new mechanisms of the resistance remain to be elucidated. NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) is responsible for higher NADPH activity to increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. In this study, we showed that higher levels of NOX4 were detected in a large portion of human ovarian cancer samples. To understand the molecular mechanism of the NOX4 upregulation, we showed that NOX4 expression was induced by HIF-1α and growth factor such as IGF-1. Furthermore, our results indicated that NOX4 played a pivotal role in chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer cells. We also demonstrated that NOX4 knockdown increased sensitivity of targeted therapy and radiotherapy through decreased expression of HER3 (ERBB3) and NF-κB p65. Taken together, we identified a new HIF-1α/NOX4 signal pathway which induced drug and radiation resistance in ovarian cancer. The finding may provide a new option to overcome the therapeutic resistance of ovarian cancer in the future.
    Keywords:  HER3; HIF-1α; NOX4; ovarian cancer; therapeutic resistance
  10. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jun 25. pii: 1030. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in cell proliferation and differentiation. They are also by-products of aerobic living conditions. Their inherent reactivity poses a threat for all cellular components. Cells have, therefore, evolved complex pathways to sense and maintain the redox balance. Among them, Nrf2 (Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) plays a crucial role: it is activated under oxidative conditions and is responsible for the expression of the detoxification machinery and antiapoptotic factors. It is, however, a double edge sword: whilst it prevents tumorigenesis in healthy cells, its constitutive activation in cancer promotes tumour growth and metastasis. In addition, recent data have highlighted the importance of Nrf2 in evading programmed cell death. In this review, we will focus on the activation of the Nrf2 pathway in the cytoplasm, the molecular basis underlying Nrf2 binding to the DNA, and the dysregulation of this pathway in cancer, before discussing how Nrf2 contributes to the prevention of apoptosis and ferroptosis in cancer and how it is likely to be linked to detoxifying enzymes containing selenium.
    Keywords:  Brf2; GPx4; Nrf2; SecTRAPs; TrxR1; cancer; oxidative stress; selenoproteins; transcription
  11. Biomolecules. 2021 Jun 21. pii: 917. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      In order to maintain redox homeostasis, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) increases the activation of many antioxidant systems, including the heme-oxygenase (HO) system. The overexpression of HO-1 has been often associated with chemoresistance and tumor aggressiveness. Our results clearly showed an overexpression of the HO-1 protein in A549 NSCLC cell lines compared to that in non-cancerous cells. Thus, we hypothesized that "off-label" use of tin mesoporphyrin, a well-known HO activity inhibitor clinically used for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, has potential use as an anti-cancer agent. The pharmacological inhibition of HO activity caused a reduction in cell proliferation and migration of A549. SnMP treatment caused an increase in oxidative stress, as demonstrated by the upregulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the depletion of glutathione (GSH) content. To support these data, Western blot analysis was performed to analyze glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), TP53-induced glycolysis and the apoptosis regulator (TIGAR), and the glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic (GCLC) subunit, as they represent the main regulators of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and glutathione synthesis, respectively. NCI-H292, a subtype of the NSCLC cell line, did not respond to SnMP treatment, possibly due to low basal levels of HO-1, suggesting a cellular-dependent antitumorigenic effect. Altogether, our results suggest HO activity inhibition may represent a potential target for selective chemotherapy in lung cancer subtypes.
    Keywords:  cancer; heme-oxygenase; oxidative stress; porphyrins
  12. Curr Med Chem. 2021 Jun 29.
      Low-temperature plasma (LTP) is a partially ionized gas that contains electrons, ions, radicals, light, etc. Recently, the bio-medical application of LTP has become a hot topic in plasma science and biological science. Cancer treatment with plasma is the most challenging topic in plasma bio-medical applications. Many in vitro and in vivo experiments have been conducted to investigate the anti-tumor effects of LTP. Extracellular reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) in plasma-activated solutions are key factors for the anti-tumor effects, and amino acid modifications by LTP may affect cellular responses. Intracellular RONS are also key factors for the anti-tumor effects. Various signaling pathways such as p53 signaling pathways, survival and proliferation signaling pathways, and oxidative stress-dependent signaling pathways are activated by LTP.
    Keywords:  biochemical networks; low-temperature plasma; plasma cancer therapy; plasma medicine; plasma-activated medium ; reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  13. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 24. pii: 6797. [Epub ahead of print]22(13):
      The antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and tissue-stimulating effects of cold argon atmospheric plasma (CAAP) accelerate its use in various fields of medicine. Here, we investigated the effects of CAAP at different radiation doses on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and human osteosarcoma (MNNG/HOS) cells. We observed an increase in the growth rate of MSCs at sufficiently low irradiation doses (10-15 min) of CAAP, while the growth of MNNG/HOS cells was slowed down to 41% at the same irradiation doses. Using flow cytometry, we found that these effects are associated with cell cycle arrest and extended death of cancer cells by necrosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation was detected in both types of cells after 15 min of CAAP treatment. Evaluation of the genes' transcriptional activity showed that exposure to low doses of CAAP activates the expression of genes responsible for proliferation, DNA replication, and transition between phases of the cell cycle in MSCs. There was a decrease in the transcriptional activity of most of the studied genes in MNNG/HOS osteosarcoma cancer cells. However, increased transcription of osteogenic differentiation genes was observed in normal and cancer cells. The selective effects of low and high doses of CAAP treatment on cancer and normal cells that we found can be considered in terms of hormesis. The low dose of cold argon plasma irradiation stimulated the vital processes in stem cells due to the slight generation of reactive oxygen species. In cancer cells, the same doses evidently lead to the formation of oxidative stress, which was accompanied by a proliferation inhibition and cell death. The differences in the cancer and normal cells' responses are probably due to different sensitivity to exogenous oxidative stress. Such a selective effect of CAAP action can be used in the combined therapy of oncological diseases such as skin neoplasms, or for the removal of remaining cancer cells after surgical removal of a tumor.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; cells proliferation; cold atmospheric argon plasma; gene expression; low-dose; necrosis; normal and cancer cells; oxidative stress
  14. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 6633419
      As an antioxidant, α-lipoic acid (LA) has attracted much attention to cancer research. However, the exact mechanism of LA in cancer progression control and prevention remains to be unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that α-lipoic acid has inhibitory effects on the proliferation, migration, and proapoptotic effects of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines A549 and PC9. LA-induced NSCLC cell apoptosis was mediated by elevated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Further study confirmed that it is by downregulating the expression of PDK1 (the PDH kinase), resulted in less phospho-PDH phenotype which could interact with Keap1, the negative controller of NRF2, directly leading to NRF2 decrease. Thus, by downregulating the NRF2 antioxidant system, LA plays a role in promoting apoptosis through the ROS signaling pathway. Moreover, LA could enhance other PDK inhibitors with the proapoptosis effect. In summary, our study shows that LA promotes apoptosis and exerts its antitumor activity against lung cancer by regulating mitochondrial energy metabolism enzyme-related antioxidative stress system. Administration of LA to the tumor-bearing animal model further supported the antitumor effect of LA. These findings provided new ideas for the clinical application of LA in the field of cancer therapy.
  15. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 698679
      Ferroptosis is a type of iron-dependent regulated cell death caused by the disruption that occurs when oxidative stress and antioxidant defenses interact, and then driven by lipid peroxidation and subsequent plasma membrane ruptures. The regulation of ferroptosis involves many factors, including the crosstalk between subcellular organelles, such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), lysosomes, lipid droplets, and peroxisomes. Here, we show that the ER protein STING1 (also known as STING or TMEM173) promotes ferroptosis in human pancreatic cancer cell lines by increasing MFN1/2-dependent mitochondrial fusion, but not mitophagy-mediated mitochondrial removal. The classic ferroptosis inducer erastin, but not sulfasalazine, induces the accumulation of STING1 in the mitochondria, where it binds to MFN1/2 to trigger mitochondrial fusion, leading to subsequent reactive oxygen species production and lipid peroxidation. Consequently, in vitro or xenograft mouse models show that the genetic depletion of STING1 or MFN1/2 (but not the mitophagy regulator PINK1 or PRKN) reduces the sensitivity of pancreatic cancer cells to ferroptosis. These findings not only establish a new mitochondrial fusion-dependent cell death mechanism, but also indicate a potential strategy for enhancing ferroptosis-based therapy.
    Keywords:  MFN1/2; STING1; dynamic; ferroptosis; mitochondria
  16. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jun 12. pii: 2953. [Epub ahead of print]13(12):
      Recent studies revealed that CUT domains function as accessory factors that accelerate DNA repair by stimulating the enzymatic activities of the base excision repair enzymes OGG1, APE1, and DNA pol β. Strikingly, the role of CUT domain proteins in DNA repair is exploited by cancer cells to facilitate their survival. Cancer cells in which the RAS pathway is activated produce an excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which, if not counterbalanced by increased production of antioxidants, causes sustained oxidative DNA damage and, ultimately, cell senescence. These cancer cells can adapt by increasing their capacity to repair oxidative DNA damage in part through elevated expression of CUT domain proteins such as CUX1, CUX2, or SATB1. In particular, CUX1 overexpression was shown to cooperate with RAS in the formation of mammary and lung tumors in mice. Conversely, knockdown of CUX1, CUX2, or SATB1 was found to be synthetic lethal in cancer cells exhibiting high ROS levels as a consequence of activating mutations in KRAS, HRAS, BRAF, or EGFR. Importantly, as a byproduct of their adaptation, cancer cells that overexpress CUT domain proteins exhibit increased resistance to genotoxic treatments such as ionizing radiation, temozolomide, and cisplatin.
    Keywords:  CUT domains; CUX1; CUX2; RAS; SATB1; base excision repair; reactive oxygen species
  17. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jun 01. pii: 890. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
      The reactive oxygen species (ROS)-producing enzyme NADPH oxidase (NOX) was first identified in the membrane of phagocytic cells. For many years, its only known role was in immune defense, where its ROS production leads to the destruction of pathogens by the immune cells. NOX from phagocytes catalyzes, via one-electron trans-membrane transfer to molecular oxygen, the production of the superoxide anion. Over the years, six human homologs of the catalytic subunit of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase were found: NOX1, NOX3, NOX4, NOX5, DUOX1, and DUOX2. Together with the NOX2/gp91phox component present in the phagocyte NADPH oxidase assembly itself, the homologs are now referred to as the NOX family of NADPH oxidases. NOX are complex multidomain proteins with varying requirements for assembly with combinations of other proteins for activity. The recent structural insights acquired on both prokaryotic and eukaryotic NOX open new perspectives for the understanding of the molecular mechanisms inherent to NOX regulation and ROS production (superoxide or hydrogen peroxide). This new structural information will certainly inform new investigations of human disease. As specialized ROS producers, NOX enzymes participate in numerous crucial physiological processes, including host defense, the post-translational processing of proteins, cellular signaling, regulation of gene expression, and cell differentiation. These diversities of physiological context will be discussed in this review. We also discuss NOX misregulation, which can contribute to a wide range of severe pathologies, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetic nephropathy, lung fibrosis, cancer, or neurodegenerative diseases, giving this family of membrane proteins a strong therapeutic interest.
    Keywords:  electron transfer; membrane protein; modular proteins; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; signaling molecule
  18. Free Radic Res. 2021 Jun 28. 1-31
      Ionizing radiation (IR) causes chemical changes in biological systems through direct interaction with the macromolecules or by causing radiolysis of water. This property of IR is harnessed in the clinic for radiotherapy in almost 50% of cancers patients. Despite the advent of stereotactic radiotherapy instruments and other advancements in shielding techniques, the inadvertent deposition of radiation dose in the surrounding normal tissue can cause late effects of radiation injury in normal tissues. Radioprotectors, which are chemical or biological agents, can reduce or mitigate these toxic side-effects of radiotherapy in cancer patients and also during radiation accidents. The desired characteristics of an ideal radioprotector include low chemical toxicity, high risk to benefit ratio and specific protection of normal cells against the harmful effects of radiation without compromising the cytotoxic effects of IR on cancer cells. Since reactive oxygen species (ROS) are the major contributors of IR mediated toxicity, plethora of studies have highlighted the potential role of antioxidants to protect against IR induced damage. However, owing to the lack of any clinically approved radioprotector against whole body radiation, researchers have shifted the focus toward finding alternate targets that could be exploited for the development of novel agents. The present review provides a comprehensive insight in to the different strategies, encompassing prime molecular targets, which have been employed to develop radiation protectors/countermeasures. It is anticipated that understanding such factors will lead to the development of novel strategies for increasing the outcome of radiotherapy by minimizing normal tissue toxicity.
    Keywords:  Antioxidant; free radicals; ionizing radiation; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  19. J Pers Med. 2021 Jun 21. pii: 585. [Epub ahead of print]11(6):
      Enhanced permeation retention (EPR) was a significant milestone discovery by Maeda et al. paving the path for the emerging field of nanomedicine to become a powerful tool in the fight against cancer. Sildenafil is a potent inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE-5) used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) through the relaxation of smooth muscles and the modulation of vascular endothelial permeability. Overexpression of PDE-5 has been reported in lung, colon, metastatic breast cancers, and bladder squamous carcinoma. Moreover, sildenafil has been reported to increase the sensitivity of tumor cells of different origins to the cytotoxic effect of chemotherapeutic agents with augmented apoptosis mediated through inducing the downregulation of Bcl-xL and FAP-1 expression, enhancing reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, phosphorylating BAD and Bcl-2, upregulating caspase-3,8,9 activities, and blocking cells at G0/G1 cell cycle phase. Sildenafil has also demonstrated inhibitory effects on the efflux activity of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters such as ABCC4, ABCC5, ABCB1, and ABCG2, ultimately reversing multidrug resistance. Accordingly, there has been a growing interest in using sildenafil as monotherapy or chemoadjuvant in EPR augmentation and management of different types of cancer. In this review, we critically examine the basic molecular mechanism of sildenafil related to cancer biology and discuss the overall potential of sildenafil in enhancing EPR-based anticancer drug delivery, pointing to the outcomes of the most important related preclinical and clinical studies.
    Keywords:  cancer; chemoadjuvant; drug repurposing; phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors; sildenafil
  20. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2021 Jun 01. pii: 89621. [Epub ahead of print]22(6): 1713-1720
      BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is the most common cancer and has the highest morbidity rate of gynaecological malignancies in women worldwide. So, the development of effective anti-cancer agents to treat this condition is vital. Considering the recent interest in free (unconjugated) curcuminoids delivery, the present study investigated the efficacy of a novel food-grade, free-curcuminoids (curcumin-galactomannoside complex; CGM) on cervical cancer cells (HeLa) of human origin. In this study, we examined the anticancer potential of CGM as well as its effects on the cell cycle and the apoptosis of HeLa cancer cell.METHODS: Determination of anti-proliferative and apoptosis validation of CGM on HeLa cells was performed by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5,-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), acridine orange/propidium iodide and annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate assays. Measurement of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production, Caspase activities and protein expression experiments were performed to investigate the potential mechanisms of action in the apoptotic process.
    RESULTS: The cytotoxic assays revealed that the CGM showed inhibition of cell survival and exhibited high cytotoxic activity against HeLa cells at 25 μg/mL. Further studies on morphological changes were done in CGM-treated cervical cancer cells contributing to apoptosis. Flow cytometry analysis with Annexin V-FITC and PI staining precisely indicated that CGM induced apoptosis in HeLa cell lines at 25 μg/mL. By the supplementation of CGM showed an increase in Bax and cleaved caspase-8 protein in HeLa cells after 48 h exposure.
    CONCLUSION: The evidence obtained from this study suggests that CGM is a potent and promising natural formulation against cervical cancer cells via induction of apoptosis through ROS mediated mitochondrial damage in HeLa cells. Hence, CGM could be further explored as a potential lead in treating cancer.<br />.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Bcl-2; Cervical cancer; caspase-8; reactive oxygen species
  21. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 08. pii: 6183. [Epub ahead of print]22(12):
      The role of oxidative stress (OS) in cancer is a matter of great interest due to the implication of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their oxidation products in the initiation of tumorigenesis, its progression, and metastatic dissemination. Great efforts have been made to identify the mechanisms of ROS-induced carcinogenesis; however, the validation of OS byproducts as potential tumor markers (TMs) remains to be established. This interventional study included a total of 80 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients and 60 controls. By measuring reduced glutathione (GSH), its oxidized form (GSSG), and the glutathione redox state in terms of the GSSG/GSH ratio in the serum of CRC patients, we identified significant changes as compared to healthy subjects. These findings are compatible with the effectiveness of glutathione as a TM. The thiol redox state showed a significant increase towards oxidation in the CRC group and correlated significantly with both the tumor state and the clinical evolution. The sensitivity and specificity of serum glutathione levels are far above those of the classical TMs CEA and CA19.9. We conclude that the GSSG/GSH ratio is a simple assay which could be validated as a novel clinical TM for the diagnosis and monitoring of CRC.
    Keywords:  GSH; GSSG; GSSG/GSH redox state; colorectal cancer; oxidative stress; tumor markers
  22. Nanoscale. 2021 Jul 02.
      Chlorin e6 (Ce6) is a widely utilized photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy (PDT) against tumor growth, but its hydrophobic feature and the hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment greatly compromise its therapeutic efficacy. To address the issues, here we designed a new Ce6 derivative (TCe6) by coupling Ce6 with amphiphilic d-α-tocopherol polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS), endowing Ce6 with an excellent amphiphilic feature. In particular, the overall reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by TCe6 was significantly enhanced because TPGS could interact with mitochondrial complex II to induce extra ROS production, amplifying the total ROS production under PDT. Inspired by the unique property of α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate (CHC) in regulating lactate metabolism to spare more intracellular oxygen for PDT, TCe6 was further co-assembled with CHC to construct TCe6/CHC nanoparticles (NPs) for addressing the insufficient oxygen issue in PDT. The as-prepared TCe6/CHC NPs not only increased the efficiency of cell internalization but also improved the solubility and stability of Ce6 and CHC. Thanks to the extra ROS production by the TPGS unit, the amphiphilic feature of TCe6 and the CHC-mediated hypoxia microenvironment, the TCe6/CHC NPs demonstrated excellent PDT against tumor growth. This work provided a versatile strategy to solve the current bottleneck in photosensitizer-based PDT, holding great promise for the design of advanced photodynamic nanoplatforms.
  23. Adv Healthc Mater. 2021 Jun 30. e2100770
      The antioxidant defense system in malignant cells, which involves antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant molecules, is an innate barrier to photodynamic therapy (PDT). Because of the complexity of the endogenous antioxidant mechanisms of these cells, simply inhibiting individual antioxidant pathways has a limited effect on improving the lethality of ROS. To enhance the efficacy of PDT for tumor treatment, a versatile nanoparticle (NP)-based drug is developed, which the authors call PZB NP, containing the glutathione inhibitor l-buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) and the heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) inhibitor protoporphyrin zinc(II) (ZnPP) to suppress the innate antioxidant defense system of cancer cells in a two-pronged manner. BSO reduces intracellular glutathione levels to minimize ROS elimination and protein protection during PDT, and ZnPP inhibits the ROS-stimulated upregulation of the antioxidant HO-1, thus preventing ROS removal by cells after PDT. Thus, BSO and ZnPP synergistically suppress the antioxidant defense systems of cancer cells both during and after protoporphyrin-IX-mediated PDT in a two-pronged manner, resulting in tumor cell death through excess oxidative pressure. The results demonstrate that the construction of nanodrugs having dual antioxidation defense suppression properties is a promising route for the development of highly efficient ROS-based therapies.
    Keywords:  GSH depletion; antioxidant defense suppression; carrier-free nanomedicine; photodynamic therapy; self-assembly
  24. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jun 05. pii: 2818. [Epub ahead of print]13(11):
      Cancer is one of the foremost causes of death worldwide. Cancer develops because of mutation in genes that regulate normal cell cycle and cell division, thereby resulting in uncontrolled division and proliferation of cells. Various drugs have been used to treat cancer thus far; however, conventional chemotherapeutic drugs have lower bioavailability, rapid renal clearance, unequal delivery, and severe side effects. In the recent years, nanotechnology has flourished rapidly and has a multitude of applications in the biomedical field. Bio-mediated nanoparticles (NPs) are cost effective, safe, and biocompatible and have got substantial attention from researchers around the globe. Due to their safe profile and fewer side effects, these nanoscale materials offer a promising cure for cancer. Currently, various metallic NPs have been designed to cure or diagnose cancer; among these, silver (Ag), gold (Au), zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) are the leading anti-cancer NPs. The anticancer potential of these NPs is attributed to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cellular compartments that eventually leads to activation of autophagic, apoptotic and necrotic death pathways. In this review, we summarized the recent advancements in the biosynthesis of Ag, Au, Zn and Cu NPs with emphasis on their mechanism of action. Moreover, nanotoxicity, as well as the future prospects and opportunities of nano-therapeutics, are also highlighted.
    Keywords:  anti-cancer effect; cancer; cancer development; green synthesis; metallic NPs
  25. Curr Med Chem. 2021 Jun 28.
      BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress and free radicals are harmful to human health. Reactive oxygen species are the major source of oxidative stress and are one of the major causes of cancer development. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Prolong use of synthetic chemotherapeutic due to their low bioavailability leads to systemic toxic side effects. To surmount this problem, the use of antioxidants is recommended as they have the ability to counteract oxidative stress and mitigate its effects on human health. They inhibit various pathways that are involved with the initiation and progression of cancer. Various nanoformulations have been used to deliver these antioxidants (curcumin, mangiferin, quercetin) in the treatment of various cancer for overcoming oxidative stress.OBJECTIVE: The main focus of this review article is to illustrate various studies performed using nanocarriers of natural bioactives to overcome oxidative stress and the cancer associated with it. It also describes the pathways associated with the induction, initiation, and progression of cancer due to reactive oxidative species.
    METHODS: Research articles that focused on the use of natural bioactives and their nanoformulations for the treatment of various cancers induced due to oxidative stress were collected from various search engines like PubMed, Science Direct, and Google Scholar, using keywords like oxidative stress, antioxidants, cancers, ROS, etc. Conclusion: Natural bioactives have shown great potential in overcoming oxidative stress for the treatment of various cancers, yet extensive research is required so that these antioxidants and their nanocarriers can be used for the welfare of mankind in the treatment of various cancers in the near future.
    Keywords:  cancer; nanoformulations; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species
  26. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 29. pii: 7013. [Epub ahead of print]22(13):
      Functional nanocarriers which are able to simultaneously vectorize drugs to the site of interest and exert their own cytotoxic activity represent a significant breakthrough in the search for effective anticancer strategies with fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapeutics. Here, we propose previously developed, self-assembling dextran-curcumin nanoparticles for the treatment of prostate cancer in combination therapy with Doxorubicin (DOXO). Biological effectiveness was investigated by evaluating the cell viability in either cancer and normal cells, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, apoptotic effect, interference with the cell cycle, and the ability to inhibit cell migration and reverse the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The results proved a significant enhancement of curcumin efficiency upon immobilization in nanoparticles: IC50 reduced by a half, induction of apoptotic effect, and improved ROS production (from 67 to 134%) at low concentrations. Nanoparticles guaranteed a pH-dependent DOXO release, with a more efficient release in acidic environments. Finally, a synergistic effect between nanoparticles and Doxorubicin was demonstrated, with the free curcumin showing additive activity. Although in vivo studies are required to support the findings of this study, these preliminary in vitro data can be considered a proof of principle for the design of an effective therapy for prostate cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  combination therapy; curcumin; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; prostate cancer; self-assembling nanoparticles
  27. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 05. pii: 6098. [Epub ahead of print]22(11):
      Carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) is a hypoxia-related protein that plays a role in proliferation in solid tumours. However, how CAIX increases proliferation and metastasis in solid tumours is unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate how a synthetic CAIX inhibitor triggers apoptosis in the HeLa cell line. The intracellular effects of CAIX inhibition were determined with AO/EB, AnnexinV-PI, and γ-H2AX staining; measurements of intracellular pH (pHi), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP); and analyses of cell cycle, apoptotic, and autophagic modulator gene expression (Bax, Bcl-2, caspase-3, caspase-8, caspase-9, caspase-12, Beclin, and LC3), caspase protein level (pro-caspase 3 and cleaved caspase-3, -8, -9), cleaved PARP activation, and CAIX protein level. Sulphonamide CAIX inhibitor E showed the lowest IC50 and the highest selectivity index in CAIX-positive HeLa cells. CAIX inhibition changed the morphology of HeLa cells and increased the ratio of apoptotic cells, dramatically disturbing the homeostasis of intracellular pHi, MMP and ROS levels. All these phenomena consequent to CA IX inhibition triggered apoptosis and autophagy in HeLa cells. Taken together, these results further endorse the previous findings that CAIX inhibitors represent an important therapeutic strategy, which is worth pursuing in different cancer types, considering that presently only one sulphonamide inhibitor, SLC-0111, has arrived in Phase Ib/II clinical trials as an antitumour/antimetastatic drug.
    Keywords:  CAIX; anti-cancer agent; cell death; cervical cancer; sulphonamide
  28. Brain Sci. 2021 Jun 30. pii: 884. [Epub ahead of print]11(7):
      BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma (GBM) highly expresses Src tyrosine kinase involved in survival, proliferation, angiogenesis and invasiveness of tumor cells. Src activation also reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, whereas Src inhibitors are able to increase cellular ROS levels.METHODS: Pro-oxidative effects of two pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine derivatives-Src tyrosine kinase inhibitors, Si306 and its prodrug pro-Si306-were investigated in human GBM cells U87 and patient-derived GBM-6. ROS production and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential were assessed by flow cytometry. The expression levels of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and 2 (SOD2) were studied by Western blot. DNA damage, cell death induction and senescence were also examined in GBM-6 cells.
    RESULTS: Si306 and pro-Si306 more prominently triggered ROS production and expression of antioxidant enzymes in primary GBM cells. These effects were followed by mitochondrial membrane potential disruption, double-strand DNA breaks and senescence that eventually led to necrosis.
    CONCLUSION: Src kinase inhibitors, Si306 and pro-Si306, showed significant pro-oxidative potential in patient-derived GBM cells. This feature contributes to the already demonstrated anti-glioblastoma properties of these compounds in vitro and in vivo and encourages clinical investigations.
    Keywords:  Src tyrosine kinase inhibitor; anticancer activity; glioblastoma; oxidative stress
  29. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jun 15. pii: 957. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
      Colon cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancer types. Some colon cancer cases resist standard anticancer drugs. Therefore, many studies have focused on developing therapeutic supplements using natural products with low side effects and broad physiological activity. Eupatilin is a flavonoid that is mainly extracted from artemisia and promotes apoptosis in numerous cancer types. However, since the current understanding of its physiological mechanisms on colon cancer cells is insufficient, we investigated how eupatilin affects the growth of two colon cancer cell lines, namely HCT116 and HT29. Our results showed that eupatilin inhibits cell viability and induces apoptosis accompanied by mitochondrial depolarization. It also induces oxidative stress in colon cancer cells and regulates the expression of proteins involved in the endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagic process. Moreover, eupatilin may target the PI3K/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways in colon cancer cells. It also prevents colon cancer cell invasion. Furthermore, eupatilin has a synergistic effect with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU; a standard anticancer drug) on 5-FU-resistant HCT116 cells. These results suggest that eupatilin can be developed as an adjuvant to enhance traditional anticancer drugs in colon cancer.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; colon cancer; drug resistance; eupatilin; oxidative stress
  30. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jun 15. pii: 956. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous disease with a high relapse rate. Cytokine receptor targeted therapies are therapeutically attractive but are subject to resistance-conferring mutations. Likewise, targeting downstream signaling pathways has been difficult. Recent success in the development of synergistic combinations has provided new hope for refractory AML patients. While generally not efficacious as monotherapy, BH3 mimetics are very effective in combination with chemotherapy agents. With this in mind, we further explored novel BH3 mimetic drug combinations and showed that pimozide cooperates with mTOR inhibitors and BH3 mimetics in AML cells. The three-drug combination was able to reach cells that were not as responsive to single or double drug combinations. In Flt3-internal tandem duplication (ITD)-positive cells, we previously showed pimozide to be highly effective when combined with imipramine blue (IB). Here, we show that Flt3-ITD+ cells are sensitive to an IB-induced dynamin 1-like (Drp1)-p38-ROS pathway. Pimozide contributes important calcium channel blocker activity converging with IB on mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. Overall, these data support the concept that antioxidants are a double-edged sword. Rationally designed combination therapies have significant promise for further pre-clinical development and may ultimately lead to improved responses.
    Keywords:  BH3 mimetic; Flt3-internal tandem duplication; acute myeloid leukemia; mTOR inhibitor; mitoSox; reactive oxygen species; repurposed drugs
  31. Molecules. 2021 Jun 28. pii: 3955. [Epub ahead of print]26(13):
      The effect of enhanced permeability and retention is often not sufficient for highly effective cancer therapy with nanoparticles, and the development of active targeted drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles is probably the main direction of modern cancer medicine. To meet the challenge, we developed polymer PLGA nanoparticles loaded with fluorescent photosensitive xanthene dye, Rose Bengal, and decorated with HER2-recognizing artificial scaffold protein, affibody ZHER2:342. The obtained 170 nm PLGA nanoparticles possess both fluorescent and photosensitive properties. Namely, under irradiation with the green light of 540 nm nanoparticles, they produced reactive oxygen species leading to cancer cell death. The chemical conjugation of PLGA with anti-HER2 affibody resulted in the selective binding of nanoparticles only to HER2-overexpressing cancer cells. HER2 is a receptor tyrosine kinase that belongs to the EGFR/ERbB family and is overexpressed in 30% of breast cancers, thus serving as a clinically relevant oncomarker. However, the standard targeting molecules such as full-size antibodies possess serious drawbacks, such as high immunogenicity and the need for mammalian cell production. We believe that the developed affibody-decorated targeted photosensitive PLGA nanoparticles will provide new solutions for ongoing problems in cancer diagnostics and treatment, as well in cancer theranostics.
    Keywords:  HER2; PLGA; Rose Bengal; affibody; nanoparticles; reactive oxygen species; targeted delivery
  32. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 698264
      The cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) family activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) and cAMP response element binding protein 1 (CREB1) have been reported in a diverse group of tumors, however, the mechanistic basis for this remains unclear. Here we found that CREB1 and ATF1 unexpectedly regulate glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis by suppressing the expression of glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLM) and glutathione synthase (GSS), two key enzymes of GSH biosynthesis pathway. Mechanistic studies reveal that GCLM and GSS are direct transcriptional targets of CREB1 and ATF1. Through repressing the expression of these two enzymes, CREB1 and ATF1 reduce the GSH biosynthesis and the capability of cells to detoxicate reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby increasing cellular susceptibility to oxidative stress. Therefore, our findings link CREB1 family to cellular metabolism, and uncover a potential therapeutic approach by targeting GCLM or oxidative stress for the treatment of tumors with relatively high expression of CREB1 family proteins.
    Keywords:  ATF1; CREB1; GSH; ROS; proliferation; survival
  33. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jun 22. pii: 3105. [Epub ahead of print]13(13):
      Niclosamide (Nic), an FDA-approved anthelmintic drug, is reported to have anti-cancer efficacy and is being assessed in clinical trials for various solid tumors. Based on its ability to target multiple signaling pathways, in the present study, we evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of Nic on pancreatic cancer (PC) in vitro. We observed an anti-cancerous effect of this drug as shown by the G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest, inhibition of PC cell viability, colony formation, and migration. Our results revealed the involvement of mitochondrial stress and mTORC1-dependent autophagy as the predominant players of Nic-induced PC cell death. Significant reduction of Nic-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell death in the presence of a selective autophagy inhibitor spautin-1 demonstrated autophagy as a major contributor to Nic-mediated cell death. Mechanistically, Nic inhibited the interaction between BCL2 and Beclin-1 that supported the crosstalk of autophagy and apoptosis. Further, Nic treatment resulted in Gsk3β inactivation by phosphorylating its Ser-9 residue leading to upregulation of Sufu and Gli3, thereby negatively impacting hedgehog signaling and cell survival. Nic induced autophagic cell death, and p-Gsk3b mediated Sufu/Gli3 cascade was further confirmed by Gsk3β activator, LY-294002, by rescuing inactivation of Hh signaling upon Nic treatment. These results suggested the involvement of a non-canonical mechanism of Hh signaling, where p-Gsk3β acts as a negative regulator of Hh/Gli1 cascade and a positive regulator of autophagy-mediated cell death. Overall, this study established the therapeutic efficacy of Nic for PC by targeting p-Gsk3β mediated non-canonical Hh signaling and promoting mTORC1-dependent autophagy and cell death.
    Keywords:  Gsk3β; Hh signaling; apoptosis; autophagy; niclosamide; pancreatic cancer
  34. Mol Biol Rep. 2021 Jul 01.
      The 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA) is an iodine contrast agent used for visualization of tissue in X-ray techniques. However, TIBA induces physiological complications like increase in oxygen reactive species (ROS), and consequently, contrast-induced nephropathies. TIBA's antitumor activity was demonstrated in lung cancer, but the subcellular mechanisms involving its activity in tumor cells are still unknown. Thus, the objective of this work was evaluate whether the anti-tumor activity of TIBA involves ROS increase, in tumor lines of non-small cell lung cancer (H460), chronic myeloid leukemia (K562), and its cytotoxicity in normal renal epithelial (VERO). The MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay was used for evaluation of cell viability, the H2DCFDA (cell-permeant 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate) fluorescent probe to evaluate ROS induction, cell cycle analysis was performed using flow cytometry to measure cell death, and immunofluorescence with annexin/7-AAD (7-amino-actinomycin D), to assess the association of cell death with the ROS generation. TIBA decreases cell viability in a dose-dependent manner for the H460 and K562. However, VERO cells showed less response to the drug, with 70% viable cells after 72 h of treatment in the highest concentration of the drug. While the tumor cells with only 20% viable cells. Besides, tumor cells exhibited higher DNA fragmentation, compared to the renal line (VERO with 5% of fragmented DNA, H460 with 26%, and 56% in K562). Finally, TIBA-induced ROS increase and apoptosis in all lines, which is significantly decreased after treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). These data demonstrate the relationship between the increased cellular oxidative stress and the anti-tumor action of the TIBA.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Contrast agent; ROS; TIBA
  35. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jun 21. pii: 986. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
      A critical hallmark of cancer cells is their ability to evade programmed apoptotic cell death. Consequently, resistance to anti-cancer therapeutics is a hurdle often observed in the clinic. Ferroptosis, a non-apoptotic form of cell death distinguished by toxic lipid peroxidation and iron accumulation, has garnered substantial attention as an alternative therapeutic strategy to selectively destroy tumours. Although there is a plethora of research outlining the molecular mechanisms of ferroptosis, these findings are yet to be translated into clinical compounds inducing ferroptosis. In this perspective, we elaborate on how ferroptosis can be leveraged in the clinic. We discuss a therapeutic window for compounds inducing ferroptosis, the subset of tumour types that are most sensitive to ferroptosis, conventional therapeutics that induce ferroptosis, and potential strategies for lowering the threshold for ferroptosis.
    Keywords:  Eprenetapopt; Erastin; GPX4; NRF2; SLC7A11; ferroptosis; glutathione (GSH); iron; oxidative stress
  36. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 21. pii: 6640. [Epub ahead of print]22(12):
      3-bromopuryvate (3-BP) is a compound with unique antitumor activity. It has a selective action against tumor cells that exhibit the Warburg effect. It has been proven that the action of 3-BP is pleiotropic: it acts on proteins, glycolytic enzymes, reduces the amount of ATP, induces the formation of ROS (reactive oxygen species), and induces nuclear DNA damage. Mitochondria are important organelles for the proper functioning of the cell. The production of cellular energy (ATP), the proper functioning of the respiratory chain, or participation in the production of amino acids are one of the many functions of mitochondria. Here, for the first time, we show on the yeast model that 3-BP acts in the eukaryotic cell also by influence on mitochondria and that agents inhibiting mitochondrial function can potentially be used in cancer therapy with 3-BP. We show that cells with functional mitochondria are more resistant to 3-BP than rho0 cells. Using an MTT assay (a colorimetric assay for assessing cell metabolic activity), we demonstrated that 3-BP decreased mitochondrial activity in yeast in a dose-dependent manner. 3-BP induces mitochondrial-dependent ROS generation which results in ∆sod2, ∆por1, or ∆gpx1 mutant sensitivity to 3-BP. Probably due to ROS mtDNA lesions rise during 3-BP treatment. Our findings may have a significant impact on the therapy with 3-BP.
    Keywords:  3-bromopyruvate; mitochondria; mtDNA damage; oxidative stress; superoxide generation; yeast
  37. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jun 30. pii: 1063. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Withaferin A (WFA), the Indian ginseng bioactive compound, exhibits an antiproliferation effect on several kinds of cancer, but it was rarely reported in bladder cancer cells. This study aims to assess the anticancer effect and mechanism of WFA in bladder cancer cells. WFA shows antiproliferation to bladder cancer J82 cells based on the finding of the MTS assay. WFA disturbs cell cycle progression associated with subG1 accumulation in J82 cells. Furthermore, WFA triggers apoptosis as determined by flow cytometry assays using annexin V/7-aminoactinomycin D and pancaspase detection. Western blotting also supports WFA-induced apoptosis by increasing cleavage of caspases 3, 8, and 9 and poly ADP-ribose polymerase. Mechanistically, WFA triggers oxidative stress-association changes, such as the generation of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial superoxide and diminishment of the mitochondrial membrane potential, in J82 cells. In response to oxidative stresses, mRNA for antioxidant signaling, such as nuclear factor erythroid 2-like 2 (NFE2L2), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), thioredoxin (TXN), glutathione-disulfide reductase (GSR), quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1), and heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1), are overexpressed in J82 cells. In addition, WFA causes DNA strand breaks and oxidative DNA damages. Moreover, the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine reverts all tested WFA-modulating effects. In conclusion, WFA possesses anti-bladder cancer effects by inducing antiproliferation, apoptosis, and DNA damage in an oxidative stress-dependent manner.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; Withaferin A; apoptosis; bladder cancer; oxidative stress
  38. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jun 11. pii: 2932. [Epub ahead of print]13(12):
      The inflammatory cytokine TGFβ is both a tumor suppressor during cancer initiation and a promoter of metastasis along cancer progression. Inflammation and cancer are strictly linked, and cancer onset often correlates with the insufficiency of vitamin D, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, we investigated the interplay between TGFβ and vitamin D in two models of human pancreatic cancer, and we analyzed the metabolic effects of a prolonged TGFβ treatment mimicking the inflammatory environment of pancreatic cancer in vivo. We confirmed the induction of the vitamin D receptor previously described in epithelial cells, but the inhibitory effects of vitamin D on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were lost when the hormone was given after a long treatment with TGFβ. Moreover, we detected an ROS-mediated toxicity of the acute treatment with TGFβ, whereas a chronic exposure to low doses had a protumorigenic effect. In fact, it boosted the mitochondrial respiration and cancer cell migration without ROS production and cytotoxicity. Our observations shed some light on the multifaceted role of TGFβ in tumor progression, revealing that a sustained exposure to TGFβ at low doses results in an irreversibly increased EMT associated with a metabolic modulation which favors the formation of metastasis.
    Keywords:  TGF beta; cell motility; cell proliferation; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; human pancreatic cancer; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; respiratory chain; vitamin D receptor
  39. Front Pharmacol. 2021 ;12 681338
      Gastric cancer is one of the most the prevalent malignancies and the therapeutic strategies for patients with gastric cancer remains limited. Local anesthetic levobupivacaine has demonstrated potential anti-cancer property, but its correlation with gastric cancer and ferroptosis is poor understood. Here, we identified the novel function of levobupivacaine in regulating ferroptosis of gastric cancer cells. The treatment of levobupivacaine suppressed gastric cancer cell viabilities and Edu-positive cell proportions. The gastric cancer cell growth was reduced by levobupivacaine in vivo. Moreover, the treatment of levobupivacaine enhanced erastin-induced inhibitory impact on gastric cancer cell viabilities. The levels of Fe2+/iron and lipid ROS were induced by levobupivacaine in erastin and RSL3-stimulated gastric cancer cells. levobupivacaine-upregulated miR-489-3p enhanced ferroptosis of gastric cancer cells by targeting SLC7A11. MiR-489-3p was involved in levobupivacaine-induced ferroptosis of gastric cancer cells. Levobupivacaine/miR-489-3p/SLC7A11 axis attenuates gastric cancer cell proliferation in vitro. Therefore, we concluded that the local anesthetic levobupivacaine induced ferroptosis of gastric cancer cells to repress gastric cancer cell growth by miR-489-3p/SLC7A11 axis.
    Keywords:  SLC7A11; ferroptosis; gastric cancer; levobupivacaine; mir-489-3p
  40. Medicines (Basel). 2021 Jun 03. pii: 27. [Epub ahead of print]8(6):
      A series of novel N2-acryloylhydrazides 1a-m and a related series of compounds 6a-c were prepared as potential chemostimulants. In general, these compounds are cytotoxic to human HCT 116 colon cancer cells, as well as human MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. A representative compound N1-(3,4-dimethoxyphenylcarbonyl)-N2-acryloylhydrazine 1m sensitized HCT 116 cells to the potent antineoplastic agent 3,5-bis(benzylidene)-4-piperidone 2a, and also to 5-fluorouracil. A series of compounds was prepared that incorporated some of the molecular features of 2a and related compounds with various N2-acryloylhydrazides in series 1. These compounds are potent cytotoxins. Two modes of action of representative compounds are the lowering of mitochondrial membrane potential and increasing the concentration of reactive oxygen species.
    Keywords:  acryloylhydrazides; antineoplastic agents; chemosensitization; cytotoxins; mitochondrial membrane potential; reactive oxygen species
  41. ACS Appl Bio Mater. 2020 Oct 19. 3(10): 7147-7157
      Esophageal cancer (EC) is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide with a low 5-year survival rate. More effective chemotherapeutic drugs, either new or repurposing ones, are urgently needed. Disulfiram (DSF) is a safe and public domain drug for alcohol addiction treatment and later shown to have anti-cancer capability, especially when administrated together with copper. The present study is to test the hypothesis that a newly developed copper-cysteamine (Cu-Cy) nanoparticles (NPs) can enhance the anti-tumor effect of DSF on esophageal cancer with reduced risk of copper poisoning. Our results showed that Cu-Cy NPs could greatly facilitate DSF to inhibit cell proliferation in cultured human esophageal cancer cells. Interestingly, the combined inhibitory function could be further enhanced when DSF and Cu-Cy NPs were present at an optimal molar ratio of 1:4. The results of the change in physical color, UV-vis absorption and fluorescence spectra, X-ray diffraction patterns, and FTIR spectra from a mixture of DSF and Cu-Cy NPs suggest a possible reaction between DSF and Cu-Cy NPs and the formation of new materials. Furthermore, cellular mechanistic studies revealed that the combination of DSF and Cu-Cy NPs resulted in reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, and blocked nuclear translocation of NF-ƙB (p65) in esophageal cancer cells. Moreover, in xenograft nude mice, combined administration of DSF and Cu-Cy NPs greatly inhibited tumor growth without noticeable histological toxicity, while any single agent at the same doses presented no inhibitory function. Together, this study demonstrates an effective anti-cancer function of combined treatment of DSF and Cu-Cy NPs in vitro and in vivo, which could be a promising new chemotherapy for esophageal cancer patients.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; NF-κB; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; proliferation; reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  42. J Pineal Res. 2021 Jul 02. e12755
      Recently, the morbidity and mortality from lung cancer have continued to increase. Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a key role in apoptosis, proliferation and the bioenergetic reprogramming of cancer cells, especially for energy metabolism. Herein, we investigated the ability of melatonin (MLT) to influence lung cancer growth and explored the association between mitochondrial function and the progression of lung tumors. The deacetylase, sirtuin 3 (Sirt3), is a pivotal player in maintenance of mitochondrial function; among participating in ATP production by regulating the acetylone and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDH). We initially found that MLT inhibited lung cancer growth in the Lewis mouse model. Similarly, we observed that MLT inhibited the proliferation of lung cancer cells (A549, PC9 and LLC cells), and the underlying mechanism of MLT was related to reprogramming cancer cell metabolism, accompanied by a shift from cytosolic aerobic glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). These changes were accompanied by higher ATP production, an elevated ATP production-coupled oxygen consumption rate (QCR), higher ROS levels, higher mito-ROS levels and lower lactic acid secretion. Additionally, we observed that MLT improved mitochondrial membrane potential and the activities of complexes Ⅰ and Ⅳ of the electron transport chain. Importantly, we also found and verified that the foregoing changes resulted from activation of Sirt3 and PDH. As a result of these changes, MLT significantly enhanced mitochondrial energy metabolism to reverse the Warburg effect via increasing PDH activity via stimulation of Sirt3. Collectively, these findings suggest the potential use of melatonin as an anti-lung cancer therapy and provide a mechanistic basis for this proposal.
    Keywords:  Lung cancer; Warburg effect; melatonin; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; pyruvate dehydrogenase complex; sirtuin 3
  43. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 664462
      Fusion-positive rhabdomyosarcoma (FP-RMS) is a highly aggressive childhood malignancy which is mainly treated by conventional chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Since radiotherapy is associated with a high burden of late side effects in pediatric patients, addition of radiosensitizers would be beneficial. Here, we thought to assess the role of fenretinide, a potential agent for FP-RMS treatment, as radiosensitizer. Survival of human FP-RMS cells was assessed after combination therapy with fenretinide and ionizing radiation (IR) by cell viability and clonogenicity assays. Indeed, this was found to significantly reduce cell viability compared to single treatments. Mechanistically, this was accompanied by enhanced production of reactive oxygen species, initiation of cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis. Interestingly, the combination treatment also triggered a new form of dynamin-dependent macropinocytosis, which was previously described in fenretinide-only treated cells. Our data suggest that fenretinide acts in combination with IR to induce cell death in FP-RMS cells and therefore might represent a novel radiosensitizer for the treatment of this disease.
    Keywords:  childhood cancer; fenretinide; radiation therapy; radiosensitizer; reactive oxygen species; rhabdomyosarcoma
  44. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 15. pii: 6425. [Epub ahead of print]22(12):
      Radiodynamic therapy (RDT) is a recent extension of conventional photodynamic therapy, in which visible/near infrared light irradiation is replaced by a well-tolerated dose of high-energy X-rays. This enables greater tissue penetration to allow non-invasive treatment of large, deep-seated tumors. We report here the design and testing of a drug delivery system for RDT that is intended to enhance intra- or peri-nuclear localization of the photosensitizer, leading to DNA damage and resulting clonogenic cell kill. This comprises a photosensitizer (Verteporfin, VP) incorporated into poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (PLGA NPs) that are surface-functionalized with a cell-penetrating HIV trans-activator of transcription (TAT) peptide. In addition to a series of physical and photophysical characterization studies, cytotoxicity tests in pancreatic (PANC-1) cancer cells in vitro under 4 Gy X-ray exposure from a clinical 6 MV linear accelerator (LINAC) showed that TAT targeting of the nanoparticles markedly enhances the effectiveness of RDT treatment, particularly when assessed by a clonogenic, i.e., DNA damage-mediated, cell kill.
    Keywords:  PLGA; RDT; ROS; TAT peptide; X-PDT; nanoparticles; nuclear targeting; photosensitizer; radiation; radiation therapy; radiodynamic therapy; radiosensitization; reactive oxygen species; singlet oxygen; verteporfin
  45. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 5561672
      There are growing interests in the complex combinations of natural compounds that may advance the therapy of cancer. Such combinations already exist in foods, and a good representative is seed oils. Two raspberry oils: cold pressed (ROCOP) and one extracted by supercritical CO2 (ROSCO2) were evaluated for their chemical characteristics and oil emulsions for cell suppression potential against colon adenocarcinoma (LoVo), doxorubicin-resistant colon adenocarcinoma (LoVo/DX), breast cancer (MCF7), doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer (MCF7/DX), and lung cancer (A549) cell lines. The cytotoxicity was also assessed on normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs). With increasing concentration of raspberry oil emulsions (0.5-10%), increasing inhibition of cancer cell viability and proliferation in all of the lines was observed, with different degrees of potency between cancer types and oil tested. ROSCO2 strongly induced free radical production and DNA strand damage in LoVo and MCF7 cells especially doxorubicin-resistant lines. This suggests that ROSCO2 engages and effectively targets the vulnerabilities of the cancer cell. Generally, both ROSCO2 and ROCOP could be a nontoxic support in therapy of selected human cancers.
  46. Small. 2021 Jul 03. e2101368
      Chemodynamic therapy (CDT), which induces cell death by decomposing high levels of H2 O2 in tumor cells into highly toxic ·OH, is recognized as a promising antineoplastic approach. However, current CDT approaches are often restricted by the highly controlled and upregulated cellular antioxidant defense. To enhance ·OH-induced cellular damage by CDT, a covalent organic framework (COF)-based, ferrocene (Fc)- and glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) inhibitor-loaded nanodrug, RSL3@COF-Fc (2b), is fabricated. The obtained 2b not only promotes in situ Fenton-like reactions to trigger ·OH production in cells, but also attenuates the repair mechanisms under oxidative stress via irreversible covalent GPX4 inhibition. As a result, these two approaches synergistically result in massive lipid peroxide accumulation, subsequent cell damage, and ultimately ferroptosis, while not being limited by intracellular glutathione. It is believed that this research provides a paradigm for enhancing reactive oxygen species-mediated oncotherapy through redox dyshomeostasis and may provide new insights for developing COF-based nanomedicine.
    Keywords:  cancer; chemodynamic therapy; covalent organic frameworks; ferroptosis; nanoparticles
  47. Oral Dis. 2021 Jun 28.
      OBJECTIVES: To investigate the anticancer effects and underlying mechanisms of surfactin on human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).MATERIALS AND METHODS: The capacity of surfactin to induce apoptosis, autophagy, and cell cycle arrest of two different human OSCC cell lines was investigated by cell viability, acridine orange staining, and cell cycle regulatory protein expression, respectively. The signaling network underlying these processes were determined by the analysis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related protein levels, calcium release, mitogen-activated protein kinases activation and cell cycle regulatory protein expression through corresponding reagents and experiments under various experimental conditions using specific pharmaceutical inhibitors or small interfering RNAs.
    RESULTS: Surfactin was able to induce apoptosis through NADPH oxidase/ROS/ER stress/calcium-downregulated extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 pathway. Surfactin could also lead to autophagy that shared the common regulatory signals with apoptosis pathway until calcium node. Cell cycle arrest at G2 /M phase caused by surfactin was demonstrated through p53 and p21 accumulation combined p34cdc2 , phosphorylated p34cdc2 and cyclin B1 inhibition, which was regulated by NADPH oxidase-derived ROS.
    CONCLUSION: Surfactin could induce apoptosis, autophagy, and cell cycle arrest in ROS-dependent manner, suggesting a multifaced anticancer agent for OSCC.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Autophagy; Cell cycle arrest; ER stress; Reactive oxidative species; Surfactin
  48. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2021 Jul 01. e2004381
      Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor with unmet therapeutic demand. The blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and tumor heterogeneity limit the treatment effectiveness of various interventions. Here, an ultrasound augmented chemo/immuno therapy for GBM using a neutrophil-delivered nanosensitizer, is developed. The sensitizer is composed of a ZnGa2 O4 :Cr3+ (ZGO) core for persistent luminescence imaging and a hollow sono-sensitive TiO2 shell to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) for controlled drug release. Immune checkpoint inhibitor (Anti-PD-1 antibody) is trapped in the interior of the porous ZGO@TiO2 with paclitaxel (PTX) loaded liposome encapsulation to form ZGO@TiO2 @ALP. Delivered by neutrophils (NEs), ZGO@TiO2 @ALP-NEs can penetrate through BBB for GBM accumulation. After intravenous injection, ultrasound irradiation at GBM sites initiates ROS generation from ZGO@TiO2 @ALP, leading to liposome destruction for PTX and anti-PD-1 antibody release to kill tumors and induce local inflammation, which in-turn attractes more ZGO@TiO2 @ALP-NEs to migrate into tumor sites for augmented and sustained therapy. The treatment enhances the survival rate of the GBM bearing mice from 0% to 40% and endows them with long-term immuno-surveillance for tumor recurrence, providing a new approach for precision therapy against GBM and other cancers.
    Keywords:  glioblastoma; multimodal therapy; persistent luminescent phosphor; titanium dioxide, ultrasound
  49. Lasers Med Sci. 2021 Jun 30.
      Colon cancer is the third significant reason for death related to cancers in the world. There are various treatments for colon cancer, which have several side effects. Polyphenol agents are a type of antioxidant in plants that have diverse biological properties, such as anti-cancer effects. Here, we investigate the effect of Trachyspermum ammi essential oil (TEO) and red light irradiation on the colorectal cancer cell line (SW 480). The colorectal cancer cell lines were irradiated at 660 nm for 90 s and then the cells were incubated with different TEO concentrations. In another study, cells initially were treated with various TEO concentrations and then irradiation for 90 s. Effect of TEO and the red light irradiation on viability of the cell, ROS generation, and cell cycle was assessed by MTT and flow cytometry, respectively. The findings demonstrated that early incubation with TEO and then irradiation decreased the SW 480 cells survival more than the early irradiation at 660 nm and then essential oil. In addition, TEO treatment at IC50 concentration in combination with low-level laser irradiation induces ROS generation in SW 480 cells as compared to the dark group. In addition, TEO treatment at IC50 in combination with low-level laser irradiation induces G0/G1 arrest of the cell cycle in SW 480 cells in comparison to the dark group. This study revealed that the Trachyspermum ammi essential oil in combination with low-level laser results in more reduction in survival which leads to ROS generation and cell cycle arrest in SW 480 colorectal cancer cells.
    Keywords:  Cell cycle arrest; Colorectal cancer; Low-level laser therapy (LLLT); ROS generation; Trachyspermum ammi essential oil
  50. Biomedicines. 2021 Jun 17. pii: 687. [Epub ahead of print]9(6):
      A peculiar role for oxidative stress in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its transition to the inflammatory complication non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as well as in its threatening evolution to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is supported by numerous experimental and clinical studies. NADPH oxidases (NOXs) are enzymes producing reactive oxygen species (ROS), whose abundance in liver cells is closely related to inflammation and immune responses. Here, we reviewed recent findings regarding this topic, focusing on the role of NOXs in the different stages of fatty liver disease and describing the current knowledge about their mechanisms of action. We conclude that, although there is a consensus that NOX-produced ROS are toxic in non-neoplastic conditions due to their role in the inflammatory vicious cycle sustaining the transition of NAFLD to NASH, their effect is controversial in the neoplastic transition towards HCC. In this regard, there are indications of a differential effect of NOX isoforms, since NOX1 and NOX2 play a detrimental role, whereas increased NOX4 expression appears to be correlated with better HCC prognosis in some studies. Further studies are needed to fully unravel the mechanisms of action of NOXs and their relationships with the signaling pathways modulating steatosis and liver cancer development.
    Keywords:  NADPH oxidases; NAFLD; NASH; NOX; hepatocellular carcinoma HCC; oxidative stress
  51. Invest New Drugs. 2021 Jul 03.
      Serine and glycine are the primary sources of one-carbon units that are vital for cell proliferation. Their abnormal metabolism is known to be associated with cancer progression. As the key enzyme of serine metabolism, Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase 2 (SHMT2) has been a research hotspot in recent years. SHMT2 is a PLP-dependent tetrameric enzyme that catalyzes the reversible transition from serine to glycine, thus promoting the production of one-carbon units that are indispensable for cell growth and regulation of the redox and epigenetic states of cells. Under a hypoxic environment, SHMT2 can be upregulated and could promote the generation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and glutathione for maintaining the redox balance. Accumulating evidence confirmed that SHMT2 facilitates cell proliferation and tumor growth and is tightly associated with poor prognosis. In this review, we present insights into the function and research development of SHMT2 and summarize the possible molecular mechanisms of SHMT2 in promoting tumor growth, in the hope that it could provide clues to more effective clinical treatment of cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Hypoxic environment; SHMT2; Warburg effect
  52. Molecules. 2021 Jun 10. pii: 3546. [Epub ahead of print]26(12):
      Euterpe oleracea Mart. (açai) is a native palm from the Amazon region. There are various chemical constituents of açai with bioactive properties. This study aimed to evaluate the chemical composition and cytotoxic effects of açai seed extract on breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS) was applied to identify chemical compounds present in açai seed extract. LC-MS/MS and molecular networking were employed to detect the phenolic compounds of açai. The antioxidant activity of açai seed extract was measured by DPPH assay. MCF-7 breast cancer cell line viability was evaluated by MTT assay. Cell death was evaluated by flow cytometry and time-lapse microscopy. Autophagy was evaluated by orange acridin immunofluorescence assay. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was evaluated by DAF assay. From the molecular networking, fifteen compounds were identified, mainly phenolic compounds. The açai seed extract showed cytotoxic effects against MCF-7, induced morphologic changes in the cell line by autophagy and increased the ROS production pathway. The present study suggests that açai seed extract has a high cytotoxic capacity and may induce autophagy by increasing ROS production in breast cancer. Apart from its antioxidant activity, flavonoids with high radical scavenging activity present in açai also generated NO (nitric oxide), contributing to its cytotoxic effect and autophagy induction.
    Keywords:  Euterpe oleracea Mart.; autophagy; breast cancer; flavonoids; mass spectrometry; reactive oxygen species
  53. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 693709
      The synthesis and functionalization of iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) is versatile, which has enhanced the interest in studying them as theranostic agents over recent years. As IONPs begin to be used for different biomedical applications, it is important to know how they affect the immune system and its different cell types, especially their interaction with the macrophages that are involved in their clearance. How immune cells respond to therapeutic interventions can condition the systemic and local tissue response, and hence, the final therapeutic outcome. Thus, it is fundamental to understand the effects that IONPs have on the immune response, especially in cancer immunotherapy. The biological effects of IONPs may be the result of intrinsic features of their iron oxide core, inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and modulating intracellular redox and iron metabolism. Alternatively, their effects are driven by the nanoparticle coating, for example, through cell membrane receptor engagement. Indeed, exploiting these properties of IONPs could lead to the development of innovative therapies. In this review, after a presentation of the elements that make up the tumor immunological microenvironment, we will review and discuss what is currently known about the immunomodulatory mechanisms triggered by IONPs, mainly focusing on macrophage polarization and reprogramming. Consequently, we will discuss the implications of these findings in the context of plausible therapeutic scenarios for cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  iron oxide nanoparticles; macrophage polarization; nanoparticle–macrophage interaction; therapeutic applications; tumor associated macrophages
  54. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jun 04. pii: 2805. [Epub ahead of print]13(11):
      Despite excellent loco-regional control by multimodal treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer, a substantial portion of patients succumb to this disease. As many treatment effects are mediated via reactive oxygen species (ROS), we evaluated the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ROS-related genes on clinical outcome. Based on the literature, eight SNPs in seven ROS-related genes were assayed. Eligible patients (n = 287) diagnosed with UICC stage II/III rectal cancer were treated multimodally starting with neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (N-RCT) according to the clinical trial protocols of CAO/ARO/AIO-94, CAO/ARO/AIO-04, TransValid-A, and TransValid-B. The median follow-up was 64.4 months. The Ser326Cys polymorphism in the human OGG1 gene affected clinical outcome, in particular cancer-specific survival (CSS). This effect was comparable in extent to the ypN status, an already established strong prognosticator for patient outcome. Homozygous and heterozygous carriers of the Cys326 variant (n = 105) encountered a significantly worse CSS (p = 0.0004 according to the log-rank test, p = 0.01 upon multiple testing adjustment). Cox regression elicited a hazard ratio for CSS of 3.64 (95% confidence interval 1.70-7.78) for patients harboring the Cys326 allele. In a multivariable analysis, the effect of Cys326 on CSS was preserved. We propose the genetic polymorphism Ser326Cys as a promising biomarker for outcome in rectal cancer.
    Keywords:  8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase; BER; CSS; OGG1; OS; ROS; Ser326Cys; base excision repair; biomarker; cancer-specific survival; germline polymorphisms; neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy; overall survival; reactive oxygen species; rectal cancer; rs1052133
  55. ACS Nano. 2021 Jun 28.
      Hypoxia in a solid tumor microenvironment (TME) can lead to the overexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), which correlates to tumor metastasis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced tumor cell apoptosis is becoming a promising method in tumor treatment. Currently, the ROS generating systems, e.g., photodynamic treatment and sonodynamic treatment, highly depend on oxygen (O2) in the tumor microenvironment (TME). However, the level of O2 in TME is too low to produce enough ROS. Herein, we developed an ultrasmall DSPE-PEG2000 coated barium titanate nanoparticle (P-BTO) for tumor treatment based on ultrasound triggered piezocatalysis and water splitting. Interestingly, irradiated by ultrasound, the surface of ultasmall P-BTO nanoparticles produced imbalance charges, which induced a cascade of redox reaction processes to simultaneously generate ROS and O2, the latter one was hardly generated in large-sized barium titanate nanoparticles. The as-synthesized P-BTO reached the highest accumulation in the tumor site at 4 h after intravenous injection. The results showed that the produced O2 significantly alleviated the hypoxia of TME to down-regulate the expression of HIF-1α, and the produced ROS can efficiently kill tumor cells. Moreover, the tumor metastasis was also inhibited, providing a different way to treat triple-negative breast cancer, which was easily metastatic and lacked effective treatments in the clinic.
    Keywords:  ROS; hypoxia; metastasis; piezocatalysis; ultrasound
  56. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 Jun 08. pii: 551. [Epub ahead of print]14(6):
      Heat utility as a critical component of fever is often ignored, although the symptom is observed in many medical conditions. Mistletoe extract (ME) is an adjunctive medication prescribed to cancer patients. The increase in body temperature is frequently observed in patients following ME administration. Nevertheless, the impact of this fever on the effectiveness of therapy is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effect of fever-range temperatures on ME-treated breast cancer cells and macrophages. The cells were simultaneously stimulated with ME and subjected to fever-range hyperthermia (FRH; 39 °C or 41 °C). After co-treatment, the cell viability, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), cell cycle distribution, and production of pro-inflammatory factors (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2) were evaluated. The results showed that the exposure of ME-treated breast cancer cells to FRH at 39 °C resulted in a slight decrease in their viability, whereas FRH of 41 °C enhanced this effect. Only FRH of 41 °C induced minor changes in ROS level in ME-treated breast cancer cell lines. In ME-treated macrophages, FRH stimulated cell proliferation. The cell cycle distribution analysis showed a difference between cells cultured at 39 °C and 41 °C in all examined cell lines. Moreover, hyperthermia at 41 °C completely inhibited the ME-induced increase in IL-1β and IL-6 expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, whereas this effect was not observed in 4T1 breast cancer cells. In contrast, in ME-treated macrophages, FRH of 41 °C strongly up-regulated expression of the pro-inflammatory factors. We conclude that fever is an important component of ME therapy that differentially affects cancer and immune cells.
    Keywords:  cell cycle distribution; cytokines; fever; hyperthermia; inflammation; mistletoe extract; reactive oxygen species
  57. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 28. pii: 6928. [Epub ahead of print]22(13):
      Colorectal cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide. Conventional diagnostics methods of colorectal cancer can detect it at an advanced stage. Spectroscopic methods, including Raman spectroscopy and imaging, are becoming more and more popular in medical applications, and allow fast, precise, and unambiguous differentiation of healthy and cancerous samples. The most important advantage of Raman spectroscopy is the ability to identify biomarkers that help in the differentiation of healthy and cancerous cells based on biochemistry of sample and spectra typical for lipids, proteins, and DNA. The aim of the study was to evaluate the biochemical and structural features of human colon cell lines based on Raman spectroscopy and imaging: normal cells CCD-18 Co, normal cells CCD-18 Co under oxidative stress conditions, and normal cells CCD-18 Co at first treated by using tert-Butyl hydroperoxide and then supplemented by vitamin C in high concentration to show the protective role of vitamin C in micromolar concentrations against ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Raman data obtained for normal cells injured by ROS were compared with spectra typical for cancerous cells. Statistically assisted analysis has shown that normal ROS-injured and cancerous human colon cells can be distinguished based on their unique vibrational properties. The research carried out proves that label-free Raman spectroscopy may play an important role in clinical diagnostics differentiation of normal and cancerous colon cells and may be a source of intraoperative information supporting histopathological analysis.
    Keywords:  Raman imaging; Raman spectroscopy; biomarkers; biomedical imaging; cell culture; colon cancer; supplementation; vitamin C
  58. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jun 23. pii: 3138. [Epub ahead of print]13(13):
      Oxidative stress and abnormal DNA methylation have been implicated in cancer, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs). This fact leads us to investigate whether oxidative stress is correlated with localized and global DNA methylations in the peripheral blood of MDS patients. Sixty-six MDS patients and 26 healthy individuals were analyzed. Several oxidative stress and macromolecule damage parameters were analyzed. Localized (gene promotor) and global DNA methylations (5-mC and 5-hmC levels; LINE-1 methylation) were assessed. MDS patients had lower levels of reduced glutathione and total antioxidant status (TAS) and higher levels of peroxides, nitric oxide, peroxides/TAS, and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine compared with controls. These patients had higher 5-mC levels and lower 5-hmC/5-mC ratio and LINE-1 methylation and increased methylation frequency of at least one methylated gene. Peroxide levels and peroxide/TAS ratio were higher in patients with methylated genes than those without methylation and negatively correlated with LINE-1 methylation and positively with 5-mC levels. The 5-hmC/5-mC ratio was significantly associated with progression to acute leukemia and peroxide/TAS ratio with overall survival. This study points to a relationship between oxidative stress and DNA methylation, two common pathogenic mechanisms involved in MDS, and suggests the relevance of 5-hmC/5-mC and peroxide/TAS ratios as complementary prognostic biomarkers.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; acute myeloid leukemia; blood biomarkers; myelodysplastic syndrome; oxidative stress; prognosis; progression; survival
  59. Materials (Basel). 2021 Jun 08. pii: 3155. [Epub ahead of print]14(12):
      Cancer remains a global health burden prompting affordable, target-oriented, and safe chemotherapeutic agents to reduce its incidence rate worldwide. In this study, a rapid, cost-effective, and green synthesis of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) has been carried out; Ex vivo and in vivoevaluation of their safety and anti-tumor efficacy compared to doxorubicin (DOX), a highly efficient breast anti-cancer agent but limited by severe cardiotoxicity in many patients.Thereby,TiO2 NPs were eco-friendly synthetized using aqueous leaf extract of the tropical medicinal shrub Zanthoxylum armatum as a reducing agent. Butanol was used as a unique template. TiO2 NPs were physically characterized by ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) as routine state-of-the art techniques. The synthesized TiO2 NPs were then evaluated for their cytotoxicity (by MTT, FACS, and oxidative stress assays) in 4T1 breast tumor cells, and their hemocompatibility (by hemolysis assay). In vivo anti-tumor efficacy and safety of the TiO2 NPs were further assessed using subcutaneous 4T1 breast BALB/c mouse tumor model.The greenly prepared TiO2 NPs were small, spherical, and crystalline in nature. Interestingly, they were hemocompatible and elicited a strong DOX-like concentration-dependent cytotoxicity-induced apoptosis both ex vivo and in vivo (with a noticeable tumor volume reduction). The underlying molecular mechanism was, at least partially, mediated through reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation (lipid peroxidation). Unlike DOX (P < 0.05), it is important to mention that no cardiotoxicity or altered body weight were observed in both the TiO2 NPs-treated tumor-bearing mouse group and the PBS-treated mouse group (P > 0.05). Taken together, Z. armatum-derived TiO2 NPs are cost-effective, more efficient, and safer than DOX. The present findings shall prompt clinical trials using green TiO2 NPs, at least as a possible alternative modality to DOX for effective breast cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  TiO2 nanoparticles; Zanthoxylum armatum leaf extract; apoptosis; breast cancer; cardiotoxicity; cytotoxicity; doxorubicin; reactive oxygen species
  60. Drug Dev Res. 2021 Jun 28.
      Tumor cells exhibit higher glycolysis and rely on abnormal energy metabolism to produce ATP, which is essential for cell proliferation and migration. Abnormal energy metabolism inhibition is considered a promising tumor treatment strategy. Xanthatin is an active sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Xanthium strumarium L. This study evaluated the effect of xanthatin on the energy metabolism of human colon cancer cells. The results showed that xanthatin significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of human HT-29 and HCT-116 colon cancer cells. We found that xanthatin effectively reduced the production of ATP and promoted the accumulation of lactate. Xanthatin inhibited glycolysis which may be related to the reduction of glucose transporter 1 (Glut1) and monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) mRNA and protein levels. Concomitantly, xanthatin promoted complex II activity and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), resulting in mitochondrial damage and cell death in HT-29 cells. Furthermore, xanthatin inhibited the phosphorylation of mTOR, the phosphorylation of 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) and c-myc in HT-29 cells. Moreover, rapamycin, a mTOR inhibitor, could enhance the cytotoxicity effect in xanthatin treated HT-29 cells. Additionally, HT-29 cells transfected with si-mTOR aggravated xanthatin induced cell viability inhibition. Based on these results, we observed that the effect of xanthatin on energy metabolism may be related to its inhibition of the mTOR signaling pathway. Collectively, this study provides important insights into xanthatin's anticancer effect, which occurs by regulation of the energy metabolism of human colon cancer cells, and suggest that xanthatin has potential as a botanical drug against abnormal tumor energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  colon cancer; glycolysis; mTOR; metabolism; xanthatin
  61. Mar Drugs. 2021 Jun 22. pii: 354. [Epub ahead of print]19(7):
      Photochemoprevention can be a valuable approach to counteract the damaging effects of environmental stressors (e.g., UV radiations) on the skin. Pigments are bioactive molecules, greatly attractive for biotechnological purposes, and with promising applications for human health. In this context, marine microalgae are a valuable alternative and eco-sustainable source of pigments that still need to be taken advantage of. In this study, a comparative in vitro photochemopreventive effects of twenty marine pigments on carcinogenic melanoma model cell B16F0 from UV-induced injury was setup. Pigment modulation of the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration and extracellular release of nitric oxide (NO) was investigated. At the cell signaling level, interleukin 1-β (IL-1β) and matrix metallopeptidase 9 protein (MMP-9) protein expression was examined. These processes are known to be involved in the signaling pathway, from UV stress to cancer induction. Diatoxanthin resulted the best performing pigment in lowering MMP-9 levels and was able to strongly lower IL-1β. This study highlights the pronounced bioactivity of the exclusively aquatic carotenoid diatoxanthin, among the others. It is suggested increasing research efforts on this molecule, emphasizing that a deeper integration of plant ecophysiological studies into a biotechnological context could improve the exploration and exploitation of bioactive natural products.
    Keywords:  ROS; alloxanthin; anti-inflammation; carotenoids; chemoprevention; diatoxanthin; interleukin 1 beta; metalloproteinase MMP-9; oxidative stress; photoprotection