bims-rehoca Biomed News
on Redox homeostasis in cancer
Issue of 2021‒08‒29
forty-three papers selected by
Vittoria Raimondi
Veneto Institute of Oncology

  1. Yonsei Med J. 2021 Sep;62(9): 843-849
      PURPOSE: Temozolomide is used in first-line treatment for glioblastoma. However, chemoresistance to temozolomide is common in glioma patients. In addition, mechanisms for the anti-tumor effects of temozolomide are largely unknown. Ferroptosis is a form of programmed cell death triggered by disturbed redox homeostasis, overloaded iron, and increased lipid peroxidation. The present study was performed to elucidate the involvement of ferroptosis in the anti-tumor mechanisms of temozolomide.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We utilized the CCK8 assay to evaluate cytotoxicity. Levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malondialdehyde (MDA), iron, and glutathione (GSH) were measured. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscope were used to detect the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Western blotting, RT-PCR and siRNA transfection were used to investigate molecular mechanisms.
    RESULTS: Temozolomide increased the levels of LDH, MDA, and iron and reduced GSH levels in TG905 cells. Furthermore, we found that ROS levels and DMT1 expression were elevated in TG905 cells treated with temozolomide and were accompanied by a decrease in the expression of glutathione peroxidase 4, indicating an iron-dependent cell death, ferroptosis. Our results also showed that temozolomide-induced ferroptosis is associated with regulation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. Conversely, DMT1 knockdown by siRNA evidently blocked temozolomide-induced ferroptosis in TG905 cells.
    CONCLUSION: Taken together, our findings indicate that temozolomide may suppress cell growth partly by inducing ferroptosis by targeting DMT1 expression in glioblastoma cells.
    Keywords:  DMT1; Temozolomide; ferroptosis; glioblastoma; reactive oxygen species
  2. Life (Basel). 2021 Aug 21. pii: 858. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      The fruits of Schisandra chinensis (Schisandra berries) are used as health food supplements and popular food ingredients in East Asia. Lignans, major and characteristic polyphenol compounds of Schisandra berries, possess various biological activities, including hepatoprotective and anticancer effects. However, the biological activities of gomisin L1, a lignan isolated from Schisandra berries, are less to be investigated. In this study, the antitumor activity of gomisin L1 and its underlying molecular mechanism in human ovarian cancer cells were investigated. Gomisin L1 exhibited potent cytotoxic activity against A2780 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that the growth inhibitory effects of gomisin L1 were mediated by the induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, gomisin L1 induced an increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine significantly negated gomisin L1-induced cell death. Moreover, inhibition of NADPH oxidase (NOX) using an inhibitor and siRNA attenuated gomisin L1-induced death of, and ROS production in, human ovarian cancer cells. Taken together, these data indicate that the lignan gomisin L1 from Schisandra berries induces apoptotic cell death by regulating intracellular ROS production via NOX.
    Keywords:  NOX; ROS; Schisandra berry; apoptosis; gomisin L1; ovarian cancer
  3. Cancer Cell Int. 2021 Aug 23. 21(1): 446
      BACKGROUND: Processed extracts from toad skin and parotoid gland have long been used to treat various illnesses including cancer in many Asian countries. Recent studies have uncovered a family of bufadienolides as the responsible pharmacological compounds, and the two major molecules, cinobufagin and bufalin, have been shown to possess robust antitumor activity; however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood.METHODS: Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured by DCFH-DA staining and flow cytometry, and DNA damage was analyzed by immunofluorescent staining and the alkaline comet assay. Cytotoxicity was measured by MTT as well as colony formation assays, and cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. In addition, apoptosis was further characterized by TUNEL and mitochondrial membrane potential assays.
    RESULTS: Here we showed that sublethal doses of cinobufagin suppressed the viability of many cancer but not noncancerous cell lines. This tumor-selective cytotoxicity was preceded by a rapid, cancer-specific increase in cellular ROS and was significantly reduced by the ROS inhibitor N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), indicating oxidative stress as the primary source of cinobufagin-induced cancer cell toxicity. Sublethal cinobufagin-induced ROS overload resulted in oxidative DNA damage and intense replication stress in cancer cells, leading to strong DNA damage response (DDR) signaling. Subsequent phosphorylation of CDC25C and stabilization of p53 downstream of DDR resulted in activation of the G2/M checkpoint followed by induction of apoptosis. These data indicate that cinobufagin suppresses cancer cell viability via DDR-mediated G2 arrest and apoptosis.
    CONCLUSION: As elevated oxidative pressure is shared by most cancer cells that renders them sensitive to further oxidative insult, these studies suggest that nontoxic doses of cinobufagin can be used to exploit a cancer vulnerability for induction of cancer-specific cytotoxicity.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Cell cycle arrest; Cinobufagin; DNA damage response; Oxidative DNA damage; ROS
  4. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jul 29. pii: 1219. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a normal byproduct of cellular metabolism and are required components in cell signaling and immune responses. However, an imbalance of ROS can lead to oxidative stress in various pathological states. Increases in oxidative stress are one of the hallmarks in cancer cells, which display an altered metabolism when compared to corresponding normal cells. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD) is an antioxidant enzyme that catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide anion (O2-) in the extracellular environment. By doing so, this enzyme provides the cell with a defense against oxidative damage by contributing to redox balance. Interestingly, EcSOD expression has been found to be decreased in a variety of cancers, and this loss of expression may contribute to the development and progression of malignancies. In addition, recent compounds can increase EcSOD activity and expression, which has the potential for altering this redox signaling and cellular proliferation. This review will explore the role that EcSOD expression plays in cancer in order to better understand its potential as a tool for the detection, predicted outcomes and potential treatment of malignancies.
    Keywords:  cancer; extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD); reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  5. Molecules. 2021 Aug 16. pii: 4951. [Epub ahead of print]26(16):
      Recent studies found that short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are produced through bacterial fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract, have oncoprotective effects against cervical cancer. The most common SCFAs that are well known include acetic acid, butyric acid, and propionic acid, among which propionic acid (PA) has been reported to induce apoptosis in HeLa cells. However, the mechanism in which SCFAs suppress HeLa cell viability remain poorly understood. Our study aims to provide a more detailed look into the mechanism of PA in HeLa cells. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that PA induces reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to the dysfunction of the mitochondrial membrane. Moreover, PA inhibits NF-κB and AKT/mTOR signaling pathways and induces LC3B protein levels, resulting in autophagy. PA also increased the sub-G1 cell population that is characteristic of cell death. Therefore, the results of this study propose that PA inhibits HeLa cell viability through a mechanism mediated by the induction of autophagy. The study also suggests a new approach for cervical cancer therapeutics.
    Keywords:  HeLa; cervical cancer; propionic acid; reactive oxygen species; short-chain fatty acids
  6. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 18. pii: 8898. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      Ferroptosis, an iron-dependent form of programmed cell death, has excellent potential as an anti-cancer therapeutic strategy in different types of tumors, especially in RAS-mutated ones. However, the function of ferroptosis for inhibiting neuroblastoma, a common child malignant tumor with minimal treatment, is unclear. This study investigated the anti-cancer function of ferroptosis inducer Erastin or RSL3 in neuroblastoma N2A cells. Our results show that Erastin or RSL3 induces ROS level and cell death and, therefore, reduces the viability of RAS-proficient N2A cells. Importantly, inhibitors to ferroptosis, but not apoptosis, ameliorate the high ROS level and viability defect in Erastin- or RSL3-treated cells. In addition, our data also show that N2A cells are much more sensitive to ferroptosis inducers than primary mouse cortical neural stem cells (NSCs) or neurons. Moreover, a higher level of ROS and PARylation is evidenced in N2A, but not NSCs. Mechanically, ferritin heavy chain 1 (Fth), the ferroxidase function to oxidate redox-active Fe2+ to redox-inactive Fe3+, is likely responsible for the hypersensitivity of N2A to ferroptosis induction since its expression is lower in N2A compared to NSCs; ectopic expression of Fth reduces ROS levels and cell death, and induces expression of GPX4 and cell viability in N2A cells. Most importantly, neuroblastoma cell lines express a significantly low level of Fth than almost all other types of cancer cell lines. All these data suggest that Erastin or RSL3 induce ferroptosis cell death in neuroblastoma N2A cells, but not normal neural cells, regardless of RAS mutations, due to inadequate FTH. This study, therefore, provides new evidence that ferroptosis could be a promising therapeutic target for neuroblastoma.
    Keywords:  FTH; ROS; ferroptosis; neuroblastoma
  7. Lasers Surg Med. 2021 Aug 25.
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment modality mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the intracellular antioxidant defense system antagonizes PDT-generated ROS, impeding PDT efficacy. This study aimed to evaluate the enhancement of PDT cytotoxicity by its combination with natural antioxidants in pro-oxidant concentrations.METHODS: A rich natural antioxidant mixture originating from Pinus halepensis bark extract was studied for its potential to enhance the efficacy of m-tetrahydroxyphenylchlorin (m-THPC)-PDT on LNCaP prostate cancer cells, in vitro. Various P. halepensis concentrations, at two different incubation times, were used in combination with m-THPC-PDT. Assessment of cellular viability and intracellular ROS levels evaluated the treatments' outcome. A novel method was developed for the assessment of the intracellular ROS levels, based on image analysis and data extraction from fluorescence microscopy images.
    RESULTS: P. halepensis bark extract increased the intracellular ROS levels in a concentration-dependent but not in an incubation-dependent manner. The higher concentrations used (≥50 μg/ml) reduced cellular viability even by 50%. One hour pretreatment with 30 μg/ml P. halepensis before m-THPC-PDT exceeded the levels of cellular death by approximately 15%.
    CONCLUSIONS: The results provided evidence of the cytotoxic effect of P. halepensis bark extract on LNCaP cells, showing the potential of P. halepensis to be used as an anticancer agent in prostate cancer treatment. The results also provided evidence of enhancement of m-THPC-PDT by P. halepensis bark extract showed the potential to be used as a supplementary agent to improve prostate cancer PDT treatment.
    Keywords:  antioxidants; photodynamic therapy; polyphenols; prostate cancer
  8. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Aug 18. pii: S0378-8741(21)00758-3. [Epub ahead of print] 114529
      ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The genus Inula has been traditionally used as folk medicine in treating different illnesses such as kidney stones, urethra infection, jaundice, bronchitis, respiratory diseases and cancer.AIM OF THE STUDY: Gaillardin, a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Inula oculus-christi, seems to have great potential as an anti-cancer agent. This study was carried out to evaluate the anti-cancer properties of Gaillardin in gastric cancer cells and also its possible underlying mechanism.
    METHODS: The colorimetric MTT assay was used to assess metabolic activity of cells as an indicator of viability and cytotoxicity. Flow cytometry using Annexin V-FITC/PI was applied to detect and quantify the level of apoptosis. Detection of activated caspase-3, as a biochemical marker of apoptosis, was done using caspase-3 assay kit. Activation of NF-κB pathway was determined by western blotting. The mRNA expression levels of NF-κB target genes were measured using quantitative RT-PCR. Moreover, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was evaluated.
    RESULTS: Gaillardin significantly reduced cell viability in a time and dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory effect of Gaillardin was attributed to induction of apoptosis. Investigation about the underlying mechanism revealed that Gaillardin exerts its action through inhibition of NF-κB activation and subsequently down-regulation of genes (COX-2, MMP-9, TWIST-1, and BCl-2) regulated by NF-κB. Moreover, Gaillardin caused remarkable elevation in ROS production in AGS and MKN45 cells.
    CONCLUSION: We provided evidences about the role of NF-κB pathway in the induction of apoptosis by the sesquiterpene lactone Gaillardin in AGS and MKN45 cells for the first time, which suggest Gaillardin could be considered as a promising natural agent for further investigations to identify new potent anticancer drugs in the future.
    Keywords:  Gaillardin; Gastric cancer; Inflammation; NF-κB; Sesquiterpene lactone
  9. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Aug 20. pii: S0891-5849(21)00477-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      The aim of present study was to investigate the anticancer mechanisms of 3, 3'- diselenodipropionic acid (DSePA), a redox-active organodiselenide in human lung cancer cells. DSePA elicited a significant concentration and time-dependent cytotoxicity in human lung cancer cell line A549 than in normal WI98 cells. The cytotoxic effect of DSePA was preceded by an acute decrease in the level of basal reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a concurrent increase in levels of reducing equivalents (like GSH/GSSG and NADH/NAD) within cells. Further, a series of experiments were performed to measure the markers of intrinsic (Bax, cytochrome c and caspase-9), extrinsic (TNFR, FADR and caspase-8) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress (protein ubiquitylation, calcium flux, Bip-2, CHOP and caspase-12) pathways in DSePA treated cells. DSePA treatment significantly increased the levels of all the above markers. Moreover, DSePA did not alter the expression and phosphorylation (Ser15) of p53 but caused a significant damage to mitochondria. Pharmacological modulation of GSH level by BSO and NAC in DSePA treated cells led to abrogation and augmentation of cell kill respectively. This established the role of reductive stress as a trigger for the apoptosis induced by DSePA treatment. Finally, in vitro anticancer activity of DSePA was also corroborated by its in vivo efficacy of suppressing the growth of A549 derived xenograft tumor in SCID mice. In conclusion, above results suggest that DSePA induces apoptosis in a p53 independent manner by involving extrinsic and intrinsic pathways together with ER stress which can an interesting strategy for lung cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Anticancer activity; Apoptosis; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Lung cancer; Organoselenium; Reductive stress
  10. Int J Biol Sci. 2021 ;17(12): 3091-3103
      Radiotherapy has been extensively applied in cancer treatment. However, this treatment is ineffective in Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) due to lack of radiosensitivity. Unconventional prefoldin RPB5 interactor 1 (URI1) exhibits characteristics similar to those oncoproteins, which promotes survival of cancer cells. As a consequence of the irradiation, the levels of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) rise. In the current study, we analyzed the role of URI1 in the control of ROS levels in HepG2 cells. Upon URI1 overexpression, HepG2 cells significantly suppressed irradiation-induced ROS, which may help cells escape from oxidative toxicity. And our data demonstrated that overexpression of URI1 not only resulted in an increase of autophagic flux, but also resulted in an further increased capacity of autophagy to eliminate ROS. It indicated that URI1 suppressed irradiation-induced ROS through activating autophagy. Moreover, URI1 activated autophagy by promoting the activities of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Results showed that overexpression of URI1 increased the phosphorylation of AMPKα at the Thr172 residue and the activated-AMPK promoted the phosphorylation of forkhead box O3 (FOXO3) at the Ser253 residue, which significantly induced autophagy. Taken together, our findings provide a mechanism that URI1 suppresses irradiation-induced ROS by activating autophagy through AMPK/FOXO3 signaling pathway. These new molecular insights will provide an important contribution to our better understanding about irradiation insensitivity of HCC.
    Keywords:  HCC; ROS; URI1; autophagy; irradiation insensitivity
  11. Pharmaceutics. 2021 Aug 13. pii: 1251. [Epub ahead of print]13(8):
      In this report, we investigated whether the use of chitosan-carrying-glutathione nanoparticles (CH-GSH NPs) can modify proliferation and apoptosis, and reduce cell damage induced by doxorubicin on breast cancer cells. Doxorubicin is a widely used antineoplasic agent for the treatment of various types of cancer. However, it is also a highly toxic drug because it induces oxidative stress. Thus, the use of antioxidant molecules has been considered to reduce the toxicity of doxorubicin. CH-GSH NPs were characterized in size, zeta potential, concentration, and shape. When breast cancer cells were treated with CH-GSH nanoparticles, they were localized in the cellular cytoplasm. Combined doxorubicin exposure with nanoparticles increased intracellular GSH levels. At the same time, decreasing levels of reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde were observed and modified antioxidant enzyme activity. Levels of the Ki67 protein were evaluated as a marker of cell proliferation and the activity of the Casp-3 protein related to cell apoptosis was measured. Our data suggests that CH-GSH NPs can modify cell proliferation by decreasing Ki67 levels, induce apoptosis by increasing caspase-3 activity, and reduce the oxidative stress induced by doxorubicin in breast cancer cells by modulating molecules associated with the cellular redox state. CH-GSH NPs could be used to reduce the toxic effects of this antineoplastic. Considering these results, CH-GSH NPs represent a novel delivery system offering new opportunities in pharmacy, material science, and biomedicine.
    Keywords:  breast cancer; doxorubicin; glutathione; nanoparticles; oxidative stress
  12. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Jul 28. pii: 1943. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) have wide commercial applications, owing to their small size; however, the biosafety of TiO2 NPs should be evaluated further. In this study, we aimed to investigate the cytotoxicity of TiO2 NPs in the presence and absence of ultraviolet A (UVA) irradiation in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. TiO2 NPs did not significantly affect cell viability in the absence of UVA irradiation. Nonetheless, UVA-irradiated TiO2 NPs induced caspase-dependent apoptosis of HaCaT cells. Exposure of HaCaT cells to TiO2 NPs and UVA resulted in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP); both effects were not observed in the absence of UVA irradiation. An analysis of the relationship between LMP and ROS, using CA-074 as a cathepsin inhibitor or NAC as an antioxidant, showed that LMP stimulates ROS generation under these conditions. These results imply that LMP-dependent oxidative stress plays a critical role in the UVA phototoxicity of TiO2 NPs in HaCaT cells.
    Keywords:  lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP); phototoxicity; reactive oxygen species (ROS); titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs); ultraviolet A (UVA)
  13. Phytomedicine. 2021 Aug 13. pii: S0944-7113(21)00250-6. [Epub ahead of print]91 153707
      BACKGROUND: Artematrolide A (AR-A), a guaianolide dimer isolated from Artemisia atrovirens, demonstrated significant inhibitory effect on three human hepatoma cell lines (HepG2, Huh7 and SMMC7721). The anti-cervical cancer effect and mechanism of this compound have yet to be explored. This study is to reveal the role and mechanisms of artematrolide A on cervical cancer cells, and provide the pharmacological understanding of artematrolide A.PURPOSE: To investigate the function and possible mechanism of artematrolide A on cervical cancer cells in vitro.
    METHODS: HeLa S3 and SiHa cells were treated with artematrolide A at various concentrations. In this study, MTT, colony formation, cell migration and invasion, cell cycle analysis, cell apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection, western blotting, enzyme activity, and lactate production of artematrolide A were evaluated.
    RESULTS: Artematrolide A inhibited cell viability, proliferation, migration and invasion in a dose-dependent manner, caused cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase, and induced cell apoptosis via Bcl-2/PARP-1. The mechanism of action of artematrolide A included two aspects: artematrolide A suppressed cell proliferation by activating ROS/ERK/mTOR signaling pathway and promoted glucose metabolism from aerobic glycolysis to mitochondrial respiration by activating pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) and oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (OGDC) via inhibiting the activity of alkaline phosphatases (ALP).
    CONCLUSION: Artematrolide A exhibited a significant cytotoxic activity on cervical cancer cells, induced G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by activating ROS/ERK/mTOR signaling pathway and promoting metabolic shift from aerobic glycolysis to mitochondrial respiration, which suggested artematrolide A might be a potential agent for the treatment of cervical cancer.
    Keywords:  Artemisia atrovirens; Cell metabolism; Cervical cancer; ERK pathway
  14. Biomolecules. 2021 Jul 31. pii: 1130. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      Cancer, a fatal disease, is also one of the main causes of death worldwide. Despite various developments to prevent and treat cancer, the side effects of anticancer drugs remain a major concern. Ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin required by our bodies for normal physiological function and also has antioxidant and anticancer activity. Although the body cannot synthesize ascorbic acid, it is abundant in nature through foods and other natural sources and also exists as a nutritional food supplement. In anticancer drug development, ascorbic acid has played an important role by inhibiting the development of cancer through various mechanisms, including scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS), selectively producing ROS and encouraging their cytotoxicity against tumour cells, preventing glucose metabolism, serving as an epigenetic regulator, and regulating the expression of HIF in tumour cells. Several ascorbic acid analogues have been produced to date for their anticancer and antioxidant activity. The current review summarizes the mechanisms behind ascorbic acid's antitumor activity, presents a compilation of its derivatives and their biological activity as anticancer agents, and discusses delivery systems such as liposomes, nanoparticles against cancer, and patents on ascorbic acid as anticancer agents.
    Keywords:  HIF; anticancer; antioxidant; ascorbic acid; cancer; epigenetic regulator; pro-oxidant
  15. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 690435
      Objectives: Anti-diabetic biguanide drugs such as metformin may have anti-tumorigenic effects by behaving as AMPK activators and mTOR inhibitors. Metformin requires organic cation transporters (OCTs) for entry into cells, and NT-1044 is an AMPK activator designed to have greater affinity for two of these transporters, OCT1 and OCT3. We sought to compare the effects of NT-1044 on cell proliferation in human endometrial cancer (EC) cell lines and on tumor growth in an endometrioid EC mouse model.Methods: Cell proliferation was assessed in two EC cell lines, ECC-1 and Ishikawa, by MTT assay after exposure to NT-1044 for 72 hours of treatment. Apoptosis was analyzed by Annexin V-FITC and cleaved caspase 3 assays. Cell cycle progression was evaluated by Cellometer. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured using DCFH-DA and JC-1 assays. For the in vivo studies, we utilized the LKB1fl/flp53fl/fl mouse model of endometrioid endometrial cancer. The mice were treated with placebo or NT-1044 or metformin following tumor onset for 4 weeks.
    Results: NT-1044 and metformin significantly inhibited cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner in both EC cell lines after 72 hours of exposure (IC50 218 μM for Ishikawa; 87 μM for ECC-1 cells). Treatment with NT-1044 resulted in G1 cell cycle arrest, induced apoptosis and increased ROS production in both cell lines. NT-1044 increased phosphorylation of AMPK and decreased phosphorylation of S6, a key downstream target of the mTOR pathway. Expression of the cell cycle proteins CDK4, CDK6 and cyclin D1 decreased in a dose-dependent fashion while cellular stress protein expression was induced in both cell lines. As compared to placebo, NT-1044 and metformin inhibited endometrial tumor growth in obese and lean LKB1fl/flp53fl/fl mice.
    Conclusions: NT-1044 suppressed EC cell growth through G1 cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis and cellular stress, activation of AMPK and inhibition of the mTOR pathway. In addition, NT-1044 inhibited EC tumor growth in vivo under obese and lean conditions. More work is needed to determine if this novel biguanide will be beneficial in the treatment of women with EC, a disease strongly impacted by obesity and diabetes.
    Keywords:  NT-1044; endometrial cancer; metformin; obesity; proliferation
  16. Cells. 2021 Aug 08. pii: 2029. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      BACKGROUND: The extent of morphological and ultrastructural changes in HeLa cells was assessed by optical, fluorescence and electron microscopy after exposure to various concentrations of physcion, taking into account the biological properties of the test compound.METHODS: Cell viability was assessed by MTT assay, while the cell cycle, LC3 expression, apoptosis, change of mitochondrial potential, Bcl-2 protein expression level and the level of reactive oxygen species were analyzed by flow cytometry.
    RESULTS: As a result of physcion encumbrance, concentration-dependent inhibition of HeLa cell viability and the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle was observed. Activation of the lysosomal system was also revealed, which was expressed by an increased number of lysosomes, autophage vacuoles and increased expression of the LC3 protein, a marker of the autophagy process. Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy showed that physcion induced clear changes in cervical cancer cells, especially in the structure of the nucleus and mitochondria, which correlated with the production of reactive oxygen species by the test compound and indicated the induction of the oxidative process. At the same time, the pro-apoptotic effect of physcion was demonstrated, and this mechanism was dependent on the activation of caspases 3/7 and the reduction in Bcl-2 protein expression.
    CONCLUSION: The obtained results indicate an antitumor mechanism of action of physcion, based on the induction of oxidative stress, autophagy and apoptosis.
    Keywords:  apoptosis; autophagy; mitochondria; oxidative stress; physcion
  17. Front Pharmacol. 2021 ;12 712181
      Anlotinib is a novel multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor with activity against soft tissue sarcoma, small cell lung cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Potentiating the anticancer effect of anlotinib in combination strategies remains a clinical challenge. Metformin is an oral agent that is used as a first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes. Interesting, metformin also exerts broad anticancer effects through the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Here, we evaluated the possible synergistic effect of anlotinib and metformin in NSCLC cells. The results showed that metformin enhanced the antiproliferative effect of anlotinib. Moreover, anlotinib combined with metformin induced apoptosis and oxidative stress, which was associated with the activation of AMPK and inhibition of mTOR. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)- mediated p38/JNK MAPK and ERK signaling may be involved in the anticancer effects of this combination treatment. Our results show that metformin potentiates the efficacy of anlotinib in vivo by increasing the sensitivity of NSCLC cells to the drug. These data provide a potential rationale for the combination of anlotinib and metformin for the treatment of patients with NSCLC or other cancers.
    Keywords:  AMP-activated protein kinase; anlotinib; metformin; non-small cell lung cancer; reactive oxygen species
  18. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2021 Aug 21. e22894
      Dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system has been linked to the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases. Proteasome inhibition not only exerts antitumor effects but also affects inflammatory signaling pathways. MG132, a proteasome inhibitor, has been shown to induce tumor cell apoptosis. However, its role in the induction of macrophage apoptosis remains unknown. In our study, we investigated the mechanism of the proapoptotic effects of MG132 in macrophages. Our data showed that MG132 treatment induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in macrophages. We found that proteasome inhibition induced a significant increase in the apoptosis rate, as evidenced by cleavage of caspase-3 and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Moreover, (2-(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl-4-ylamino)-2-oxoethyl)triphenyl-phosphonium chloride (Mito-TEMPO) attenuated MG132-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, proteasome inhibition by MG132 can induce macrophage apoptosis by promoting the production of ROS and mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  ROS; apoptosis; mitochondrial damage; oxidative stress; proteasome inhibition
  19. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Jul 28. pii: 1947. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      Minimal invasive phototherapy utilising near-infrared (NIR) laser to generate local reactive oxygen species (ROS) and heat has few associated side effects and is a precise treatment in cancer therapy. However, high-efficiency and safe phototherapeutic tumour agents still need developing. The application of iron hydroxide/oxide immobilised on reduced graphene oxide (FeOxH-rGO) nanocomposites as a therapeutic agent in integration photodynamic cancer therapy (PDT) and photothermal cancer therapy (PTT) was discussed. Under 808 nm NIR irradiation, FeOxH-rGO offers a high ROS generation and light-to-heat conversion efficiency because of its strong NIR absorption. These phototherapeutic effects lead to irreversible damage in FeOxH-rGO-treated T47D cells. Using a tumour-bearing mouse model, NIR ablated the breast tumour effectively in the presence of FeOxH-rGO. The tumour treatment response was evaluated to be 100%. We integrated PDT and PTT into a single nanodevice to facilitate effective cancer therapy. Our FeOxH-rGO, which integrates the merits of FeOxH and rGO, displays an outstanding tumoricidal capacity, suggesting the utilization of this nanocomposites in future medical applications.
    Keywords:  iron hydroxide/oxide; near-infrared laser; photodynamic therapy; photothermal therapy; reduced graphene oxide
  20. Adv Mater. 2021 Aug 22. e2103748
      The development of multifunctional nanoplatforms has been recognized as a promising strategy for potent photodynamic theranostics. Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) photosensitizers undergoing Type-I reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation pathway appear as potential candidates due to their capability of hypoxia-tolerance, efficient ROS production, and fluorescence imaging navigation. To further improve their performance, a facile and universal method of constructing a type of glutathione (GSH)-depleting and near-infrared (NIR)-regulated nanoplatform for dual-modal imaging-guided photodynamic therapy (PDT) is presented. The nanoplatforms are obtained through the coprecipitation process involving upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) and AIE-active photosensitizers, followed by in situ generation of MnO2 as the outer shell. The introduction of UCNPs actualizes the NIR-activation of AIE-active photosensitizers to produce ·OH as a Type-I ROS. Intracellular upregulated GSH-responsive decomposition of the MnO2 shell to Mn2+ realizes GSH-depletion, which is a distinctive approach for elevating intracellular ·OH. Meanwhile, the generated Mn2+ can implement T1 -weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in specific tumor sites, and mediate the conversion of intracellular H2 O2 to ·OH. These outputs reveal a triple-jump ·OH production, and this approach brings about distinguished performance in FLI-MRI-guided PDT with high-efficacy, which presents great potential for future clinical translations.
    Keywords:  aggregation-induced emission; deep-tissue penetration; dual-modal imaging; hypoxia-tolerance; photodynamic theranostics
  21. Life (Basel). 2021 Aug 23. pii: 865. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      Autophagy has been recognized as a stress tolerance mechanism that maintains cell viability, which contributes to tumor progression, dormancy, and treatment resistance. The inhibition of autophagy in cancer has the potential to improve the therapeutic efficacy. It is therefore of great significance to search for new autophagy inhibitors. In the present study, after screening a series of curcumin derivatives synthesized in our laboratory, (E)-3-((E)-4-chlorobenzylidene)-5-((5-methoxy-1H-indol-3-yl)methylene)-1-methylpiperidin-4-one (CB-2) was selected as a candidate for further study. We found that CB-2 increased the LC3B-II and SQSTM1 levels associated with the accumulation of autophagosomes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) A549 cells. The increased level of LC3B-II induced by CB-2 was neither eliminated when autophagy initiation was suppressed by wortmannin nor further increased when autophagosome degradation was inhibited by chloroquine (CQ). CB-2 enhanced the accumulation of LC3B-II under starvation conditions. Further studies revealed that CB-2 did not affect the levels of the key proteins involved in autophagy induction but significantly blocked the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes. High-dose CB-2 induced the apoptosis and necrosis of A549 cells, while a lower dose of CB-2 mainly impaired the migrative capacity of A549 cells, which only slightly induced cell apoptosis. CB-2 increased the levels of mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) while decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Scavenging ROS via N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reversed CB-2-induced autophagy inhibition and its inhibitory effect against A549 cells. In conclusion, CB-2 serves as a new late-stage autophagy inhibitor, which has a strong inhibitory potency against A549 cells.
    Keywords:  (E)-3-((E)-4-chlorobenzylidene)-5-((5-methoxy-1H-indol-3-yl)methylene)-1-methylpiperidin-4-one; autophagy inhibitor; non-small cell lung cancer; reactive oxygen species
  22. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 13. pii: 8724. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      While many antitumor drugs have yielded unsatisfactory therapeutic results, drugs are one of the most prevalent therapeutic measures for the treatment of cancer. The development of cancer largely results from mutations in nuclear DNA, as well as from those in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Molecular hydrogen (H2), an inert molecule, can scavenge hydroxyl radicals (·OH), which are known to be the strongest oxidizing reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body that causes these DNA mutations. It has been reported that H2 has no side effects, unlike conventional antitumor drugs, and that it is effective against many diseases caused by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Recently, there has been an increasing number of papers on the efficacy of H2 against cancer and its effects in mitigating the side effects of cancer treatment. In this review, we demonstrate the efficacy and safety of H2 as a novel antitumor agent and show that its mechanisms may not only involve the direct scavenging of ·OH, but also other indirect biological defense mechanisms via the regulation of gene expression.
    Keywords:  DNA mutation; ROS; antitumor agent; antitumor effect; clinical application; gene expression; molecular hydrogen; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species
  23. Biomaterials. 2021 Aug 13. pii: S0142-9612(21)00427-0. [Epub ahead of print]277 121071
      Catalytic cascade transformations, which occur in spatially constrained tumor environment to generate therapeutic moieties from prodrugs or intrinsic species, are highly desirable for precise cancer therapy. Nevertheless, it is high challenging to engineer a cascade nanoreactor with tumor microenvironment (TME)-responsive capability for synergistic tumor therapy. Inspired by the biocatalytic cascades in biological processes, here, a tumor-specific nanoreactor was established to activate cascade reactions for oxidative stress-augmented chemotherapy by the integration of an artificial enzyme, Pt(IV)-based prodrug (Pt(IV)), with Cu(II)-based metal-organic frameworks (CuMOF). Upon internalization of CuMOF@Pt(IV) by tumor cells, in addition to chemotherapeutic effect, the activated cisplatin by glutathione (GSH) reduction is capable of acting as an artificial enzyme to elevate the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) level through cascade reactions for augmenting the therapeutic efficacy of Cu+-mediated chemodynamic therapy (CDT). Meanwhile, CuMOF@Pt(IV) specifically deplete overexpressed GSH at tumor sites, thus amplifying tumor oxidative stress, and finally leading to augmented antitumor efficacy. The orchestrated cooperative effect of chemotherapy and oxidative stress presents splendid therapeutic efficacy on tumor-bearing mice with negligible adverse effects. Therefore, this cascade nanoreactor provides exciting opportunities to develop complementary therapeutic modalities for precise cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  Cascade nanoreactor; Chemotherapy; Metal-organic frameworks; Nanomedicine; Oxidative stress
  24. Iran J Biotechnol. 2021 Apr;19(2): e2623
      Background: Atrazine (ATZ) is a triazine herbicide that is widely used in agriculture and has been detected in surface and underground water. Recently, laboratory and epidemiological research have found that the bioaccumulation of ATZ in the environment leads to biotoxicity in the human immune and endocrine systems and results in tumor development.Objective: To investigate the effects of ATZ exposure on epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells and elucidate the potential mechanisms governing these effects.
    Materials and Methods: The human EOC cell lines Skov3 and A2780 were used in this study to explore the effects and mechanisms of ATZ exposure on EOC. The mouse embryonic osteoblastic precursor MC3T3-E1 cells served as the control cells to determine the effects of ATZ on cancer cell lines. After exposure to ATZ, the MTT assay, flow cytometry, the colony formation assay, immunohistochemical staining, the cell scratch assay, and the Transwell assay were used to evaluate the proliferative activity, invasion, and migration capabilities of EOC cell lines. Moreover, flow cytometry was also applied to detect the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in these two EOC cell lines, as well as the MC3T3-E1 cells. To further illustrate the underlying mechanisms governing the effect of ATZ on EOC, real-time PCR and Western blotting were employed to assess the transcription and the expression level of Stat3 signaling pathway-related genes in Skov3 and MC3T3-E1 cells.
    Results: The results showed that following ATZ treatment, the cell proliferation, migration, and invasion potencies of Skov3 and A2780 cells were increased compared to those of the control group. Meanwhile, the ROS levels of EOC and MC3T3-E1 cells were notably elevated after ATZ treatment. In Skov3 cells, the expression levels of p53 and p21 were downregulated, while those of Cyclin E, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metallopeptidase 2 (MMP2), MMP9, signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (Stat3), and p-Stat3 were upregulated by ATZ treatment. In MC3T3-E1 cells, however, ATZ treatment did not affect the level of p53/p21 mRNA compared to the control groups. Moreover, there was no significant change in the expression levels of Stat3 and p-Stat3 in MC3T3-E1 cells exposed to ATZ. This phenomenon was observed while the proliferation rate was enhanced in MC3T3-E1 cells by ATZ.
    Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that ATZ effectively promotes the proliferation and metastasis of EOC cells through the Stat3 signaling pathway by inducing low levels of ROS. Additionally, although ATZ might also induce proliferative potential in normal cells, the mechanisms governing its effects in these cells might be different from those in EOC cells.
    Keywords:   Atrazine; Epithelial ovarian cancer; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Stat3
  25. Cells. 2021 Jul 27. pii: 1901. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. HCC progression and metastasis are closely related to altered mitochondrial metabolism, including mitochondrial stress responses, metabolic reprogramming, and mitoribosomal defects. Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) defects and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production are attributed to mitochondrial dysfunction. In response to oxidative stress caused by increased ROS production, misfolded or unfolded proteins can accumulate in the mitochondrial matrix, leading to initiation of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). The mitokines FGF21 and GDF15 are upregulated during UPRmt and their levels are positively correlated with liver cancer development, progression, and metastasis. In addition, mitoribosome biogenesis is important for the regulation of mitochondrial respiration, cell viability, and differentiation. Mitoribosomal defects cause OXPHOS impairment, mitochondrial dysfunction, and increased production of ROS, which are associated with HCC progression in mouse models and human HCC patients. In this paper, we focus on the role of mitochondrial metabolic signatures in the development and progression of HCC. Furthermore, we provide a comprehensive review of cell autonomous and cell non-autonomous mitochondrial stress responses during HCC progression and metastasis.
    Keywords:  glycolysis; hepatocellular carcinoma; mitochondria; mitochondrial unfolded protein response; mitoribosome
  26. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jul 21. pii: 1160. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Decreased insulin secretion, associated with pancreatic β-cell failure, plays a critical role in many human diseases including diabetes, obesity, and cancer. While numerous studies linked β-cell failure with enhanced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), the development of diabetes associated with hereditary conditions that result in iron overload, e.g., hemochromatosis, Friedreich's ataxia, and Wolfram syndrome type 2 (WFS-T2; a mutation in CISD2, encoding the [2Fe-2S] protein NAF-1), underscores an additional link between iron metabolism and β-cell failure. Here, using NAF-1-repressed INS-1E pancreatic cells, we observed that NAF-1 repression inhibited insulin secretion, as well as impaired mitochondrial and ER structure and function. Importantly, we found that a combined treatment with the cell permeant iron chelator deferiprone and the glutathione precursor N-acetyl cysteine promoted the structural repair of mitochondria and ER, decreased mitochondrial labile iron and ROS levels, and restored glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Additionally, treatment with the ferroptosis inhibitor ferrostatin-1 decreased cellular ROS formation and improved cellular growth of NAF-1 repressed pancreatic cells. Our findings reveal that suppressed expression of NAF-1 is associated with the development of ferroptosis-like features in pancreatic cells, and that reducing the levels of mitochondrial iron and ROS levels could be used as a therapeutic avenue for WFS-T2 patients.
    Keywords:  NAF-1 (CISD2); Wolfram syndrome type 2 (WFS-T2); ferroptosis; insulin secretion; iron hemostasis; oxidative stress
  27. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Aug 23.
      Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI) has been observed in a large fraction of cancer survivors. Although many of the chemotherapeutic drugs do not cross the blood-brain barrier, following treatment, the structure and function of the brain are altered and cognitive dysfunction occurs in a significant number of cancer survivors. The means by which CICI occurs is becoming better understood, but there still remain unsolved questions of the mechanisms involved. The hypotheses to explain CICI are numerous. More than 50% of FDA-approved cancer chemotherapy agents are associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) that lead to oxidative stress and activate a myriad of pathways as well as inhibit pathways necessary for proper brain function. Oxidative stress triggers the activation of different proteins, one in particular is tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). Following treatment with various chemotherapy agents, this pro-inflammatory cytokine binds to its receptors at the blood-brain barrier and translocates to the parenchyma via receptor-mediated endocytosis. Once in brain, TNFα initiates pathways that may eventually lead to neuronal death and ultimately cognitive impairment. TNFα activation of the c-jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathways may contribute to both memory decline and loss of higher executive functions reported in patients after chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy also affects the brain's antioxidant capacity, allowing for accumulation of ROS. This review expands on these topics to provide insights into the possible mechanisms by which the intersection of oxidative stress and TNFΑ are involved in chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment.
    Keywords:  Chemotherapy induced cognitive impairment; Neuronal death; Oxidative stress;; Pro-inflammatory cytokines
  28. Molecules. 2021 Aug 13. pii: 4899. [Epub ahead of print]26(16):
      The chalcone and quinoline scaffolds are frequently utilized to design novel anticancer agents. As the continuation of our work on effective anticancer agents, we assumed that linking chalcone fragment to the quinoline scaffold through the principle of molecular hybridization strategy could produce novel compounds with potential anticancer activity. Therefore, quinoline-chalcone derivatives were designed and synthesized, and we explored their antiproliferative activity against MGC-803, HCT-116, and MCF-7 cells. Among these compounds, compound 12e exhibited a most excellent inhibitory potency against MGC-803, HCT-116, and MCF-7 cells with IC50 values of 1.38, 5.34, and 5.21 µM, respectively. The structure-activity relationship of quinoline-chalcone derivatives was preliminarily explored in this report. Further mechanism studies suggested that compound 12e inhibited MGC-803 cells in a dose-dependent manner and the cell colony formation activity of MGC-803 cells, arrested MGC-803 cells at the G2/M phase and significantly upregulated the levels of apoptosis-related proteins (Caspase3/9 and cleaved-PARP) in MGC-803 cells. In addition, compound 12e could significantly induce ROS generation, and was dependent on ROS production to exert inhibitory effects on gastric cancer cells. Taken together, all the results suggested that directly linking chalcone fragment to the quinoline scaffold could produce novel anticancer molecules, and compound 12e might be a valuable lead compound for the development of anticancer agents.
    Keywords:  ROS; anticancer activity; cell cycle arrest; chalcone; quinoline
  29. Comput Biol Med. 2021 Aug 17. pii: S0010-4825(21)00562-X. [Epub ahead of print]136 104768
      Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) are involved in many biochemical processes, including nitro-oxidative stress that causes cancer cell death, observed in cancer therapies such as photodynamic therapy and cold atmospheric plasma. However, their mechanisms of action and selectivity still remain elusive due to the complexity of biological cells. For example, it is not well known how RONS generated by cancer therapies permeate the cell membrane to cause nitro-oxidative damage. There are many studies dedicated to the permeation of RONS across native and oxidized membranes, but not across nitrated membranes, another lipid product also generated during nitro-oxidative stress. Herein, we performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to calculate the free energy barrier of RONS permeation across nitrated membranes. Our results show that hydrophilic RONS, such as hydroperoxyl radical (HO2) and peroxynitrous acid (ONOOH), have relatively low barriers compared to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radical (HO), and are more prone to permeate the membrane than for the native or peroxidized membranes, and similar to aldehyde-oxidized membranes. Hydrophobic RONS like molecular oxygen (O2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) even have insignificant barriers for permeation. Compared to native and peroxidized membranes, nitrated membranes are more permeable, suggesting that we must not only consider oxidized membranes during nitro-oxidative stress, but also nitrated membranes, and their role in cancer therapies.
    Keywords:  Molecular dynamics simulations; Nitrated membranes; Nitro-oxidative stress; Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species
  30. Cancer Lett. 2021 Aug 21. pii: S0304-3835(21)00412-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent and lethal cancers worldwide and lacks effective treatment. Herein, we found that the antifungal Natamycin (NAT) exhibits antitumor activity by inducing apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, NAT downregulates the expression of Peroxiredoxin 1 (PRDX1) by promoting ubiquitination-mediated degradation, thereby leading to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and subsequent apoptosis. Exogenous overexpression of PRDX1 or N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) pretreatment abrogates NAT-induced cytotoxicity in PLC/PRF/5 and Huh7 cells, suggesting the vital role of ROS in the antitumor properties of NAT. Of note, downregulation of PRDX1 decreases the phosphorylation of AKT, thereby inducing cytoprotective autophagy and combinational use of NAT and chloroquine (CQ) achieves better anti-tumor efficacy. Moreover, NAT acts synergistically with sorafenib (SOR) in HCC suppression. Collectively, our study provides an important molecular basis for NAT-induced cell death and suggests that the antifungal NAT holds the potential to be repurposed as an anticancer drug for HCC treatment.
    Keywords:  Drug repurposing; HCC; PRDX1; ROS; Ubiquitination
  31. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2021 Aug 24.
      The cytosolic selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase 1 (TrxR1, TXNRD1), and to some extent mitochondrial TrxR2 (TXNRD2), can be inhibited by a wide range of electrophilic compounds. Many such compounds also yield cytotoxicity toward cancer cells in culture or in mouse models, and most compounds are likely to irreversibly modify the easily accessible selenocysteine residue in TrxR1, thereby inhibiting its normal activity to reduce cytosolic thioredoxin (Trx1, TXN) and other substrates of the enzyme. This leads to an oxidative challenge. In some cases, the inhibited forms of TrxR1 are not catalytically inert and are instead converted to prooxidant NADPH oxidases, named SecTRAPs, thus further aggravating the oxidative stress, particularly in cells expressing higher levels of the enzyme. In this review, the possible molecular and cellular consequences of these effects are discussed in relation to cancer therapy, with a focus on outstanding questions that should be addressed if targeted TrxR1 inhibition is to be further developed for therapeutic use. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Volume 62 is January 2022. Please see for revised estimates.
  32. Bioorg Chem. 2021 Aug 19. pii: S0045-2068(21)00667-2. [Epub ahead of print]115 105290
      To investigate the antitumor effect of iridium complexes, three iridium (III) complexes [Ir(ppy)2(dcdppz)]PF6 (ppy = 2-phenylpyridine, dcdppz = 11,12-dichlorodipyrido[3,2-a:2',3'-c]phenazine) (Ir1), [Ir(bzq)2(dcdppz)]PF6 (bzq = benzo[h]quinoline) (Ir2) and [Ir(piq)2(dcdppz)]PF6 (piq = 1-phenylisoquinoline) (Ir3) were synthesized and characterized. Geometry optimization, molecular dynamics simulation and docking studies have been performed to further explore the antitumor mechanism. The cytotoxicity of Ir1-3 toward cancer cells was studied by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method. The localization of complexes Ir1-3 in the mitochondria, intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, the changes of mitochondrial membrane potential and morphological changes in apoptosis were investigated. Flow cytometry was applied to quantify fluorescence intensity and determine cell cycle distribution. Western blotting was used to detect the expression of apoptosis-related proteins. The anti-tumor effect of Ir1 in vivo was evaluated. The results showed that Ir1-3 had high cytotoxicity to most tumor cells, especially to SGC-7901 cells with a low IC50 value. Ir1-3 can increase the intracellular ROS levels, reduce the mitochondrial membrane potential. Additionally, the complexes induce an increase of apoptosis-related protein expression, enhance the percentage of apoptosis. The complexes inhibit the cell proliferation at G0/G1 phase. The results obtained from antitumor in vivo indicate that Ir1 can significantly inhibit the growth of tumors with an inhibitory rate of 54.08%. The docking studies show that complexes Ir1-3 interact with DNA through minor-groove intercalation, which increases the distance of DNA base pairs, leading to a change of DNA helix structure. These experimental and theoretical findings indicate that complexes Ir1-3 can induce apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells through the mitochondrial dysfunction and DNA damage pathways, and then exerting anti-tumor activity in vitro and vivo.
    Keywords:  Antitumor; Iridium(III) complex; Mitochondrial damage; Molecular dynamics simulation
  33. Cells. 2021 Jul 29. pii: 1934. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      The high incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in developed countries indicates a predominant role of the environment as a causative factor. Natural gut microbiota provides multiple benefits to humans. Dysbiosis is characterized by an unbalanced microbiota and causes intestinal damage and inflammation. The latter is a common denominator in many cancers including CRC. Indeed, in an inflammation scenario, cellular growth is promoted and immune cells release Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS), which cause DNA damage. Apart from that, many metabolites from the diet are converted into DNA damaging agents by microbiota and some bacteria deliver DNA damaging toxins in dysbiosis conditions as well. The interactions between diet, microbiota, inflammation, and CRC are not the result of a straightforward relationship, but rather a network of multifactorial interactions that deserve deep consideration, as their consequences are not yet fully elucidated. In this paper, we will review the influence of dysbiosis in the induction of DNA damage and CRC.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; ROS; bacterial toxins; inflammation; microbiota; nutrition
  34. Oncol Lett. 2021 Oct;22(4): 720
      Epithelial ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all malignant ovarian cancer types. Great progress has been made in the treatment of ovarian cancer in recent years. However, drug resistance has led to a low level of 5-year survival rate of epithelial ovarian cancer, and the molecular mechanism of which remains unknown. The aim of the present study was to identify the role of redox status in the cisplatin (CDDP) resistance of ovarian cancer. CDDP-resistant SK-OV3 (SK-OV3/cddp) cells were prepared and their reactive oxygen species and glutathione levels were investigated. The effects of hydrogen peroxide on the CDDP sensitivity of the SK-OV3/cddp cells and their expression levels of the redox-associated protein growth arrest and DNA damage 45a (GADD45α) were also investigated. In addition, the impact of GADD45α overexpression on cell viability was evaluated in vitro and in vivo, and the levels of Ser-139 phosphorylated H2A histone family member X (γ-H2AX), which is associated with DNA damage, were detected. The results suggested that redox status affected the drug resistance of the ovarian cancer cells by increasing the expression of GADD45α. The overexpression of GADD45α reversed the CDDP resistance of the SK-OV3/cddp cells and increased the level of γ-H2AX. In conclusion, GADD45α alleviated the CDDP resistance of SK-OV3/cddp cells via the induction of redox-mediated DNA damage.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; SK-OV3 cells; cisplatin resistance; growth arrest and DNA damage 45a; redox
  35. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2021 Aug 26.
      The study was intended to determine the antineoplastic effects of two new iridium(III) complexes [Ir(ppy)2(PTTP)](PF6) (1) (ppy = 2-phenylpyridine) and [Ir(piq)2(PTTP)](PF6) (2) (piq = 1-phenylisoquinoline, PTTP = 2-phenoxy-1,4,8,9-tetraazatriphenylene). In MTT assay, the ligand PTTP displayed ineffective inhibition on cell growth in SGC-7901, BEL-7402, HepG2 as well as NIH3T3 cell lines, while complexes 1 and 2 showed high cytotoxic activity on SGC-7901 cells with an IC50 value of 0.5 ± 0.1 µM and 4.4 ± 0.6 µM, respectively. Cellular uptake, cell cloning experiments, wound healing assay and cell cycle arrest indicated that the two complexes can inhibit the cell proliferation in SGC-7901 and induce cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. Additionally, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial membrane potential suggested that the two complexes induced cell apoptosis through disrupting mitochondrial functions. Further, western blot analysis illustrated that the two complexes caused apoptosis via regulating expression levels of Bcl-2 family proteins. Moreover, complex 1 could suppress tumor growth in vivo with an inhibitory rate of 49.41%. Altogether, these results demonstrated that complexes 1 and 2 exert a potent anticancer effect against SGC-7901 cells via mitochondrial apoptotic pathway and have a potential to be developed as antineoplastic drug candidates for human gastric cancer.
    Keywords:  Anticancer effects in vivo; Apoptosis; Iridium(III) complexes; Mitochondrial membrane potential; Western blot analysis
  36. J Control Release. 2021 Aug 21. pii: S0168-3659(21)00439-9. [Epub ahead of print]338 164-189
      Nanotechnology has been a boon for the biomedical field due to the freedom it provides for tailoring of pharmacokinetic properties of different drug molecules. Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology for the diagnosis, treatment and/or management of the diseases. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CNPs) are metal oxide-based nanoparticles (NPs) which possess outstanding reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activities primarily due to the availability of "oxidation switch" on their surface. These NP have been found to protect from a number of disorders with a background of oxidative stress such as cancer, diabetes etc. In fact, the CNPs have been found to possess the environment-dependent ROS modulating properties. In addition, the inherent catalase, SOD, oxidase, peroxidase and phosphatase mimetic properties of CNPs provide them superiority over a number of NPs. Further, chemical reactivity of CNPs seems to be a function of their surface chemistry which can be precisely tuned by defect engineering. However, the contradictory reports make it necessary to critically evaluate the potential of CNPs, in the light of available literature. The review is aimed at probing the feasibility of CNPs to push towards the clinical studies. Further, we have also covered and censoriously discussed the suspected negative impacts of CNPs before making our way to a consensus. This review aims to be a comprehensive, authoritative, critical, and accessible review of general interest to the scientific community.
    Keywords:  Antioxidant; Cerium oxide nanoparticles; Nanoceria; Nanozyme; Reactive oxygen species; Tumour microenvironment
  37. Photochem Photobiol. 2021 Aug 22.
      This article is a highlight of the paper by Choe et al in this issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology. In that review paper, the disinfection and biomodulation outcomes promoted by antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) on peri-implantitis infection was stated and discussed. The killing of the oral pathogens by aPDT is based on the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Besides that, biomodulation can also be provided by aPDT and improve the healing and modulate the inflammatory process. Although aPDT have shown positive effects on the treatment of peri-implantitis disease mainly as a complimentary technique, the authors suggested that more and standardize clinical studies are needed to support the clinical application of aPDT for that purpose. Also, the standardization of parameters related to the light source and photosensitizers are required. In addition, nano-based materials may improve aPDT performance against oral biofilms and could increase the hopes to overcome dental implants failures.
    Keywords:  Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy; Biofilms; Failure; Implant dentistry; Infection
  38. J Vis Exp. 2021 Aug 06.
      Mitochondria are essential to the onset and progression of cancer through energy production, reactive oxygen species regulation, and macromolecule synthesis. Genetic and functional adaptations of mitochondria to the tumor environment drive proliferative and metastatic potential. The advent of DNA and RNA sequencing removed critical barriers to the evaluation of genetic mediators of tumorigenesis. However, to date, methodological approaches to evaluate tumor mitochondrial function remain elusive and require technical proficiency limiting the feasibility, ultimately diminishing diagnostic and prognostic value in both experimental and clinical settings. Here, we outline a simple and rapid method to quantify rates of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and electron transfer (ET) capacity in freshly excised solid tumor homogenates using high-resolution respirometry. The protocol can be reproducibly applied across species and tumor types as well as adapted to evaluate a diversity of mitochondrial ET pathways. Using this protocol, we demonstrate that mice bearing a luminal B mammary cancer exhibit defective nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-linked respiration and reliance on succinate to generate adenosine triphosphate via OXPHOS.
  39. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 20. pii: 9016. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      Mitochondria have emerged as a prospective target to overcome drug resistance that limits triple-negative breast cancer therapy. A novel mitochondria-targeted compound, HO-5114, demonstrated higher cytotoxicity against human breast cancer lines than its component-derivative, Mito-CP. In this study, we examined HO-5114's anti-neoplastic properties and its effects on mitochondrial functions in MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. At a 10 µM concentration and within 24 h, the drug markedly reduced viability and elevated apoptosis in both cell lines. After seven days of exposure, even at a 75 nM concentration, HO-5114 significantly reduced invasive growth and colony formation. A 4 h treatment with 2.5 µM HO-5114 caused a massive loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, a decrease in basal and maximal respiration, and mitochondrial and glycolytic ATP production. However, reactive oxygen species production was only moderately elevated by HO-5114, indicating that oxidative stress did not significantly contribute to the drug's anti-neoplastic effect. These data indicate that HO-5114 may have potential for use in the therapy of triple-negative breast cancer; however, the in vivo toxicity and anti-neoplastic effectiveness of the drug must be determined to confirm its potential.
    Keywords:  MCF7; MDA-MB-231; Mito-CP; invasive growth; mitochondrial energy metabolism; mitochondrial membrane potential; reactive oxygen species
  40. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Aug 20. pii: 1314. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) is a potentially hepatotoxic group-1 carcinogen taken up by the body through ingestion of daily foods. B[a]P is widely known to cause DNA and protein damages, which are closely related to cell transformation. Accordingly, studies on natural bioactive compounds that attenuate such chemical-induced toxicities have significant impacts on public health. This study aimed to uncover the mechanism of curcumin, the major curcuminoid in turmeric (Curcuma longa), in modulating the lipid accumulation and oxidative stress mediated by B[a]P cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. Curcumin treatment reduced the B[a]P-induced lipid accumulation and reactive oxygen spicies (ROS) upregulation and recovered the cell viability. Cytochrome P450 family 1 subfamily A polypeptide 1 (CYP1A1) and Cytochrome P450 subfamily B polypeptide 1 (CYP1B1) downregulation resulting from decreased aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) translocation into nuclei attenuated the effects of B[a]P-induced lipid accumulation and repressed cell viability, respectively. Moreover, the curcumin-induced reduction in ROS generation decreased the nuclear translocation of Nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and the expression of phase-II detoxifying enzymes. These results indicate that curcumin suppresses B[a]P-induced lipid accumulation and ROS generation which can potentially induce nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and can shed a light on the detoxifying effect of curcumin.
    Keywords:  B[a]P toxicity; CYP1A1; CYP1B1; ROS; curcumin; lipid accumulation
  41. Molecules. 2021 Aug 20. pii: 5038. [Epub ahead of print]26(16):
      Even though an increasing number of anticancer treatments have been discovered, the mortality rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) have still been high in the past few years. It has been discovered that melatonin has pro-apoptotic properties and counteracts inflammation, proliferation, angiogenesis, cell invasion, and cell migration. In previous studies, melatonin has been shown to have an anticancer effect in multiple tumors, including CRC, but the underlying mechanisms of melatonin action on CRC have not been fully explored. Thus, in this study, we investigated the role of autophagy pathways in CRC cells treated with melatonin. In vitro CRC cell models, HT-29, SW48, and Caco-2, were treated with melatonin. CRC cell death, oxidative stress, and autophagic vacuoles formation were induced by melatonin in a dose-dependent manner. Several autophagy pathways were examined, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, 5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), serine/threonine-specific protein kinase (Akt), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways. Our results showed that melatonin significantly induced autophagy via the ER stress pathway in CRC cells. In conclusion, melatonin demonstrated a potential as an anticancer drug for CRC.
    Keywords:  autophagy; colorectal cancer cells; endoplasmic reticulum stress; melatonin; reactive oxygen species
  42. Molecules. 2021 Aug 16. pii: 4945. [Epub ahead of print]26(16):
      Quercetin is a polyphenolic compound, the effects of which raise scientists' doubts. The results of many experiments show that it has anticancer, antiinflammatory, and antioxidant properties, while other studies indicate its pro-oxidative and cytotoxic action. This compound can react with reactive oxygen species, and due to its chemical properties, it can be found in the hydrophobic-hydrophilic area of cells. These features of quercetin indicate that its action in cells will be associated with the modification of membranes and its participation in maintaining the redox balance. Therefore, this study distinguishes these two mechanisms and determines whether they are important for cell function. We check: (1) Whether the selected concentrations of quercetin are cytotoxic and destructive for SK-N-SH cell membranes (MTT, LDH, MDA tests) in situations with and without the applied oxidative stress; (2) what is the level of changes in the structural/mechanical properties of the lipid part of the membranes of these cells due to the presence of polyphenol molecules; and (3) whether the antioxidative action of quercetin protects the membrane against its modification. Our results show that changes in the stiffness/elasticity of the lipid part of the membrane constitute the decisive mechanism of action of quercetin, potentially influencing cellular processes whose initial stages are associated with membranes (e.g., reception of signals from the environment, transport).
    Keywords:  Langmuir monolayer; cell membrane; neuroblastoma cells; oxidative stress; quercetin
  43. Biomedicines. 2021 Jul 31. pii: 932. [Epub ahead of print]9(8):
      Cold physical plasma, a partially ionized gas rich in reactive oxygen species (ROS), is receiving increasing interest as a novel anticancer agent via two modes. The first involves its application to cells and tissues directly, while the second uses physical plasma-derived ROS to oxidize liquids. Saline is a clinically accepted liquid, and here we explored the suitability of plasma-oxidized saline (POS) as anticancer agent technology in vitro and in vivo using the Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) model. EAC mainly grows as a suspension in the peritoneal cavity of mice, making this model ideally suited to test POS as a putative agent against peritoneal carcinomatosis frequently observed with colon, pancreas, and ovarium metastasis. Five POS injections led to a reduction of the tumor burden in vivo as well as in a decline of EAC cell growth and an arrest in metabolic activity ex vivo. The treatment was accompanied by a decreased antioxidant capacity of Ehrlich tumor cells and increased lipid oxidation in the ascites supernatants, while no other side effects were observed. Oxaliplatin and hydrogen peroxide were used as controls and mediated better and worse outcomes, respectively, with the former but not the latter inducing profound changes in the inflammatory milieu among 13 different cytokines investigated in ascites fluid. Modulation of inflammation in the POS group was modest but significant. These results promote POS as a promising candidate for targeting peritoneal carcinomatosis and malignant ascites and suggest EAC to be a suitable and convenient model for analyzing innovative POS approaches and combination therapies.
    Keywords:  EAC; ROS; cold physical plasma; kINPen; oncology; plasma medicine