Apogossypolone (ApoG2), a novel derivative of gossypol, exhibits superior antitumor activity in Bcl-2 transgenic mice, and induces autophagy in several cancer cells. However, the detailed mechanisms are not well known. In the present study, we showed that ApoG2 induced autophagy through Beclin-1- and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent manners in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Incubating the HCC cell with ApoG2 abrogated the interaction of Beclin-1 and Bcl-2/xL, stimulated ROS generation, increased phosphorylation of ERK and JNK, and HMGB1 translocation from the nucleus to cytoplasm while suppressing mTOR. Moreover, inhibition of the ROS-mediated autophagy by antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) potentiates ApoG2-induced apoptosis and cell killing. Our results show that ApoG2 induced protective autophagy in HCC cells, partly due to ROS generation, suggesting that antioxidant may serve as a potential chemosensitizer to enhance cancer cell death through blocking ApoG2-stimulated autophagy. Our novel insights may facilitate the rational design of clinical trials for Bcl-2-targeted cancer therapy.
Cheng, P; Ni, Z; Dai, X; Wang, B; Ding, W; Smith, A Rae; Xu, L; Wu, D; He, F; & Lian, J; 2013 “The novel BH-3 mimetic apogossypolone induces Beclin-1- and ROS-mediated autophagy in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells” Cell Death and Disease. 4, e489 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2013.17
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