Endoplasmic reticulum vacuolation and unfolded protein response leading to paraptosis like cell death in cyclosporine A treated cancer cervix cells is mediated by cyclophilin B inhibition

Babul Moni Ram, Gayatri Ramakrishna
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2014, 1843 (11): 2497-512
Cyclosporine A (CsA), a widely used immunosuppressant shows cytotoxic effects by either inducing apoptosis or redirecting the cell towards non-apoptotic cell death. However, there still remains a lacuna in understanding the mechanism of CsA induced non-apoptotic cell death. In the present study we investigated calcineurin dependent or independent cytotoxic effects of CsA, a calcineurin inhibitor, in cervical cancerous SiHa cells. Decreased cell viability and massive cytoplasmic vacuolations were observed in CsA treated SiHa cells, having increased calcineurin activity. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), accompanied by a decrease in cyclophilin B (ER resident PPIase), preceded the formation of the vacuoles. These vacuoles stained positive for many ER resident markers confirming their ER origin; but the absence of autophagosomal marker, LC3II, ruled out autophagy. Extensively vacuolated cells eventually undergo cell death which lacked the typical apoptotic features, but showed significant decrease in AIP (ALG2 interacting protein) as seen in paraptosis. ER-vacuolation was prevented by cycloheximide and salubrinal thereby indicating requirement of active protein synthesis. Inhibiting calcineurin activity by either Tacrolimus (FK506) or by knockdown of calcineurin B subunit did not result in either ER-stress or cellular vacuolation. However, knockdown of cyclophilin B by siRNA resulted in increased expression of Bip and IRE1α, together with cytoplasmic vacuolation. In conclusion, we report that persistent ER stress due to cyclophilin B inhibition in CsA treated cervical cancer cells caused cellular vacuolation which culminated in a non-apoptotic cell death response similar to paraptosis. Additionally, the paraptotic effects of CsA are independent of calcineurin inhibition.

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