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Isogambogenic acid induces apoptosis-independent autophagic cell death in human non-small-cell lung carcinoma cells

Jianhong Yang, Yongzhao Zhou, Xia Cheng, Yi Fan, Shichao He, Shucai Li, Haoyu Ye, Caifeng Xie, Wenshuang Wu, Chunyan Li, Heying Pei, Luyuan Li, Zhe Wei, Aihua Peng, Yuquan Wei, Weimin Li, Lijuan Chen
Scientific Reports 2015 January 9, 5: 7697
25571970
To overcome drug resistance caused by apoptosis deficiency in patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), there is a need to identify other means of triggering apoptosis-independent cancer cell death. We are the first to report that isogambogenic acid (iso-GNA) can induce apoptosis-independent autophagic cell death in human NSCLC cells. Several features of the iso-GNA-treated NSCLC cells indicated that iso-GNA induced autophagic cell death. First, there was no evidence of apoptosis or cleaved caspase 3 accumulation and activation. Second, iso-GNA treatment induced the formation of autophagic vacuoles, increased LC3 conversion, caused the appearance of autophagosomes and increased the expression of autophagy-related proteins. These findings provide evidence that iso-GNA induces autophagy in NSCLC cells. Third, iso-GNA-induced cell death was inhibited by autophagic inhibitors or by selective ablation of Atg7 and Beclin 1 genes. Furthermore, the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin increased iso-GNA-induced cell death by enhancing autophagy. Finally, a xenograft model provided additional evidence that iso-GNA exhibited anticancer effect through inducing autophagy-dependent cell death in NSCLC cells. Taken together, our results demonstrated that iso-GNA exhibited an anticancer effect by inducing autophagy-dependent cell death in NSCLC cells, which may be an effective chemotherapeutic agent that can be used against NSCLC in a clinical setting.

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