Cabazitaxel-induced autophagy via the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway contributes to A549 cell death

Ruichao Huo, Lili Wang, Peijuan Liu, Yong Zhao, Caiqin Zhang, Bing Bai, Xueying Liu, Changhong Shi, Sanhua Wei, Hai Zhang
Molecular Medicine Reports 2016, 14 (4): 3013-20
Cabazitaxel has been used to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer since its approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2010. However, whether cabazitaxel may inhibit the proliferation of other tissue‑derived cancer cells, and its underlying mechanism, remains unknown. In the present study, the A549 lung adenocarcinoma cancer cell line was exposed to cabazitaxel, in order to investigate its cytotoxic effect and determine the underlying mechanism. The results demonstrated that cabazitaxel was able to induce autophagy in A549 cells, as evidenced by the formation of autophagosomes, upregulated LC3‑II expression and increased LC3 puncta. Cabazitaxel‑induced autophagy had a cytotoxic effect on A549 cells, as evidenced by the induction of cell death and cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase, which was independent of the apoptotic pathway. Furthermore, transfection with Beclin1 small interfering RNA and treatment with the autophagy inhibitor 3‑methyladenine protected cells from cabazitaxel‑induced cell death, thus confirming that cabazitaxel‑induced autophagy contributed to A549 cell death. In addition, cabazitaxel targeted the phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway to induce autophagy, as indicated by reduced phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that cabazitaxel exerts a cytotoxic effect on A549 cells by acting on the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway to promote autophagic cell death. This result supports the potential use of cabazitaxel as a chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of lung cancer.


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