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Targeted inhibition of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway by (+)-anthrabenzoxocinone induces cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and autophagy in non-small cell lung cancer.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), characterized by low survival rates and a high recurrence rate, is a major cause of cancer-related mortality. Aberrant activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway is a common driver of NSCLC. Within this study, the inhibitory activity of (+)-anthrabenzoxocinone ((+)-ABX), an oxygenated anthrabenzoxocinone compound derived from Streptomyces, against NSCLC is demonstrated for the first time both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, it is confirmed that the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway is targeted and suppressed by (+)-ABX, resulting in the induction of S and G2/M phase arrest, apoptosis, and autophagy in NSCLC cells. Additionally, the augmentation of intracellular ROS levels by (+)-ABX is revealed, further contributing to the inhibition of the signaling pathway and exerting inhibitory effects on tumor growth. The findings presented in this study suggest that (+)-ABX possesses the potential to serve as a lead compound for the treatment of NSCLC.

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