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Fröhlich, LF; Mrakovcic, M; Smole, C; Zatloukal, K.
Molecular mechanism leading to SAHA-induced autophagy in tumor cells: evidence for a p53-dependent pathway.
Cancer Cell Int. 2016; 16(1):68-68 [OPEN ACCESS]
Web of Science PubMed PUBMED Central FullText FullText_MUG


Autor/innen der Med Uni Graz:
Fröhlich Leopold F.
Smole Claudia
Zatloukal Kurt

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Number of Figures: 8
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Recent studies indicated that histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), a class of anticancer agents, are in addition to their ability of apoptosis induction also capable of provoking autophagy. Promoted by the treatment of malignant uterine sarcoma cells with the HDACi suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), we previously demonstrated predominant dose-dependent activation of autophagy in ESS-1 cells, but prevalent induction of apoptosis in MES-SA cells. In order to extend our previous studies, SAHA-treated ESS-1 and MES-SA cells were monitored for protein expression to reveal differences in known markers of apoptosis explaining the different cytotoxic responses. Further analysis of the identified candidate protein included cell rescue experiments by gene transfer followed by subsequent screening of cells for induction of apoptosis and autophagy by immunoblotting, caspase activity as well as LC3 and MDC/PI staining. LDH release assays were performed to assess the amount of cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In our search for responsible autophagic regulatory genes upstream of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), we now discovered that, in contrast to MES-SA cells, a TP53-637C>T nonsense mutation located in the transactivating domain of the oncogenic suppressor p53 causes loss of its protein and consequently reduced PUMA induction in ESS-1 cells. Upon re-introduction of wild-type TP53, SAHA-treated ESS-1 cells underwent immediate apoptotic cell death as supported by upregulation of PUMA and caspase-9 as well as by activation of caspases-3 and -7 and PARP-1 cleavage. Concurrent downregulation of autophagy was noticed by upregulated mTor and phospho-mTOR expression as well as monitoring autophagosome formation employing LC3 and MDC staining. Previously, cytoplasmic master regulatory activities of the oncogenic suppressor p53 in inhibiting autophagy and triggering apoptosis were unravelled. Accordingly, p53-deficiency could explain both, the previously documented apoptosis resistance and prevailing SAHA-induced autophagy in ESS-1 cells. Using MES-SA cells with RNAi-silenced p53 expression and several p53-deficient tumor cell lines undergoing SAHA-induced autophagy, we could generally validate our finding suggesting an inhibitory role for p53 in the autophagic pathway in response to SAHA treatment. Conclusively, these results could identify cytoplasmic p53 protein as a molecular switch that directly mediates the cytotoxic response of SAHA and thus open new therapeutic avenues.

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