Abstract Title:

Withaferin A induced impaired autophagy and unfolded protein response in human breast cancer cell-lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231.

Abstract Source:

Toxicol In Vitro. 2017 Aug 3. Epub 2017 Aug 3. PMID: 28782635

Abstract Author(s):

Kamalini Ghosh, Soumasree De, Srimoyee Mukherjee, Sayantani Das, Amar Nath Ghosh, Sumita Bandyopadhyay Sengupta

Article Affiliation:

Kamalini Ghosh


The autophagy-lysosome pathway and the ubiquitin-proteasome systems are the two major routes for eukaryotic intracellular protein clearance. Cancerous cells often display elevated protein synthesis and byproduct disposal, thus, inhibition of the protein degradation pathways became an emerging approach for cancer therapy. The present study revealed that withaferin-A (WA), the biologically active withanolide derived from Withania somnifera, initially induced formation of autophagosomes in human breast cancer cell-lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. WA treatment elevated the levels of autophagic substrate p62/SQSTM1 (p62) and both LC3-II and LC3-I (microtubule-associated protein 2 light chain 3) and simultaneously reduced the upstream autophagy markers like beclin-1 and ATG5-ATG12 complex, which indicate accumulation of autophagosomes in the cells. WA induced disruption of microtubular network through inhibition of tubulin polymerization and its hyper-acetylation, thus prevent the formation of autolysosome (by merging of autophagosomes with lysosomes) and its recycling process, leading to incomplete autophagy. Further, WA caused ER (Endoplasmic Reticulum) stress, which is evident from the activation of ER-related caspase-4 and increased levels of ER stress marker proteins. Thus, these findings altogether indicate that WA mediated inhibition of proteasomal degradation system and perturbation of autophagy, i.e. suppression of both the intracellular degradation systems caused accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins, which in turn led to unfolded protein response and ER stress mediated proteotoxicity in human breast cancer cell-lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231.

Study Type : Human In Vitro

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