Autophagy is an intracellular recycling pathway with implications for intracellular homeostasis and cell survival. Its pharmacological modulation can aid chemotherapy by sensitizing cancer cells toward approved drugs and overcoming chemoresistance. Recent translational data on autophagy modulators show promising results in reducing tumor growth and metastasis, but also reveal a need for more specific compounds and novel lead structures. Here, we searched for such autophagy-modulating compounds in a flow cytometry-based high-throughput screening of an in-house natural compound library. We successfully identified novel inducers and inhibitors of the autophagic pathway. Among these, we identified arzanol as an autophagy-modulating drug that causes the accumulation of ATG16L1-positive structures, while it also induces the accumulation of lipidated LC3. Surprisingly, we observed a reduction of the size of autophagosomes compared to the bafilomycin control and a pronounced accumulation of p62/SQSTM1 in response to arzanol treatment in HeLa cells. We, therefore, speculate that arzanol acts both as an inducer of early autophagosome biogenesis and as an inhibitor of later autophagy events. We further show that arzanol is able to sensitize RT-112 bladder cancer cells towards cisplatin (CDDP). Its anticancer activity was confirmed in monotherapy against both CDDP-sensitive and -resistant bladder cancer cells. We classified arzanol as a novel mitotoxin that induces the fragmentation of mitochondria, and we identified a series of targets for arzanol that involve proteins of the class of mitochondria-associated quinone-binding oxidoreductases. Collectively, our results suggest arzanol as a valuable tool for autophagy research and as a lead compound for drug development in cancer therapy.

High-throughput screening for natural compound-based autophagy modulators reveals novel chemotherapeutic mode of action for arzanol

Ceccacci S.;Monti M. C.;
2021

Abstract

Autophagy is an intracellular recycling pathway with implications for intracellular homeostasis and cell survival. Its pharmacological modulation can aid chemotherapy by sensitizing cancer cells toward approved drugs and overcoming chemoresistance. Recent translational data on autophagy modulators show promising results in reducing tumor growth and metastasis, but also reveal a need for more specific compounds and novel lead structures. Here, we searched for such autophagy-modulating compounds in a flow cytometry-based high-throughput screening of an in-house natural compound library. We successfully identified novel inducers and inhibitors of the autophagic pathway. Among these, we identified arzanol as an autophagy-modulating drug that causes the accumulation of ATG16L1-positive structures, while it also induces the accumulation of lipidated LC3. Surprisingly, we observed a reduction of the size of autophagosomes compared to the bafilomycin control and a pronounced accumulation of p62/SQSTM1 in response to arzanol treatment in HeLa cells. We, therefore, speculate that arzanol acts both as an inducer of early autophagosome biogenesis and as an inhibitor of later autophagy events. We further show that arzanol is able to sensitize RT-112 bladder cancer cells towards cisplatin (CDDP). Its anticancer activity was confirmed in monotherapy against both CDDP-sensitive and -resistant bladder cancer cells. We classified arzanol as a novel mitotoxin that induces the fragmentation of mitochondria, and we identified a series of targets for arzanol that involve proteins of the class of mitochondria-associated quinone-binding oxidoreductases. Collectively, our results suggest arzanol as a valuable tool for autophagy research and as a lead compound for drug development in cancer therapy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4769869
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