Gene Summary

Gene:SQSTM1; sequestosome 1
Aliases: p60, p62, A170, DMRV, OSIL, PDB3, ZIP3, p62B, NADGP, FTDALS3
Summary:This gene encodes a multifunctional protein that binds ubiquitin and regulates activation of the nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kB) signaling pathway. The protein functions as a scaffolding/adaptor protein in concert with TNF receptor-associated factor 6 to mediate activation of NF-kB in response to upstream signals. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding either the same or different isoforms have been identified for this gene. Mutations in this gene result in sporadic and familial Paget disease of bone. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2009]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (28)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Drug Resistance
  • RNA Interference
  • Gene Expression
  • SQSTM1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Chromosome 5
  • NFE2L2
  • NF-kappa B
  • Lung Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Xenopus
  • Viral Proteins
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Lysosomes
  • siRNA
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Beclin-1
  • Cell Survival
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 6
  • Protein Binding
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Liver Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Autophagy
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • Apoptosis
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Mutation
  • Young Adult
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SQSTM1 (cancer-related)

Gruffaz M, Yuan H, Meng W, et al.
CRISPR-Cas9 Screening of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus-Transformed Cells Identifies XPO1 as a Vulnerable Target of Cancer Cells.
MBio. 2019; 10(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The abnormal proliferation of cancer cells is driven by deregulated oncogenes or tumor suppressors, among which the cancer-vulnerable genes are attractive therapeutic targets. Targeting mislocalization of oncogenes and tumor suppressors resulting from aberrant nuclear export is effective for inhibiting growth transformation of cancer cells. We performed a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated (Cas) screening in a unique model of matched primary and oncogenic Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-transformed cells and identified genes that were growth promoting and growth suppressive for both types of cells, among which exportin XPO1 was demonstrated to be critical for the survival of transformed cells. Using XPO1 inhibitor KPT-8602 and by small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown, we confirmed the essential role of XPO1 in cell proliferation and growth transformation of KSHV-transformed cells and in cell lines of other cancers, including gastric cancer and liver cancer. XPO1 inhibition induced cell cycle arrest through p53 activation, but the mechanisms of p53 activation differed among the different types of cancer cells. p53 activation depended on the formation of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies in gastric cancer and liver cancer cells. Mechanistically, XPO1 inhibition induced relocalization of autophagy adaptor protein p62 (SQSTM1), recruiting p53 for activation in PML nuclear bodies. Taken the data together, we have identified novel growth-promoting and growth-suppressive genes of primary and cancer cells and have demonstrated that XPO1 is a vulnerable target of cancer cells. XPO1 inhibition induces cell arrest through a novel PML- and p62-dependent mechanism of p53 activation in some types of cancer cells.

Deng X, Luo Q, Dong F, et al.
[Tristetraprolin inhibits autophagy in cultured lung cancer cells
Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2019; 39(3):313-319 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To explore the expression of the RNA-binding protein tristetraprolin in lung adenocarcinoma cells and its molecular mechanism for inhibiting autophagy.
METHODS: Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting were performed to detect the expression of autophagy-related genes (including Beclin1, LC3-Ⅱ/LC3-Ⅰ and SQSTM1/p62) in cultured lung adenocarcinoma cells at 24, 48 and 72 h after transient transfection with a tristetraprolin-overexpressing plasmid and the empty plasmid. The effects of transfection with the tristetraprolin-overexpressing plasmid and empty plasmids in the presence or absence of tumor necrosis factor-
RESULTS: The expressions of tristetraprolin were significantly reduced at both the mRNA and protein levels in lung adenocarcinoma cells (
CONCLUSIONS: The expression of tristetraprolin is low in lung adenocarcinoma cells. Tristetraprolin overexpression causes inhibition of autophagy in lung adenocarcinoma cells possibly by blocking NF-κB p65 and c-rel nuclear translocation.

Wang X, Wu WKK, Gao J, et al.
Autophagy inhibition enhances PD-L1 expression in gastric cancer.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):140 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Autophagy, a process for degrading intracellular substances to maintain basal metabolic turnover, is known to be perturbed in gastric cancer. Programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) with its ligand (PD-L1) are important immune checkpoint proteins and their regulation by autophagy has been reported in mouse melanoma and human ovarian cancer. Here, we explored the interplay between autophagy and the PD1/PD-L1 axis in gastric cancer.
METHODS: The expression of PD-L1 in gastric cancer cells was detected by Western blot and flow cytometry analysis. The effect of autophagy inhibition on PD-L1 expression was examined in vitro and in vivo. The molecular mechanisms of the regulation of PD-L1 by autophagy were evaluated in gastric cancer cell lines. The clinical relevance of autophagy-related markers p62/SQSTM1 and LC3 with PD-L1 was evaluated in 137 patients with gastric cancer.
RESULTS: We found that inhibition of autophagy by pharmacological inhibitors or small interfering RNAs increased the levels of PD-L1 in cultured gastric cancer cells and in xenografts. Interferon (IFN)-γ also promoted PD-L1 gene transcription, whose action was enhanced by autophagy inhibition. Mechanistically, autophagy inhibition led to the accumulation of p62/SQSTM1 and activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, in which NF-κB inhibition or p62/SQSTM1 knockdown attenuated PD-L1 induction by autophagy inhibition. Immunohistochemical staining of primary tumor tissues of 137 patients with gastric cancer showed that LC3 and p62/SQSTM1 protein levels were positively correlated with PD-L1 (LC3, p < 0.001; p62/SQSTM1, p < 0.05). The expression of PD-L1 was also positively correlated with tumor lymphocyte infiltration (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: We discovered that autophagy regulates PD-L1 expression in gastric cancer through the p62/SQSTM1-NF-κB pathway. Pharmacological modulation of autophagy may thus influence the therapeutic efficacy of PD-L1 blockade in gastric cancer.

Tamrakar S, Yashiro M, Kawashima T, et al.
Clinicopathological Significance of Autophagy-related Proteins and its Association With Genetic Alterations in Gliomas.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(3):1233-1242 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate clinicopathological significance of autophagy and its association with genetic alterations in gliomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression of three autophagy-related proteins, light chain-3 (LC3), beclin 1, and p62 was immunohistochemically analyzed in 32 low-grade gliomas and 65 high-grade gliomas.
RESULTS: LC3, beclin 1, and p62 expression was positive in 70/94 (74%), 51/94 (54%) and 55/96 (57%) gliomas, respectively. High expression of LC3, beclin 1 and p62 was significantly more frequent in high-grade gliomas than in low-grade. Positive expression of LC3, beclin 1 and p62 were significantly positively correlated with overall survival, methylation of O
CONCLUSION: Autophagy might be associated with the progression of glioma, particularly high-grade, and thus might be a useful prognostic factor in patients with glioma.

Zhang J, Yang S, Xu B, et al.
p62 functions as an oncogene in colorectal cancer through inhibiting apoptosis and promoting cell proliferation by interacting with the vitamin D receptor.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(3):e12585 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The role of p62 in cancer is controversial. Evidence has shown that p62 is upregulated in different cancers and promotes tumour growth, such as in liver cancer and lung cancer. However, a recent study showed that the downregulation of p62 in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) promotes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. How p62 is regulated in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains largely unknown. In this study, we aimed to investigate the roles and molecular mechanisms of p62 in CRC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression levels of p62 in CRC tissues and adjacent non-tumour tissues were determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Stable p62-overexpression HCT116 cells and p62-knockdown SW480 cells were established with lentiviral vectors. The role of p62 in CRC was investigated in in vitro and in vivo functional studies. The relationship between p62 and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) was investigated by coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) assays.
RESULTS: p62 was significantly upregulated in CRC, and a high p62 level was an independent risk factor for a poor prognosis in CRC patients. p62 promoted CRC migration and invasion by inhibiting apoptosis and promoting cell proliferation in vitro, and p62 aggravated tumour growth and metastasis in vivo. Co-IP assays indicated that p62 interacts with the VDR and may target the NRF2-NQO1 axis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggested that p62 functions as an oncogene in CRC through inhibiting apoptosis and promoting cell proliferation by interacting with the VDR.

Wang YY, Chen YK, Hu CS, et al.
MAL-PDT inhibits oral precancerous cells and lesions via autophagic cell death.
Oral Dis. 2019; 25(3):758-771 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Oral cancer is a common cancer with a high mortality rate. While surgery is the most effective treatment for oral cancer, it frequently causes deformity and dysfunction in the orofacial region. In this study, methyl aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT) as a prevention tool against progression of precancerous lesion to oral cancer was explored.
METHODS: For in vitro studies, we evaluated the effects of MAL-PDT on viability of DOK oral precancerous cells by XTT, cell morphology by TEM, and intracellular signaling pathways by flow cytometry, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence. For in vivo study, DMBA was used to induce oral precancerous lesions in hamsters followed by MAL-PDT treatment. We measured tumor size and body weight weekly. After sacrifice, buccal pouch lesions were processed for H&E stain and immunohistochemistry analysis.
RESULTS: MAL-PDT induced autophagic cell death in DOK oral precancerous cells. The autophagy-related markers LC3II and p62/SQSTM1 and autophagosome formation in DOK cells were increased after MAL-PDT treatment. In vivo, Metvix
CONCLUSIONS: Our in vitro and in vivo results suggest that MAL-PDT may provide an effective therapy for oral precancerous lesions through induction of autophagic cell death.

Hsu HL, Liao PL, Cheng YW, et al.
Chloramphenicol Induces Autophagy and Inhibits the Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 Alpha Pathway in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(1) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chloramphenicol is an inexpensive and excellent bactericidal antibiotic. It is used to combat anaerobic infections in the Third World countries, whereas its systemic application has been abandoned in developed countries. However, in recent years, clinicians have reintroduced chloramphenicol in clinical practice. In this study, chloramphenicol was found to repress the oxygen-labile transcription factor, hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), in hypoxic A549 and H1299 cells. Furthermore, it suppressed the mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and glucose transporter 1, eventually decreasing VEGF release. Chloramphenicol initiated the autophagy pathway in treated cells, as observed by the increase in formation of Atg12-Atg5 conjugates, and in beclin-1 and LC3-II levels. The chloramphenicol-mediated HIF-1α degradation was completely reverted by autophagic flux blockage. In HIF-1α-overexpressing cells, the formation of HIF-1α/SENP-1 (Sentrin/SUMO-specific protease 1) protein complex seemed to facilitate the escape of HIF-1α from degradation. Chloramphenicol inhibited HIF-1α/SENP-1 protein interaction, thereby destabilizing HIF-1α protein. The enhancement in HIF-1α degradation due to chloramphenicol was evident during the incubation of the antibiotic before hypoxia and after HIF-1α accumulation. Since HIF-1α plays multiple roles in infections, inflammation, and cancer cell stemness, our findings suggest a potential clinical value of chloramphenicol in the treatment of these conditions.

Lee KS, Lee MG, Woo YJ, Nam KS
The preventive effect of deep sea water on the development of cancerous skin cells through the induction of autophagic cell death in UVB-damaged HaCaT keratinocyte.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 111:282-291 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ultraviolet light (UV) is a major inducer of skin cancer. Therefore, recovery and removal of UV-damaged skin cells are important in the prevention of skin carcinogenesis. Here, we investigated the effect of deep sea water (DSW) in HaCaT keratinocyte exposed by UVB (λ = 290∼320 nm). The result showed that UVB-induced cell death was reinforced by DSW treatment in a hardness-dependent manner. Furthermore, the increase of cell death by DSW was associated with the down-regulation of survivin and RAD51 expressions induced by UVB. Moreover, we confirmed the inhibition of H2 A.X phosphorylation, a marker for double-stranded DNA damage, and the enhancement of LC3-II and SQSTM1/p62 expressions by DSW administration in UVB-radiated HaCaT keratinocyte. The results imply that the enhancement of UVB-induced cell death by DSW is associated with autophagy. Therefore, we further explored the regulation of autophagy-regulating proteins and apoptosis-related factors expression. Phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), ribosomal protein S6, and S6 kinase by UVB radiation were regressed via DSW treatment, underlying the increase of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation. Furthermore, UVB-enhanced nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylations were increased with DSW treatment. Contrastingly, DSW lessened the Ser15 phosphorylation of p53 and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase induced by UVB radiation. Consequently, the results demonstrate that DSW enhances UVB-damaged skin cell clearance through the activation of autophagic cell death underlying the regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/mTOR signaling as well as NF-κB and JNK phosphorylations. In conclusion, this investigation suggests that DSW is a potent candidate for the prevention of UV-induced skin cancer development.

Varghese E, Samuel SM, Varghese S, et al.
Triptolide Decreases Cell Proliferation and Induces Cell Death in Triple Negative MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells.
Biomolecules. 2018; 8(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) do not respond to conventional estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor/human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 targeted interventions due to the absence of the respective receptor targets. They are aggressive, exhibit early recurrence, metastasize, are more invasive in nature, and develop drug resistance. Some plant-derived substances have been screened and have gained attention as efficient anticancer drugs for TNBCs with few adverse effects. Here, we evaluate triptolide (concentrations in the range of 100 pM to 10 µM), a di-terpene tri-epoxide isolated from thunder god vine for its efficacy as anticancer drug in MDA-MB-231 TNBC cells. Cell proliferation and viability were assessed using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2

Chavez Soria NG, Aga DS, Atilla-Gokcumen GE
Lipidomics reveals insights on the biological effects of copper oxide nanoparticles in a human colon carcinoma cell line.
Mol Omics. 2019; 15(1):30-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Engineered nanomaterials have unique properties compared to their bulk counterparts. Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) are one example of nanomaterials used in a wide range of consumer products due to their conductivity and biocidal properties. While CuO NPs can induce toxicity in various organisms, their interactions with different organisms and how they affect cellular homeostasis is yet to be fully understood. In this work, the toxicity of CuO NPs was evaluated in different human cell lines (colorectal carcinoma, cervical cancer, embryonic kidney, and lung fibroblast), showing a dose-dependent toxicity. An untargeted lipidomics approach using liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry was employed in a human colon carcinoma cell line to investigate the impact of CuO NP exposure at the cellular level. A 24 h CuO NP exposure at 2.5 and 5 μg mL-1 resulted in upregulation of different metabolites: triacylglycerols, phosphatidylcholines, and ceramides accumulated. The most profound increase in a dose-dependent manner was observed in ceramides, specifically in C18:0, C18:1, and C22:0 species, with up to ∼10 fold accumulations. Further experiments suggested that activation of autophagy and oxidative stress could be responsible for the toxicity observed in these cell lines. Increases in the level of glutathione oxide (∼7 fold) also supported the activation of oxidative stress upon CuO NP treatment. Based on the changes in different metabolites induced by CuO NP exposure and previous studies from our laboratory, we propose that autophagy and oxidative stress could play a role in CuO NP-induced toxicity.

Grimaldi M, Bo VD, Ferrari B, et al.
Long-term effects after treatment with platinum compounds, cisplatin and [Pt(O,O'-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)]: Autophagy activation in rat B50 neuroblastoma cells.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2019; 364:1-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cisplatin (cisPt), among the best known components of multi-drug front-line therapies used for the treatments of solid tumors, such as the childhood neuroblastoma, acts through DNA linking. Nevertheless, the cisPt effectiveness is compromised by the onset of severe side effects, including neurotoxicity that results in neurodegeneration, cell death, and drug-resistance. In the field of experimental oncology, aimed at overcoming cytotoxicity and chemoresistance, great efforts are devoted to the synthesis of new platinum-based drugs, such as [Pt(O,O'-acac)(γ-acac)(DMS)] (PtAcacDMS), which shows a specific reactivity with sulfur residues of enzymes involved in apoptosis. Autophagy, an evolutionary conserved degradation pathway for recycling of cytoplasmic components, represents one of the mechanisms adopted by cancer cells which contribute to drug-resistance. In the present study, standard acute (48 h-exposure) and long-term effects (7 day-recovery after treatment or 7 day-recovery followed by reseeding and 96 h-growth), of cisPt and PtAcacDMS (40 and 10 μM, respectively) were investigated in vitro employing rat B50 neuroblastoma as a cancer model. Using fluorescence and electron microscopy, as well as biochemical techniques, our data highlight a key role of the autophagic process in B50 cells. Specifically, long-term effects caused by cisPt lead to inhibition of the apoptotic process and paralleled by the activation of autophagy, thus evidencing that autophagy has a protective role after cisPt exposure, allowing cells to survive. Whereas, long-term effects produced by PtAcacDMS lead toward both apoptosis and autophagy activation. In conclusion, autophagy may represents an alternative cell death pathway, circumventing drug-resistance strategies employed by cancer cells to survive chemoterapy.

Sánchez-Martín P, Saito T, Komatsu M
p62/SQSTM1: 'Jack of all trades' in health and cancer.
FEBS J. 2019; 286(1):8-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
p62 is a stress-inducible protein able to change among binding partners, cellular localizations and form liquid droplet structures in a context-dependent manner. This protein is mainly defined as a cargo receptor for selective autophagy, a process that allows the degradation of detrimental and unnecessary components through the lysosome. Besides this role, its ability to interact with multiple binding partners allows p62 to act as a main regulator of the activation of the Nrf2, mTORC1, and NF-κB signaling pathways, linking p62 to the oxidative defense system, nutrient sensing, and inflammation, respectively. In the present review, we will present the molecular mechanisms behind the control p62 exerts over these pathways, their interconnection and how their deregulation contributes to cancer progression.

Nguyen TD, Shaid S, Vakhrusheva O, et al.
Loss of the selective autophagy receptor p62 impairs murine myeloid leukemia progression and mitophagy.
Blood. 2019; 133(2):168-179 [PubMed] Related Publications
Autophagy maintains hematopoietic stem cell integrity and prevents malignant transformation. In addition to bulk degradation, selective autophagy serves as an intracellular quality control mechanism and requires autophagy receptors, such as p62 (SQSTM1), to specifically bridge the ubiquitinated cargos into autophagosomes. Here, we investigated the function of p62 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in vitro and in murine in vivo models of AML. Loss of p62 impaired expansion and colony-forming ability of leukemia cells and prolonged latency of leukemia development in mice. High p62 expression was associated with poor prognosis in human AML. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we identified enrichment of mitochondrial proteins upon immunoprecipitation of p62. Loss of p62 significantly delayed removal of dysfunctional mitochondria, increased mitochondrial superoxide levels, and impaired mitochondrial respiration. Moreover, we demonstrated that the autophagy-dependent function of p62 is essential for cell growth and effective mitochondrial degradation by mitophagy. Our results highlight the prominent role of selective autophagy in leukemia progression, and specifically, the importance of mitophagy to maintain mitochondrial integrity.

Cao Y, Luo Y, Zou J, et al.
Autophagy and its role in gastric cancer.
Clin Chim Acta. 2019; 489:10-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Autophagy, which is tightly regulated by a series of autophagy-related genes (ATGs), is a vital intracellular homeostatic process through which defective proteins and organelles are degraded and recycled under starvation, hypoxia or other specific cellular stress conditions. For both normal cells and tumour cells, autophagy not only sustains cell survival but can also promote cell death. Autophagy-related signalling pathways include mTOR-dependent pathways, such as the AMPK/mTOR and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways, and non-mTOR dependent pathways, such as the P53 pathway. Additionally, autophagy plays a dual role in gastric carcinoma (GC), including a tumour-suppressor role and a tumour-promoter role. Long-term Helicobacter pylori infection can impair autophagy, which may eventually promote tumourigenesis of the gastric mucosa. Moreover, Beclin1, LC3 and P62/SQSTM1 are regarded as autophagy-related markers with GC prognostic value. Autophagy inhibitors and autophagy inducers show promise for GC treatment. This review describes research progress regarding autophagy and its significant role in gastric cancer.

Lee YA, Noon LA, Akat KM, et al.
Autophagy is a gatekeeper of hepatic differentiation and carcinogenesis by controlling the degradation of Yap.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4962 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activation of the Hippo pathway effector Yap underlies many liver cancers, however no germline or somatic mutations have been identified. Autophagy maintains essential metabolic functions of the liver, and autophagy-deficient murine models develop benign adenomas and hepatomegaly, which have been attributed to activation of the p62/Sqstm1-Nrf2 axis. Here, we show that Yap is an autophagy substrate and mediator of tissue remodeling and hepatocarcinogenesis independent of the p62/Sqstm1-Nrf2 axis. Hepatocyte-specific deletion of Atg7 promotes liver size, fibrosis, progenitor cell expansion, and hepatocarcinogenesis, which is rescued by concurrent deletion of Yap. Our results shed new light on mechanisms of Yap degradation and the sequence of events that follow disruption of autophagy, which is impaired in chronic liver disease.

Sharp RC, Effiom OA, Dhingra A, et al.
Enhanced basal autophagy supports ameloblastoma-derived cell survival and reactivation.
Arch Oral Biol. 2019; 98:61-67 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Ameloblastoma is an aggressive odontogenic jaw neoplasm. Its unlimited growth confers high potential for malignant transformation and recurrence. It is unclear why ameloblastoma is highly recurrent despite surgical resection with a wide margin of normal tissue. While canonical autophagy can be used to degrade and eliminate damaged cellular components, it is also a protective mechanism that provides energy and vital metabolites for cell survival. We used ameloblastoma-derived cells to test the hypothesis that autophagic processes play a role in survival and reactivation of ameloblastoma.
METHODS: Primary epithelial (EP-AMCs) and mesenchymal (MS-AMCs) ameloblastoma-derived cells were established from tissue samples of solid multicystic ameloblastoma. Clonogenic capacity and basal autophagic capacity were assessed in ameloblastoma-derived cells relative to human odontoma-derived cells (HODCs) and maxilla-mesenchymal stem cells (MX-MSCs). Ability of ameloblastoma-derived cells to survive and form new ameloblastoma was assessed in mouse tumor xenografts.
RESULTS: EP-AMCs were highly clonogenic (p < 0.0001) and demonstrated enhanced basal levels of autophagic proteins microtubule-associated protein 1-light chain 3 (LC3) (p < 0.01), p62 (Sequestosome 1, SQSTM1) (p < 0.01), and the LC3-adapter, melanoregulin (MREG) (p < 0.05) relative to controls. EP-AMCs xenografts regenerated solid ameloblastoma-like tumor with histological features of columnar ameloblast-like cells, loose stellate reticulum-like cells and regions of cystic degeneration characteristic of follicular variant of solid multicystic ameloblastoma. The xenografts also displayed stromal epithelial invaginations strongly reactive to LC3 and p62 suggestive of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and neoplastic odontogenic epithelium.
CONCLUSIONS: EP-AMCs exhibit altered autophagic processes that can support survival and recurrence of post-surgical ameloblastoma cells.

Hseu YC, Shen YC, Kao MC, et al.
Ganoderma tsugae induced ROS-independent apoptosis and cytoprotective autophagy in human chronic myeloid leukemia cells.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2019; 124:30-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The medicinal fungus Ganoderma, known in Chinese as Lingzhi or Reishi, traditionally has various medicinal uses and has been employed in cancer treatment in Asia for centuries. This study used ethanol-extracted Ganoderma tsugae (GT) and examined its antitumor activities on human chronic myeloid leukemia cells as well as its molecular mechanism of action. Treatment with GT (200-400 μg/mL) significantly reduced cell viability and caused G2/M arrest in K562 cells. In addition, GT induced mitochondrial and death receptor mediated apoptosis, correlated with DNA fragmentation, followed by cytochrome c release, caspase-3/8/9 activation, PARP cleavage, Fas activation, Bid cleavage, and Bax/Bcl-2 dysregulation. Cytoprotective autophagy was found to be induced by GT, as was revealed by increased LC3-II accumulation, Beclin-1/Bcl-2 dysregulation, acidic vesicular organelle formation, and p62/SQSTM1 activation. Notably, pretreatment of cells with the autophagy inhibitors 3-MA and CQ enhanced GT-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, reactive oxygen species production in cells was not triggered by GT administration; equally, the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine was found to be incapable of preventing apoptosis and autophagy induced by GT treatment. Finally, this study discovered that cytoprotective autophagy induced by GT was associated with EGFR and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling cascade suppression. In summary, GT demonstrated antitumor activity against human chronic myeloid leukemia.

Cheng Y, Li Z, Xie J, et al.
MiRNA-224-5p inhibits autophagy in breast cancer cells via targeting Smad4.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 506(4):793-798 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Autophagy is known as a protective intracellular procedure, which can be regulated by several factors. MiRNA has been suggested as a potential element to mediate autophagy pathway in carcinomas. Our study was aim to investigate the role of autophagy in breast cancer cells and identify the involved molecular mechanism METHODS: The expression of LC3I/II, SQSTM1 and Smad4 were detected by western blot. The mRNA level were quantified by real-time PCR. MDC staining was used to directly visualize autophagosome formation. Target Scan 7.2 was used to predict biological targets of miR-224-5p RESULTS: MiR-224 -5p expression was upregulated in metastatic breast cancer and non-metastatic breast cancer cells compare with control. Moreover, miR-224-5p inhibition enhanced cellular autophagy levels in breast cancer cells. MiR-224-5p could suppress Smad4 expression in MDA-MB-231 cells, which indicated that Smad4 was identified as a target of miR-224-5p in breast cancer cells with high metastatic potential CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed that miR-224-5p inhibited autophagy by targeting Smad4 in MDA-MB-231 cells. The results indicated that miR-224-5p/Smad4 regulating autophagy might be a novel regulatory network contributing to metastasis of breast cancer. MiR-224-5p and Smad4 is involved in breast tumorigenesis, which is possibly a novel target for breast cancer therapy.

Jin H, Seo GS, Lee SH
Isoliquiritigenin-mediated p62/SQSTM1 induction regulates apoptotic potential through attenuation of caspase-8 activation in colorectal cancer cells.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2018; 841:90-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) is a natural flavonoid that exhibits anticancer properties in various carcinoma cell types. However, the precise mechanism responsible for its anticancer activity has not been elucidated fully. In the present study, we examined ISL-mediated apoptotic mechanisms in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. ISL induced apoptosis in human HCT-116 cells and caused marked induction of p62/SQSTM1 mRNA and protein expression. Similarly, ISL potently inhibited in vivo tumor growth and induced p62/SQSTM1 expression in xenograft tumor tissues. In a p62/SQSTM1 siRNA transfection study, ISL-induced p62/SQSTM1 expression attenuated ISL-mediated apoptosis by reducing caspase-8 activation. ISL potentiated the apoptotic effects of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) on HCT-116 cells. However, ISL-induced p62/SQSTM1 expression also attenuated the potency of apoptosis induced by the combination of 5-FU and ISL. Our results demonstrate that ISL-induced p62/SQSTM1 upregulation affects ISL-mediated apoptotic potential through attenuation of caspase-8 activation in CRC cells. These findings broaden the understanding of the molecular basis of ISL-mediated apoptosis.

Xu Y, Liao C, Liu R, et al.
IRGM promotes glioma M2 macrophage polarization through p62/TRAF6/NF-κB pathway mediated IL-8 production.
Cell Biol Int. 2019; 43(2):125-135 [PubMed] Related Publications
Alternatively activated (M2) macrophage promotes glioma progression and immune escape as the most immunocyte in glioma microenvironment. Finding out the key protein regulating M2 macrophage polarization is necessary for improving treatment. Whether immunity related GTPase M (IRGM) is involved in glioma development and M2 macrophage polarization is unknown. IRGM and M2 macrophage marker CD206 expression were examined using immunohistochemistry among 35 glioma and 11 non-cancerous brain specimens. We found IRGM scores were positively correlated with CD206 scores in glioma specimens and monocyte proportion in blood samples. A172 glioma cells transfected with either IRGM knock-down lentivirus (Lenti-IRGM) or control lentivirus (Lenti-HK) were subcutaneously injected into nude mice. In vivo, xenografted glioma size of the Lenti-IRGM group was smaller and had weaker fluorescence signal than Lenti-HK control group. Immunofluorescence results showed that there was obviously decreased IRGM, CD206, and IL-8 expression in the mice glioma of Lenti-IRGM group than Lenti-HK control group. In vitro, flow cytometry results showed that M2 polarization from THP-1 cocultured with Lenti-IRGM glioma cells decreased in contrast to that with Lenti-HK glioma cells; there were less interleukin-8 (IL-8) and macrophage inflammation protein 3-α (MIP-3α), but more interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the supernatant of Lenti-IRGM glioma cells than matched control. Western blot and immunofluorescence displayed that IRGM strongly promoted sequestosome-1 (p62/SQSTM1), necrosis factor receptor-activating factor 6 (TRAF6) expression and NF-κB transportation to the nucleus. Realtime PCR results demonstrated IRGM also promoted NF-κB downstream cytokines IL-8 and MIP-3α mRNA expression. These data suggested that IRGM could promote glioma development and M2 macrophage polarization by regulating p62/TRAF6/NF-κB pathway-mediated IL-8 production.

Wu JS, Li L, Wang SS, et al.
Autophagy is positively associated with the accumulation of myeloid‑derived suppressor cells in 4‑nitroquinoline‑1‑oxide‑induced oral cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(6):3381-3391 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
It has previously been demonstrated that autophagy and inflammation act synergistically to promote carcinogenesis. However, the precise roles of autophagy in multistep oral carcinogenesis are still unclear, particularly regarding its association with tumor inflammation. The present study established a 4NQO‑induced oral cancer mouse model and investigated autophagy status in the multistep process of oral carcinogenesis using immunohistochemistry, western blotting and immunofluorescence staining. Furthermore, the number of Gr‑1+CD11b+ myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) during oral carcinogenesis and the association with autophagy status was also examined. The results revealed that the expression of autophagy biomarkers, including dihydrosphingosine 1-phosphate phosphatase LCB3 (LC3B), p62/SQSTM1 (p62) and Beclin 1 increased during 4NQO‑induced carcinogenesis and in human oral cancer. The number of MDSCs and Tregs also increased during oral carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the expression of LC3B and p62 significantly correlated with the accumulation of MDSCs and the expression of Beclin 1 correlated with the increase of Tregs. These data indicated that autophagy may be activated by the tumor inflammation microenvironment during oral carcinogenesis.

Mondal S, Roy D, Sarkar Bhattacharya S, et al.
Therapeutic targeting of PFKFB3 with a novel glycolytic inhibitor PFK158 promotes lipophagy and chemosensitivity in gynecologic cancers.
Int J Cancer. 2019; 144(1):178-189 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
Metabolic alterations are increasingly recognized as important novel anti-cancer targets. Among several regulators of metabolic alterations, fructose 2,6 bisphosphate (F2,6BP) is a critical glycolytic regulator. Inhibition of the active form of PFKFB3

Zhang J, Sun X, Wang L, et al.
Artesunate-induced mitophagy alters cellular redox status.
Redox Biol. 2018; 19:263-273 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
Artesunate (ART) is a prominent anti-malarial with significant anti-cancer properties. Our previous studies showed that ART enhances lysosomal function and ferritin degradation, which was necessary for its anti-cancer properties. ART targeting to mitochondria also significantly improved its efficacy, but the effect of ART on mitophagy, an important cellular pathway that facilitates the removal of damaged mitochondria, remains unknown. Here, we first observed that ART mainly localizes in the mitochondria and its probe labeling revealed that it binds to a large number of mitochondrial proteins and causes mitochondrial fission. Second, we found that ART treatment leads to autophagy induction and the decrease of mitochondrial proteins. When autophagy is inhibited, the decrease of mitochondrial proteins could be reversed, indicating that the degradation of mitochondrial proteins is through mitophagy. Third, our results showed that ART treatment stabilizes the full-length form of PTEN induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) on the mitochondria and activates the PINK1-dependent pathway. This in turn leads to the recruitment of Parkin, sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1), ubiquitin and microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3 (LC3) to the mitochondria and culminates in mitophagy. When PINK1 is knocked down, ART-induced mitophagy is markedly suppressed. Finally, we investigated the effect of mitophagy by ART on mitochondrial functions and found that knockdown of PINK1 alters the cellular redox status in ART-treated cells, which is accompanied with a significant decrease in glutathione (GSH) and increase in mitochondrial reactive oxidative species (mROS) and cellular lactate levels. Additionally, knockdown of PINK1 leads to a significant increase of mitochondrial depolarization and more cell apoptosis by ART, suggesting that mitophagy protects from ART-induced cell death. Taken together, our findings reveal the molecular mechanism that ART induces cytoprotective mitophagy through the PINK1-dependent pathway, suggesting that mitophagy inhibition could enhance the anti-cancer activity of ART.

Alsamman K, El-Masry OS
Staurosporine alleviates cisplatin chemoresistance in human cancer cell models by suppressing the induction of SQSTM1/p62.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(4):2157-2162 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Platinum‑based chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin are the first line of treatment for many types of cancers. However, the development of cisplatin resistance after prolonged treatment is a common cause of cancer recurrence. In the present study, we investigated an approach designed to overcome resistance to cisplatin involving co‑treatment with a second chemotherapeutic agent, staurosporine, and examined the role of sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1/p62) in enhancing cellular sensitivity to cisplatin. We utilized experimental models of three different cancers comprising cell lines derived from colon, breast, and ovarian tumors and investigated cell proliferation, morphology and p62 levels after treatment with cisplatin, staurosporine, or a combination of the two. Western blot analysis showed that cisplatin treatment resulted in elevation of p62 levels when compared to the corresponding control cells. Conversely, treatment with staurosporine resulted in a marked reduction in p62 levels in all three cell types and abrogated the cisplatin‑induced upregulation of p62. These results suggest that staurosporine could sensitize cancer cells to cisplatin via a mechanism involving downregulation of p62.

Battista RA, Resnati M, Facchi C, et al.
Autophagy mediates epithelial cancer chemoresistance by reducing p62/SQSTM1 accumulation.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(8):e0201621 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
To cope with intrinsic and environmental stress, cancer cells rely on adaptive pathways more than non-transformed counterparts. Such non-oncogene addiction offers new therapeutic targets and strategies to overcome chemoresistance. In an attempt to study the role of adaptive pathways in acquired drug resistance in carcinoma cells, we devised a model of in vitro conditioning to three standard chemotherapeutic agents, cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and docetaxel, from the epithelial cancer cell line, HEp-2, and investigated the mechanisms underlying reduced drug sensitivity. We found that triple-resistant cells suffered from higher levels of oxidative stress, and showed heightened anti-stress responses, including the antioxidant Nrf2 pathway and autophagy, a conserved pleiotropic homeostatic strategy, mediating the clearance of aggregates marked by the adapter p62/SQSTM1. As a result, re-administration of chemotherapeutic agents failed to induce further accumulation of reactive oxygen species and p62. Moreover, autophagy proved responsible for chemoresistance through the avoidance of p62 accumulation into toxic protein aggregates. Indeed, p62 ablation was sufficient to confer resistance in parental cells, and genetic and pharmacological autophagic inhibition restored drug sensitivity in resistant cells in a p62-dependent manner. Finally, exogenous expression of mutant p62 lacking the ubiquitin- and LC3-binding domains, required for autophagic engulfment, increased chemosensitivity in TDR HEp-2 cells. Altogether, these findings offer a cellular system to investigate the bases of acquired chemoresistance of epithelial cancers and encourage challenging the prognostic and antineoplastic therapeutic potential of p62 toxicity.

Cohen JN, Yeh I, Jordan RC, et al.
Cutaneous Non-Neural Granular Cell Tumors Harbor Recurrent ALK Gene Fusions.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(9):1133-1142 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-neural granular cell tumor (NNGCT; also known as primitive polypoid granular cell tumor) is a rare neoplasm composed of large ovoid cells with abundant granular cytoplasm, variable nuclear pleomorphism, and the potential for regional lymph node spread. In contrast to conventional granular cell tumor (GCT), NNGCT lacks S100 expression and can exhibit greater nuclear atypia and mitotic activity. Therefore, we investigated clinicopathologic features of 12 NNGCT, and also used next-generation sequencing to identify potential driver events in a subset of NNGCT and 6 GCT. NNGCT demonstrated mild-to-moderate nuclear pleomorphism, variable mitotic activity (0 to 10/10 high-power fields), and were S100. Genetic analysis of 5 cutaneous NNGCT revealed gene fusions involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene (ALK) in 3 cases (60%). Specifically, an interstitial deletion of chromosome 2 resulting in an in-frame fusion of dyanactin 1 (DCTN1) to ALK was identified in 2 cases, and a translocation resulting in a fusion between sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) on chromosome 5 and ALK was identified in one case. Two of 6 GCT (33%) showed gains of chromosome 7. No other molecular or chromosomal alterations were detected in NNGCT and GCT. ALK immunohistochemistry revealed weak-to-moderate positivity in 4/9 cutaneous NNCGT (44%) including all 3 tumors with ALK fusions. Three oral NNGCT lacked ALK expression. NNGCT with ALK immunostaining did not have morphologic features distinguishing them from those without ALK staining. Our results demonstrate that a subset of NNGCT harbor ALK fusions, suggest that NNGCT are molecularly diverse, and further substantiate NNGCT as distinct from GCT.

Xu W, Wei Q, Han M, et al.
CCL2-SQSTM1 positive feedback loop suppresses autophagy to promote chemoresistance in gastric cancer.
Int J Biol Sci. 2018; 14(9):1054-1066 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
Chemotherapy is one of the most important approaches for the treatment of various cancers. However, tumor cells often develop resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. The tumor microenvironment reconstituted by various cytokines secreted from immune cells was recently found to play important roles in affecting therapeutic response of tumor cells. Herein, we reported that tumor cells can secrete autocrine cytokines to confer chemoresistance by inactivating proapoptotic autophagy. Through cytokine screening, we found that drug resistant cancer cells secreted more CCL2 than drug sensitive cells. Such secreted CCL2 could not only maintain chemoresistance in drug-resistant cancer cells but also confer drug resistance to drug-sensitive cancer cells. CCL2 attenuated drug-induced cytotoxicity by activating PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling to inhibit proapoptotic autophagy and increase SQSTM1 expression. CCL2 expression in primary carcinoma tissues also correlated well with SQSTM1 expression. Either CCL2 knock-down or autophagy induction successfully reversed drug resistance of tumor cells. Moreover, increased expression of SQSTM1 in turn activated CCL2 transcription via NF-κB signal pathway, representing a positive feedback loop to maintain drug resistance. Therefore, our results provided a new insight to understand drug resistance, and indicated the potential value of CCL2 as a biomarker and intervention target for chemotherapy resistance.

Kang Y, He P, Wang H, et al.
Brazilin induces FOXO3A-dependent autophagic cell death by disturbing calcium homeostasis in osteosarcoma cells.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2018; 82(3):479-491 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Osteosarcoma is a common primary malignant bone tumour, and its cure rate has stagnated over the past 25-30 years. Brazilin, a purified natural product from sappan wood (Caesalpinia sappan L.), has been proved to possess potent anti-cancer effects. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer effect of brazilin on human osteosarcoma and elucidated the underlying mechanisms.
METHODS: We exposed MG-63 cells to different concentrations of brazilin (5, 10 and 20 µM) for 24 h. Western blotting, immunocytofluorescence, luciferase reporter assays, and RT-PCR were used to evaluate whether brazilin activates FOXO family-dependent autophagy.
RESULTS: Brazilin increased autophagic flux in the human osteosarcoma cell line MG-63, as evidenced by the upregulation of LC3-II and the downregulation of P62/SQSTM1. Moreover, the pharmacological or genetic blockade of autophagy decreased brazilin-induced cell death, indicating that brazilin triggered autophagic cell death in MG-63 cells. Specifically, brazilin induced FOXO3A(Ser7) phosphorylation, activated FOXO3A nuclear translocation and increased FOXO3A reporter activity, which contributed to the expression of autophagy-related genes and subsequently initiated autophagic cell death in MG-63 cells. Importantly, the increased expression and nuclear translocation of FOXO3A were tightly related to the disturbance of calcium homeostasis, which could be prevented by chelating intracellular calcium.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these data demonstrate that brazilin induces osteosarcoma cell death by inducing excessive autophagy, which is mediated through the Ca

Tan M, Wu A, Liao N, et al.
Inhibiting ROS-TFE3-dependent autophagy enhances the therapeutic response to metformin in breast cancer.
Free Radic Res. 2018; 52(8):872-886 [PubMed] Related Publications
Autophagy modulation is a potential therapeutic strategy for breast cancer, and a previous study indicated that metformin exhibits significant anti-carcinogenic activity. However, the ability of metformin to induce autophagy and its role in breast cancer cell death remains unclear. In this study, we exposed MCF-7 cells to different concentrations of metformin (2.5, 5, and 10 mM) for 48 h, and metformin-induced significant apoptosis in the MCF-7 cells. The expression levels of CL-PARP (poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1) and the ratio of BAX to BCL-2 were significantly increased. In addition to apoptosis, we showed that metformin increased autophagic flux in MCF-7 cells, as evidenced by the upregulation of LC3-II and downregulation of P62/SQSTM1. Moreover, pharmacological or genetic blocking of autophagy increased metformin-induced apoptosis, indicating a cytoprotective role of autophagy in metformin-treated MCF-7 cells. Mechanistically, metformin-induced TFE3

Wang Z, Chen Q, Li B, et al.
Escin-induced DNA damage promotes escin-induced apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells via p62 regulation of the ATM/γH2AX pathway.
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2018; 39(10):1645-1660 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Escin, a triterpene saponin isolated from horse chestnut seed, has been used to treat encephaledema, tissue swelling and chronic venous insufficiency. Recent studies show that escin induces cell cycle arrest, tumor proliferation inhibition and tumor cell apoptosis. But the relationship between escin-induced DNA damage and cell apoptosis in tumor cells remains unclear. In this study, we investigated whether and how escin-induced DNA damage contributed to escin-induced apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells. Escin (5-80 μg/mL) dose-dependently inhibited the cell viability and colony formation in HCT116 and HCT8 cells. Escin treatment induced DNA damage, leading to p-ATM and γH2AX upregulation. Meanwhile, escin treatment increased the expression of p62, an adaptor protein, which played a crucial role in controlling cell survival and tumorigenesis, and had a protective effect against escin-induced DNA damage: knockdown of p62 apparently enhanced escin-induced DNA damage, whereas overexpression of p62 reduced escin-induced DNA damage. In addition, escin treatment induced concentration- and time-dependent apoptosis. Similarly, knockdown of p62 significantly increased escin-induced apoptosis in vitro and produced en escin-like antitumor effect in vivo. Overexpression of p62 decreased the rate of apoptosis. Further studies revealed that the functions of p62 in escin-induced DNA damage were associated with escin-induced apoptosis, and p62 knockdown combined with the ATM inhibitor KU55933 augmented escin-induced DNA damage and further increased escin-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that p62 regulates ATM/γH2AX pathway-mediated escin-induced DNA damage and apoptosis.

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