Pubblicazioni IGM

Molecular features of the cytotoxicity of an NHE inhibitor: Evidence of mitochondrial alterations, ROS overproduction and DNA damage.


Aredia F, Czaplinski S, Fulda S, Scovassi AI.


BMC CANCER 16(1) 851-, 2016

Autori CNR




BACKGROUND: NH exchangers (NHEs) play a crucial role in regulating intra/extracellular pH, which is altered in cancer cells, and are therefore suitable targets to alter cancer cell metabolism in order to inhibit cell survival and proliferation. Among NHE inhibitors, amiloride family members are commonly used in clinical practice as diuretics; we focused on the amiloride HMA, reporting a net cytotoxic effect on a panel of human cancer cell lines; now we aim to provide new insights into the molecular events leading to cell death by HMA. METHODS:Colon cancer cell lines were treated with HMA and analysed with: morphological and cellular assays for cell viability and death, and autophagy; biochemical approaches to evaluate mitochondrial function and ROS production; in situ detection of DNA damage; molecular tools to silence crucial autophagy/necroptosis factors. RESULTS: HMA affects cellular morphology, alters mitochondrial structure and function, causes an increase in ROS, which is detrimental to DNA integrity, stimulates poly(ADP-ribose) synthesis, activates RIPK3-dependent death and triggers autophagy, which is unable to rescue cell survival. These features are hot points of an intricate network of processes, including necroptosis and autophagy, regulating the homeostasis between survival and death. CONCLUSION: Our results allow the identification of multiple events leading to cell death in cancer cells treated with HMA. The here-defined intricate network activated by HMA could be instrumental to selectively target the key players of each pathway in the attempt to improve the global response to HMA. Our data could be the starting point for developing a newly designed targeted therapy.

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