Autophagy inhibition specifically promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasion in RAS-mutated cancer cellsMore about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listYihua Wang Hua Xiong Dian Liu Charlotte Hill Ayse Ertay Juanjuan Li Yanmei Zou Paul Miller Eileen White Julian Downward Robert D Goldin Xianglin Yuan Xin Lu
Macroautophagy/autophagy inhibition is a novel anticancer therapeutic strategy, especially for tumors driven by mutant RAS. Here, we demonstrate that autophagy inhibition in RAS-mutated cells induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is associated with enhanced tumor invasion. This is at least partially achieved by triggering the NFKB/NF-κB pathway via SQSTM1/p62. Knockdown of ATG3 or ATG5 increases oncogenic RAS-induced expression of ZEB1 and SNAI2/Snail2, and activates NFKB activity. Depletion of SQSTM1 abolishes the activation of the NFKB pathway induced by autophagy inhibition in RAS-mutated cells. NFKB pathway inhibition by depletion of RELA/p65 blocks this EMT induction. Finally, accumulation of SQSTM1 protein correlates with loss of CDH1/E-cadherin expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Together, we suggest that combining autophagy inhibition with NFKB inhibitors may therefore be necessary to treat RAS-mutated cancer. Abbreviations: 4-OHT: 4-hydroxytamoxifen; DIC: differential interference contrast; EMT: epithelial-mesenchymal transition; ESR: estrogen receptor; MAPK/ERK: mitogen-activated protein kinase; iBMK: immortalized baby mouse kidney epithelial cells; MET: mesenchymal-epithelial transition; PI3K: phosphoinositide 3-kinase; RNAi: RNA interference; TGFB/TGF-β: transforming growth factor beta; TNF: tumor necrosis factor; TRAF6: TNF receptor associated factor 6.
Issue number 5