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Dual inhibition of thioredoxin reductase and proteasome is required for auranofin-induced paraptosis in breast cancer cells

Seo, MJ | Kim, IY | Lee, DM | Park, YJ | Cho, MY  | Jin, HJ | Choi, KS
Cell death & disease, 14(1). : 42-42, 2023
Journal Title
Cell death & disease
Auranofin (AF), a gold (I)-containing phosphine compound, is being investigated for oncological application as a repurposed drug. We show here that 4~5 µM AF induces paraptosis, a non-apoptotic cell death mode characterized by dilation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria, in breast cancer cells. Although the covalent inhibition of thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), an enzyme that critically controls intracellular redox homeostasis, is considered the primary mechanism of AF’s anticancer activity, knockdown of TrxR1 did not induce paraptosis. Instead, both TrxR1 knockdown plus the proteasome inhibitor (PI), bortezomib (Bz), and 2 μM AF plus Bz induced paraptosis, thereby mimicking the effect of 5 μM AF. These results suggest that the paraptosis induced by 5 μM AF requires the inhibition of both TrxR1 and proteasome. We found that TrxR1 knockdown/Bz or subtoxic doses of AF and Bz induced paraptosis selectively in breast cancer cells, sparing non-transformed MCF10A cells, whereas 4~5 μM AF killed both cancer and MCF10A cells. GSH depletion was found to be more critical than ROS generation for the paraptosis induced by dual TrxR1/proteasome inhibition. In this process, the ATF4/CHAC1 (glutathione-specific gamma-glutamylcyclotransferase 1) axis leads to GSH degradation, contributing to proteotoxic stress possibly due to the accumulation of misfolded thiol-containing proteins. These results suggest that the paraptosis-inducing strategy of AF plus a PI may provide an effective therapeutic strategy against pro-apoptotic therapy-resistant cancers and reduce the potential side effects associated with high-dose AF.

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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Microbiology
Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Ajou Authors
조, 미영  |  최, 경숙
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