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Obatoclax impairs lysosomal function to block autophagy in cisplatin-sensitive and -resistant esophageal cancer cells.


PMID 26910910

Abstract

Obatoclax, a pan-inhibitor of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins, exhibits cytotoxic effect on cancer cells through both apoptosis-dependent and -independent pathways. Here we show that obatoclax caused cytotoxicity in both cisplatin-sensitive and -resistant esophageal cancer cells. Although obatoclax showed differential apoptogenic effects in these cells, it consistently blocked autophagic flux, which was evidenced by concomitant accumulation of LC3-II and p62. Obatoclax was trapped in lysosomes and induced lysosome clustering. Obatoclax also substantially reduced the expression of lysosomal cathepsins B, D and L. Moreover, cathepsin knockdown was sufficient to induce cytotoxicity, connecting lysosomal function to cell viability. Consistent with the known function of autophagy, obatoclax caused the accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins and showed synergy with proteasome inhibition. Taken together, our studies unveiled impaired lysosomal function as a novel mechanism whereby obatoclax mediates its cytotoxic effect in esophageal cancer cells.

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