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Verteporfin disrupts multiple steps of autophagy and regulates p53 to sensitize osteosarcoma cells.

Cancer cell international (2021-01-16)
Heena Saini, Harshita Sharma, Sudeshna Mukherjee, Shibasish Chowdhury, Rajdeep Chowdhury
ABSTRACT

Osteosarcoma (OS) is a malignant tumor of the bone mostly observed in children and adolescents. The current treatment approach includes neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy; however, drug resistance often hinders therapy in OS patients. Also, the post-relapse survival of OS patients is as low as 20%. We therefore planned to understand the molecular cause for its poor prognosis and design an appropriate therapeutic strategy to combat the disease. We analyzed OS patient dataset from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and identified the differentially expressed genes and the top deregulated pathways in OS. Subsequently, drugs targeting the major de-regulated pathways were selected and the following assays were conducted- MTT assay to assess cytotoxicity of drugs in OS cells; immunoblotting and immunostaining to analyze key protein expression and localization after drug treatment; LysoTracker staining to monitor lysosomes; Acridine Orange to label acidic vesicles; and DCFDA to measure Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The differential gene expression analysis from OS patient dataset implicated the striking involvement of cellular processes linked to autophagy and protein processing in the development of OS. We therefore selected the FDA approved drugs, chloroquine (CQ) and verteporfin (VP) known for autophagy inhibitory and proteotoxic functions to explore against OS. Importantly, VP, but not CQ, showed an extensive dose-dependent cytotoxicity. It resulted in autophagy disruption at multiple steps extending from perturbation of early autophagic processes, inhibition of autophagic flux to induction of lysosomal instability. Interestingly, VP treated protein lysates showed a ROS-dependent high molecular weight (HMW) band when probed for P62 and P53 protein. Further, VP triggered accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins as well. Since VP had a pronounced disruptive effect on cellular protein homeostasis, we explored the possibility of simultaneous inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasomal system (UPS) by MG-132 (MG). Addition of a proteasomal inhibitor significantly aggravated VP induced cytotoxicity. MG co-treatment also led to selective targeting of P53 to the lysosomes. Herein, we propose VP and MG induce regulation of autophagy and protein homeostasis which can be exploited as an effective therapeutic strategy against osteosarcoma.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
2′,7′-Dichlorofluorescin diacetate, ≥97%
Sigma-Aldrich
Propidium iodide solution, solution (1.0 mg/ml in water)
Sigma-Aldrich
Verteporfin, ≥94% (HPLC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Dansylcadaverine, ≥97% (TLC)
Sigma-Aldrich
2-Phenylindole, technical grade, 95%