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  • The anticancer agent di-2-pyridylketone 4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT) overcomes prosurvival autophagy by two mechanisms: persistent induction of autophagosome synthesis and impairment of lysosomal integrity.

The anticancer agent di-2-pyridylketone 4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT) overcomes prosurvival autophagy by two mechanisms: persistent induction of autophagosome synthesis and impairment of lysosomal integrity.

The Journal of biological chemistry (2014-10-11)
Elaine Gutierrez, Des R Richardson, Patric J Jansson
ABSTRACT

Autophagy functions as a survival mechanism during cellular stress and contributes to resistance against anticancer agents. The selective antitumor and antimetastatic chelator di-2-pyridylketone 4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT) causes lysosomal membrane permeabilization and cell death. Considering the integral role of lysosomes in autophagy and cell death, it was important to assess the effect of Dp44mT on autophagy to further understand its mechanism of action. Notably, Dp44mT affected autophagy by two mechanisms. First, concurrent with its antiproliferative activity, Dp44mT increased the expression of the classical autophagic marker LC3-II as a result of induced autophagosome synthesis. Second, this effect was supplemented by a reduction in autophagosome degradation as shown by the accumulation of the autophagic substrate and receptor p62. Conversely, the classical iron chelator desferrioxamine induced autophagosome accumulation only by inhibiting autophagosome degradation. The formation of redox-active iron or copper Dp44mT complexes was critical for its dual effect on autophagy. The cytoprotective antioxidant N-acetylcysteine inhibited Dp44mT-induced autophagosome synthesis and p62 accumulation. Importantly, Dp44mT inhibited autophagosome degradation via lysosomal disruption. This effect prevented the fusion of lysosomes with autophagosomes to form autolysosomes, which is crucial for the completion of the autophagic process. The antiproliferative activity of Dp44mT was suppressed by Beclin1 and ATG5 silencing, indicating the role of persistent autophagosome synthesis in Dp44mT-induced cell death. These studies demonstrate that Dp44mT can overcome the prosurvival activity of autophagy in cancer cells by utilizing this process to potentiate cell death.

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