Biochemical pharmacology

Targeting V-ATPase in primary human monocytes by archazolid potently represses the classical secretion of cytokines due to accumulation at the endoplasmic reticulum.

PMID 25107704


The macrolide archazolid inhibits vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase), a proton-translocating enzyme involved in protein transport and pH regulation of cell organelles, and potently suppresses cancer cell growth at low nanomolar concentrations. In view of the growing link between inflammation and cancer, we investigated whether inhibition of V-ATPase by archazolid may affect primary human monocytes that can promote cancer by sustaining inflammation through the release of tumor-promoting cytokines. Human primary monocytes express V-ATPase, and archazolid (10-100nM) increases the vesicular pH in these cells. Archazolid (10nM) markedly reduced the release of pro-inflammatory (TNF-α, interleukin-6 and -8) but also of anti-inflammatory (interleukin-10) cytokines in monocytes stimulated with LPS, without affecting cell viability up to 1000nM. Of interest, secretion of interleukin-1β was increased by archazolid. Comparable effects were obtained by the V-ATPase inhibitors bafilomycin and apicularen. The phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and ERK-1/2, Akt, SAPK/JNK or of the inhibitor of NFκB (IκBα) as well as mRNA expression of IL-8 were not altered by archazolid in LPS-stimulated monocytes. Instead, archazolid caused endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response visualized by increased BiP expression and accumulation of IL-8 (and TNF-α) at the ER, indicating a perturbation of protein secretion. In conclusion, by interference with V-ATPase, archazolid significantly affects the secretion of cytokines due to accumulation at the ER which might be of relevance when using these agents for cancer therapy.