Biochemical and biophysical research communications

The natural product peiminine represses colorectal carcinoma tumor growth by inducing autophagic cell death.

PMID 25935480


Autophagy is evolutionarily conservative in eukaryotic cells that engulf cellular long-lived proteins and organelles, and it degrades the contents through fusion with lysosomes, via which the cell acquires recycled building blocks for the synthesis of new molecules. In this study, we revealed that peiminine induces cell death and enhances autophagic flux in colorectal carcinoma HCT-116 cells. We determined that peiminine enhances the autophagic flux by repressing the phosphorylation of mTOR through inhibiting upstream signals. Knocking down ATG5 greatly reduced the peiminine-induced cell death in wild-type HCT-116 cells, while treating Bax/Bak-deficient cells with peiminine resulted in significant cell death. In summary, our discoveries demonstrated that peiminine represses colorectal carcinoma cell proliferation and cell growth by inducing autophagic cell death.