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  • w09, a novel autophagy enhancer, induces autophagy-dependent cell apoptosis via activation of the EGFR-mediated RAS-RAF1-MAP2K-MAPK1/3 pathway.

w09, a novel autophagy enhancer, induces autophagy-dependent cell apoptosis via activation of the EGFR-mediated RAS-RAF1-MAP2K-MAPK1/3 pathway.

Autophagy (2017-05-18)
Pinghu Zhang, Zuguo Zheng, Li Ling, Xiaohui Yang, Ni Zhang, Xue Wang, Maozhi Hu, Yu Xia, Yiwen Ma, Haoran Yang, Yunyi Wang, Hongqi Liu
ABSTRACT

The EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) signaling pathway is frequently deregulated in many malignancies. Therefore, targeting the EGFR pathway is regarded as a promising strategy for anticancer drug discovery. Herein, we identified a 2-amino-nicotinonitrile compound (w09) as a novel autophagy enhancer, which potently induced macroautophagy/autophagy and consequent apoptosis in gastric cancer cells. Mechanistic studies revealed that EGFR-mediated activation of the RAS-RAF1-MAP2K-MAPK1/3 signaling pathway played a critical role in w09-induced autophagy and apoptosis of gastric cancer cells. Inhibition of the MAPK1/3 pathway with U0126 or blockade of autophagy by specific chemical inhibitors markedly attenuated the effect of w09-mediated growth inhibition and caspase-dependent apoptosis. Furthermore, these conclusions were supported by knockdown of ATG5 or knockout of ATG5 and/or ATG7. Notably, w09 increased the expression of SQSTM1 by transcription, and knockout of SQSTM1 or deleting the LC3-interaction region domain of SQSTM1, significantly inhibited w09-induced PARP1 cleavage, suggesting the central role played by SQSTM1 in w09-induced apoptosis. In addition, in vivo administration of w09 effectively inhibited tumor growth of SGC-7901 xenografts. Hence, our findings not only suggested that activation of the EGFR-RAS-RAF1-MAP2K-MAPK1/3 signaling pathway may play a critical role in w09-induced autophagy and apoptosis, but also imply that induction of autophagic cancer cell death through activation of the EGFR pathway may be a potential therapeutic strategy for EGFR-disregulated gastric tumors.

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TWEEN® 20, BioXtra, viscous liquid