Cancer Lett 2016 Mar 29;372(1):89-100. Epub 2015 Dec 29.
Department of Biotechnology, Daegu University, Kyoungsan, Kyoungbook 712-714, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:
Apoptosis and autophagy are genetically regulated, evolutionarily conserved processes that can jointly seal cancer cell fates, and numerous death stimuli are capable of activating either pathway. Although crosstalk between apoptosis and autophagy is quite complex and sometimes contradictory, it remains a key factor determining the outcomes of death-related pathologies such as cancer. In the present study, exposure of MCF-7 breast cancer cells to HIS and the H1 receptor antagonist AST both alone and together with HIS (AST-HIS) led to generation of intracellular ROS, which induced massive cellular vacuolization through dilation of the ER and mitochondria. Consequently, apoptosis by Bax translocation, cytochrome c release, and caspase activation were triggered. In addition, AST-HIS caused ER stress-induced autophagy in MCF-7 cells, as evidenced by an increased LC3-II/LC3-I ratio, with surprisingly no changes in Beclin-1 expression. Non-canonical autophagy was induced via p53 phosphorylation, which increased p53-p62 interactions to enhance Beclin-1-independent autophagy as evidenced by immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation. In the absence of Beclin-1, enhanced autophagy further activated apoptosis through caspase induction. In conclusion, these findings indicate that AST-HIS-induced apoptosis and autophagy can be regulated by ROS-mediated signaling pathways.