Home General Physiology and Biophysics 2017 General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.36, No.2, p.117–128, 2017

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Quarterly, 80 pp. per issue
Founded: 1982
ISSN  1338-4325 (online)

Published in English

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General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.36, No.2, p.117–128, 2017

Title: Auranofin, an inhibitor of thioredoxin reductase, induces apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells by generation of reactive oxygen species
Author: Hyun Hwang-Bo, Jin-Woo Jeong, Min Ho Han, Cheol Park, Su-Hyun Hong, Gi-Young Kim, Sung-Kwon Moon, Jaehun Cheong, Wun-Jae Kim, Young Hyun Yoo, Yung Hyun Choi

Abstract: Mammalian thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) plays a vital role in restoring cellular redox balance disrupted by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and oxidative damage. Here, we evaluated whether auranofin, a selective inhibitor of TrxR, could serve as a potential anti-cancer agent through its selective targeting of TrxR activity in Hep3B hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Auranofin treatment reduced the TrxR activity of these cells and induced apoptosis, which were accompanied by up-regulation of death receptors (DRs) and activation of caspases, as well as promotion of proteolytic degradation of poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase. Treatment with a pan-caspase inhibitor reversed the auranofin-induced apoptosis and growth suppression, indicating that auranofin may induce apoptosis through a caspase-dependent mechanism involving both the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. Auranofin also significantly altered mitochondrial function, promoting mitochondrial membrane permeabilization and cytochrome c release by regulating Bcl-2 family proteins; these events were accompanied by an accumulation of ROS. Inhibition of ROS generation with the ROS quencher significantly attenuated the inactivation of TrxR in auranofin-treated cells and almost completely suppressed the auranofin-induced up-regulation of DRs and activation of caspases, thereby preventing auranofin-induced apoptosis and loss of cell viability. Taken together, these findings indicate that auranofin inhibition of TrxR activity in Hep3B cells activates ROS- and caspase-dependent apoptotic signaling pathways and triggers cancer cell death.

Keywords: TrxR — Auranofin — Apoptosis — Caspase — ROS
Published online: 07-Mar-2017
Year: 2017, Volume: 36, Issue: 2 Page From: 117, Page To: 128

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