J Cancer 2019; 10(16):3678-3690. doi:10.7150/jca.32803

Research Paper

Identification of Chaetocin as a Potent non-ROS-mediated Anticancer Drug Candidate for Gastric Cancer

Xinwen Liao1,#, Yaqiong Fan1,#, Jihuan Hou1,#, Xiong Chen1, Xiaolin Xu1, Yifan Yang1, Jinying Shen1, Panying Mi1, Xiaohua Huang2, Wenqing Zhang1, Hanwei Cao1, Xiaoting Hong2, Tianhui Hu1, Yan-yan Zhan1,✉

1. Cancer Research Center, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, Fujian, P.R. China
2. Department of Basic Medicine, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, Fujian, P.R. China
#These authors contribute equally to this work.

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Citation:
Liao X, Fan Y, Hou J, Chen X, Xu X, Yang Y, Shen J, Mi P, Huang X, Zhang W, Cao H, Hong X, Hu T, Zhan Yy. Identification of Chaetocin as a Potent non-ROS-mediated Anticancer Drug Candidate for Gastric Cancer. J Cancer 2019; 10(16):3678-3690. doi:10.7150/jca.32803. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v10p3678.htm

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Abstract

Chaetocin, a natural product extracted from Chaetomium species, possesses anticancer effects in several kinds of tumors. However, it remains unclear whether the potential indication for chaetocin could also include human gastric cancer. We found here that chaetocin induced caspase-dependent and -independent apoptosis in human gastric cancer cell lines, which greatly depended on BID-mediated AIF translocation. Despite not increasing the intercellular ROS levels in gastric cancer cells, chaetocin did cause a reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential probably through its regulation on the expression of Bcl-2 and BAX. Chaetocin could also induce autophagy in gastric cancer cells; blocking autophagy by chloroquine enhanced the cytotoxicity of chaetocin. Chaetocin was further found to suppress the growth of gastric cancer xenograft in nude mice. Therefore, our study provides first evidence that chaetocin has an anticancer efficacy against gastric cancer and the combined use of chaetocin with autophagy inhibitors may enhance the therapeutic effect for gastric cancer. As chronic and exorbitant ROS levels instigate drug resistance, chaetocin, which eradicates gastric cancer cells without increasing ROS levels, may initiate a new line of non-ROS-mediated anti-tumor strategy.

Keywords: Chaetocin, gastric cancer, apoptosis, AIF, non-ROS-mediated, autophagy