1. School of Clinical Medicine & The First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu 610500, China.
2. Xindu District People's Hospital of Chengdu, Chengdu 610500, China.
3. Sichuan Cancer Hospital and Institute, School of Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology, Sichuan 610042, China.
† These authors contributed equally to this work
Chemotherapeutic agents remain the first-line treatment for solid tumors, including lung cancer, but chemotherapy resistance is hampering global efforts to treat this disease. CC-115 is a novel antitumoral compound used in phase I clinical trials. However, it is unclear whether CC-115 is effective against lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). In the present study, we found that CC-115 induced lytic cell death in A549 and H1650 tumor cells via swelling of cells and formation of large bubbles on the plasma membrane that closely resembled those typical of pyroptosis, a type of programmed cell death linked to chemotherapy. We demonstrated that CC-115 exerts antitumor effects in LUAD through gasdermin E (GSDME)-mediated pyroptosis by acting as a dual inhibitor of DNA-PK and mTOR. CC-115 can inhibit Akt phosphorylation, impairing its inhibitory effect on Bax, thereby inducing pyroptosis via the Bax-mitochondrial intrinsic pathway. CC-115-induced pyroptosis was abrogated by treatment with the Akt activator SC79 or by depletion of Bax. Importantly, CC-115 significantly upregulated the expression of Bax and GSDME-N in a xenograft mouse model, with a reduction in tumor size. Our results revealed that CC-115 suppresses tumor growth by inducing GSDME-mediated pyroptosis through the Akt/Bax-mitochondrial intrinsic pathway, indicating CC-115 as a promising therapeutic agent for LUAD.
Keywords: Bax, pyroptosis, CC-115, GSDME, lung adenocarcinoma, chemotherapy