Open Access

Starvation mediates pancreatic cancer cell sensitivity to ferroptosis via ERK1/2, JNK and changes in the cell mesenchymal state

  • Authors:
    • Egle Zalyte
    • Jonas Cicenas
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: May 4, 2022     https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2022.5140
  • Article Number: 84
  • Copyright: © Zalyte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

Metrics: Total Views: 0 (Spandidos Publications: | PMC Statistics: )
Total PDF Downloads: 0 (Spandidos Publications: | PMC Statistics: )


Abstract

Pancreatic cancer is a highly metastatic and therapy‑resistant disease. In the present study, the prospects of a novel approach to kill pancreatic cancer cells were examined: Starvation combined with ferroptosis induction. Established pancreatic cancer cell lines (Miapaca2, Panc‑1, Su.86.86 and T3M4), as well as a unique cell line, Capan‑26, which was originally derived in the authors' laboratory, were used. Cells were deprived from growth factors, amino acids and pseudo‑starved using treatment with mTOR inhibitors; erastin was used to induce ferroptosis. Cell viability and lipid peroxidation measurements using flow cytometry revealed that the starved pancreatic cancer cells reacted differently to ferroptosis induction: The Panc‑1, Su.86.86 and T3M4 cells gained sensitivity, while the Miapaca2 cells acquired resistance. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that ERK1/2 translocated to the nucleus of the starved pancreatic cancer cells. Moreover, ERK1/2 pharmacological inhibition with SCH772984 prevented erastin‑induced ferroptosis in the starved Panc‑1, Su.86.86 and T3M4 cells. Confocal microscopy also indicated JNK activation. However, the inhibition of this kinase revealed its unexpected role in oxidative stress management: Treatment with the JNK inhibitor, SP600125, increased the viability of pseudo‑starved cells following erastin treatment. In addition, the FBS‑starved Miapaca2 and Capan‑26 cells transitioned between epithelial and mesenchymal cell states. The results were further confirmed using wound healing assays, western blot analysis and microscopic analysis of epithelial‑to‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers. Mesenchymal properties were associated with a higher sensitivity to erastin, whereas epithelial‑like cells were more resistant. Finally, it was demonstrated that compounds targeting EMT‑related signaling pathways increased cell sensitivity to erastin. On the whole, these results confirm that in starved pancreatic cancer cells, ERK1/2 and JNK signaling, as well as switching between epithelial and mesenchymal states mediates sensitivity to erastin and reveal novel therapeutic prospects of the combination of starvation with ferroptosis induction.

Related Articles

Journal Cover

June-2022
Volume 49 Issue 6

Print ISSN: 1107-3756
Online ISSN:1791-244X

Sign up for eToc alerts

Recommend to Library

Copy and paste a formatted citation
x
Spandidos Publications style
Zalyte E and Zalyte E: Starvation mediates pancreatic cancer cell sensitivity to ferroptosis via ERK1/2, JNK and changes in the cell mesenchymal state. Int J Mol Med 49: 84, 2022
APA
Zalyte, E., & Zalyte, E. (2022). Starvation mediates pancreatic cancer cell sensitivity to ferroptosis via ERK1/2, JNK and changes in the cell mesenchymal state. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 49, 84. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2022.5140
MLA
Zalyte, E., Cicenas, J."Starvation mediates pancreatic cancer cell sensitivity to ferroptosis via ERK1/2, JNK and changes in the cell mesenchymal state". International Journal of Molecular Medicine 49.6 (2022): 84.
Chicago
Zalyte, E., Cicenas, J."Starvation mediates pancreatic cancer cell sensitivity to ferroptosis via ERK1/2, JNK and changes in the cell mesenchymal state". International Journal of Molecular Medicine 49, no. 6 (2022): 84. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2022.5140