Autophagy‑mediated adaptation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to hypoxia‑mimicking conditions constitutes an attractive therapeutic target

  • Authors:
    • Satoshi Owada
    • Hitoshi Endo
    • Yukari Shida
    • Chisa Okada
    • Kanako Ito
    • Takahiro Nezu
    • Masayuki Tatemichi
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: February 23, 2018     https://doi.org/10.3892/or.2018.6279
  • Pages: 1805-1812
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Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma has extremely poor prognosis. In cancerous liver tissues, aberrant proliferation of cancer cells leads to the creation of an area where an immature vascular network is formed. Since oxygen is supplied to cancer tissues through the bloodstream, a part of the tumor is exposed to hypoxic conditions. As hypoxia is known to severely reduce the effectiveness of existing anticancer agents, novel valid therapeutic targets must be identified for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Generally, autophagy has been reported to play an important role in the adaptation of cancer cells to hypoxia. However, the exact role and significance of this process vary depending on the cancer type, requiring detailed analysis in individual primary tumors and cell lines. In the present study, we examined autophagy induced by cobalt chloride, a hypoxia‑mimicking agent, in hepatocellular carcinoma cells with the aim to evaluate the validity of this process as a potential therapeutic target. We observed that treatment with cobalt chloride induced autophagy, including the intracellular quality control mechanism, in an AMPK‑dependent manner. Furthermore, treatment with autophagy inhibitors (bafilomycin and LY294002) resulted in significant, highly‑selective cytotoxicity and apoptosis activation under hypoxia‑mimicking conditions. The knockdown of AMPK also revealed significant cytotoxicity in hypoxia‑mimicking conditions. These results clearly demonstrated that autophagy, especially mitophagy, was induced by the AMPK pathway when hepatocellular carcinoma cells were subjected to hypoxic conditions and played an important role in the adaptation of these cells to such conditions. Thus, autophagy may constitute an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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April 2018
Volume 39 Issue 4

Print ISSN: 1021-335X
Online ISSN:1791-2431

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APA
Owada, S., Endo, H., Shida, Y., Okada, C., Ito, K., Nezu, T., & Tatemichi, M. (2018). Autophagy‑mediated adaptation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to hypoxia‑mimicking conditions constitutes an attractive therapeutic target. Oncology Reports, 39, 1805-1812. https://doi.org/10.3892/or.2018.6279
MLA
Owada, S., Endo, H., Shida, Y., Okada, C., Ito, K., Nezu, T., Tatemichi, M."Autophagy‑mediated adaptation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to hypoxia‑mimicking conditions constitutes an attractive therapeutic target". Oncology Reports 39.4 (2018): 1805-1812.
Chicago
Owada, S., Endo, H., Shida, Y., Okada, C., Ito, K., Nezu, T., Tatemichi, M."Autophagy‑mediated adaptation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to hypoxia‑mimicking conditions constitutes an attractive therapeutic target". Oncology Reports 39, no. 4 (2018): 1805-1812. https://doi.org/10.3892/or.2018.6279