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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

γ-Synuclein is Closely Involved in Autophagy that Protects Colon Cancer Cell from Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

Author(s): Qing Ye, Yuanfei Peng, Feng Huang*, Jinhu Chen, Yangmei Xu, Yangming Li, Shengyuan Liu and Lijie Huang

Volume 21 , Issue 17 , 2021

Published on: 18 January, 2021

Page: [2385 - 2396] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1871520621666210119093327

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Background: In previous studies, we provided evidence suggesting the involvement of γ-synuclein in growth, invasion, and metastasis of colon cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Among γ-synuclein downstream genes, the microtubule-associated protein 1 Light Chain 3 (LC3), an autophagy gene, was screened by gene expression profile chip analysis.

Objective: We planned to investigate the functional effects of γ-synuclein on autophagy induced by ER stress in colon cancer cells.

Methods: We investigated the functional effects of γ-synuclein on autophagy and apoptosis induced by Thapsigargin (TG), ER stress-inducing agent, in colon cancer cell lines using immunofluorescence staining, RT-PCR, western blot, CCK8 test, flow cytometry analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. To further determine how γ-synuclein regulated autophagy and apoptosis, PD98059 (ERK inhibitor), SP600125 (ERK inhibitor), anisomycin (JNK activator), and c-Jun siRNA were used respectively in γ-synuclein siRNA transfected HCT116 cells. Then, autophagy proteins, apoptosis proteins, and pathway proteins were detected by western blot analysis. The expression of autophagy genes was assessed by RT-PCR.

Results: Our data showed that ER stress-induced colon cancer cells autophagy mainly in the early stage (0-24h) and apoptosis mainly in the late stage (24-48h). ER stress up-regulated γ-synuclein gene and protein expression in colon cancer cells, accompanied by autophagy. γ-synuclein protected HCT116 cells by enhancing autophagy in the early stage (0-24h) through activation of ERK and JNK pathway and inhibiting apoptosis in the late stage (24-48h) through inhibition of the JNK pathway. γ-synuclein could promote autophagy via the JNK pathway activation of ATG genes, LC3, Beclin 1, and ATG7. γ-synuclein may play a role in the transition between autophagy and apoptosis in our model.

Conclusion: Overall, we provided the first experimental evidence to show that γ-synuclein may play an important role in autophagy that protects colon cancer cells from ER stress. Therefore, our data suggest a new molecular mechanism for γ-synuclein-mediated CRC progression.

Keywords: γ-synuclein, colon cancer cell, ER stress, autophagy, apoptosis, LC3.

Graphical Abstract

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