Erastin, a ferroptosis-inducing agent, sensitized cancer cells to X-ray irradiation via glutathione starvation in vitro and in vivo

Autoři: Yuki Shibata aff001;  Hironobu Yasui aff001;  Kei Higashikawa aff001;  Naoki Miyamoto aff004;  Yuji Kuge aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Biomedical Imaging, Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan aff001;  Central Institute of Isotope Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan aff002;  Laboratory of Radiation Biology, Department of Applied Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan aff003;  Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


High concentrations of antioxidants in cancer cells are huge obstacle in cancer radiotherapy. Erastin was first discovered as an inducer of iron-dependent cell death called ferroptosis accompanied by antioxidant depletion caused by cystine glutamate antiporter inhibition. Therefore, treatment with erastin is expected to potentially enhance cellular radiosensitivity. In this study, we investigated the influence of treatment with erastin on the radiation efficiency against cancers. The clonogenic ability, glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) expression, and glutathione concentration were evaluated using HeLa and NCI-H1975 adenocarcinoma cell lines treated with erastin and/or X-ray irradiation. For in vivo studies, NCI-H1975 cells were transplanted in the left shoulder of nude mice, and then radiosensitizing effect of erastin and glutathione concentration in the cancer were evaluated. Treatment with erastin induced ferroptosis and decreased the concentration of glutathione and GPX4 protein expression levels in the two tumor cell lines. Moreover, erastin enhanced X-ray irradiation-induced cell death in both human tumor cell lines. Furthermore, erastin treatment of a tumor-transplanted mouse model similarly demonstrated the radiosensitizing effect and decrease in intratumoral glutathione concentration in the in vitro study. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the radiosensitizing effect of erastin on two adenocarcinoma cell lines and the tumor xenograft model accompanied by glutathione depletion, indicating that ferroptosis inducers that reduce glutathione concentration could be applied as a novel cancer therapy in combination with radiotherapy.

Klíčová slova:

Antioxidants – Cancer treatment – Cell death – Glutathione – HeLa cells – Protein expression – Radiation therapy – Adenocarcinoma cells


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