Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Stigmasterol Simultaneously Induces Apoptosis and Protective Autophagy by Inhibiting Akt/mTOR Pathway in Gastric Cancer Cells.

Abstract Source:

Front Oncol. 2021 ;11:629008. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33708631

Abstract Author(s):

Huange Zhao, Xian Zhang, Min Wang, Yingying Lin, Songlin Zhou

Article Affiliation:

Huange Zhao


Background: Stigmasterol (SS) has been proven to possess potential anticancer activities in several cancer cell lines, but its molecular mechanism is still unknown. Thus, we investigated whether SS has the capabilities of inducing autophagy and its molecular mechanisms in gastric cancer cells.

Methods: We used CCK8 assay, clone formation assay, and EdU proliferation assay to assess the effects of SS on cell proliferation in SGC-7901 and MGC-803 cells, and its inhibition on the tumor growth of gastric cancer was observed. Apoptosis induced by SS was demonstrated using Hoechst and TUNEL staining, annexin V-FITC/PI assay. Immunofluorescence staining is used to detect the formation of autophagosomes triggered by SS. Apoptosis and autophagy related proteins were analyzed by western blot.

Results: The results indicated that SS treatment inhibited cell proliferation in SGC-7901 and MGC-803 cells. Furthermore, SS treatment induced apoptosis and autophagy by blocking Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. The pretreatment with the Akt inhibitor MK-2206 could promote apoptosis and autophagy induced by SS, predicting that Akt/mTOR pathway is involved in SS-induced apoptosis and autophagy. In addition, blockade of autophagy with 3-MA (an inhibitor of autophagy) enhanced SS-induced apoptosis in SGC-7901 and MGC-803 cells, implying that autophagy mediated by SS plays a cytoprotective role against apoptosis. Finally, anstudy demonstrated that tumor growth of gastric cancer was suppressed by SS in a xenograft model.

Conclusion: Our findings illustrate for the first time that SS simultaneously induces apoptosis and protective autophagy by inhibiting Akt/mTOR pathway in gastric cancer cells, and SS may become a potential anticancer drug in treating gastric cancer in the future.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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