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11.12.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2016

Tumor Biology 5/2016

SLC27A4 regulate ATG4B activity and control reactions to chemotherapeutics-induced autophagy in human lung cancer cells

Tumor Biology > Ausgabe 5/2016
Shifei Wu, Jie Su, Hui Qian, Tao Guo
Wichtige Hinweise
Shifei Wu and Jie Su contributed equally to this work.


Autophagy is a highly conserved self-digestion process to promote cell survival in response to nutrient starvation and other metabolic stresses in eukaryotic cells. Dysregulation of this system is linked with numerous human diseases, including cancers. ATG4B, a cysteine protease required for autophagy, cleaves the C-terminal amino acid of ATG8 family proteins to reveal a C-terminal glycine which is necessary for ATG8 proteins conjugation to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and insertion to autophagosome precursor membranes. However, the mechanism governing the protein stability of ATG4B in human cancer cells is not fully understood. In this study, tandem affinity purification/mass spectrometry (TAP/MS) were applied to the investigation of the interaction between ATG4B and potential candidate proteins. Then, co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) and GST-pull down assays indicated that the candidate protein-SLC27A4 directly interacts with ATG4B in lung cancer cell lines. Intriguingly, we also found that ATG4B protein expression was increased in parallel with SLC27A4 in lung cancer cell lines as well as lung tumor tissues. However, relevant functional research of SLC27A4 in autophagy or oncotherapy has not been investigated before. In this study, we hypothesized that SLC27A4 might act as a mediator of ATG4B, in some respects, through the protein binding directly. Further, we found that the high expression level of SLC7A4 increased the ATG4B stability and was conducive to rapid reaction to everolimus (RAD001)-induced autophagy in human lung cancer cells. As expected, the results showed that SLC27A4 could help to maintain the protein stability and intracellular concentration of ATG4B, thereby triggering rapid autophagy through releasing ATG4B to cytoplasm under conditions of reduced nutrient availability or during stress of chemotherapy in lung cancer cells. Reduced SLC27A4 by si-RNA also showed the enhanced therapeutic efficiency of everolimus, doxorubicin, and cisplatin in human lung cancer cell lines. Collectively, this study may help researchers better understand the mechanism of autophagy vitality in human cancers and SLC27A4/ATG4B complex might act as a new potential therapeutic target of lung tumor chemotherapy.

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