Ascorbic acid induces necrosis in human laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma via ROS, PKC, and calcium signaling.
J Cell Physiol. 2016 May 22. Epub 2016 May 22. PMID: 27211910
Ascorbic acid induces apoptosis, autophagy, and necrotic cell death in cancer cells. We investigated the mechanisms by which ascorbic acid induces death in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma Hep2 cells. Ascorbic acid markedly reduced cell viability and induced death without caspase activation and an increase in cytochrome c. Hep2 cells exposed to ascorbic acid exhibited membrane rupture and swelling, the morphological characteristics of necrotic cell death. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was increased in Hep2 cells treated with ascorbic acid, and pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine blocked ascorbic acid-induced cell death. Ascorbic acid also stimulated protein kinase C (PKC) signaling, especially PKCα/β activation, and subsequently increased cytosolic calcium levels. However, ascorbic acid-induced necrotic cell death was inhibited by Ro-31-8425 (PKC inhibitor) and BAPTA-AM (cytosolic calcium-selective chelator). ROS scavenger NAC inhibited PKC activation induced by ascorbic acid and Ro-31-8425 suppressed the level of cytosolic calcium increased by ascorbic acid, indicating that ROS is represented as an upstream signal of PKC pathway and PKC activation leads to the release of calcium into the cytosol, which ultimately regulates the induction of necrosis in ascorbic acid-treated Hep2 cells. These data demonstrate that ascorbic acid induces necrotic cell death through ROS generation, PKC activation, and cytosolic calcium signaling in Hep2 cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.