Lico A Causes ER Stress and Apoptosis via Up-Regulating miR-144-3p in Human Lung Cancer Cell Line H292.
Front Pharmacol. 2018 ;9:837. Epub 2018 Jul 31. PMID: 30108506
During our study on the bioactivities of natural flavonoids, we found that the total flavonoids (TFs) and the main constituent of it, licochalcone A (lico A), activated unfolded protein response (UPR) and induced autophagy and thereby apoptosis in H292 cells. MicroRNAs, such as the tumor repressor miR-144-3p, were reported to be differentially expressed in lung cancer cells and were linked to ER stress, autophagy, and apoptosis. However, the underlying miRNA-based mechanism for lico A modulating proliferation, autophagy and apoptosis in lung cancer cells is elusive. In this study, we found that miR-144-3p was down-regulated in H292 cells comparing to normal embryonic lung cells WI-38, and lico A (10μM) could increase miR-144-3p level in H292 cells. Knockdown of miR-144-3p significantly abrogated the apoptosis and proliferation-inhibiting effects of lico A, and lico A could enhance the proliferation-inhibiting effect and apoptosis induced by miR-144-3p overexpression. Moreover, overexpressionmiR-144-3p could induce ER stress by down-regulating Nrf2, and lico A enhanced the Nrf2 down-regulation caused by miR-144-3p overexpression. Co-transfection experiments showed that lico A potentially increased the dicing of pre-miR-144 so as to increase the mature miR-144-3p level. Interestingly, high level of lico A (40 μM) up-regulated CHOP protein, but failed to increase the downstream genes levels of CHOP, including Bim and Bcl-2 in H292 cells. Docking studies indicated that CHOP-mediated pathway was potentially blocked by high dose of lico A. Our results suggested that lico A could causeUPR, autophagy and apoptosis, and the underlying mechanism involved up-regulation of miR-144-3p, and increased lico A level would also increase the potential for lico A inhibiting CHOP-dependent apoptosis in H292 cells.