Sinensetin Induces Autophagic Cell Death through p53-Related AMPK/mTOR Signaling in Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 Cells.
Nutrients. 2020 Aug 15 ;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 15. PMID: 32824273
Seong Min Kim
Sinensetin (SIN) has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity. However, the cellular and molecular mechanism by which SIN promotes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell death remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the induction of cell death by SIN and its underlying mechanism in HepG2 cells, an HCC cell line. We found that SIN significantly induced cell death in HepG2 cells, whereas the proliferation rate of Thle2, human liver epithelial cells, was unaffected by SIN. SIN-treated HepG2 cells were not affected by apoptotic cell death; instead, autophagic cell death was induced through the p53-mediated AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway. Inhibition of p53 degradation led to both autophagy and apoptosis in HepG2 cells. p53 translocation led to SIN-induced autophagy, whereas p53 translocation inhibited SIN-induced apoptosis. However, SIN showed apoptosis in the p53-mutant Hep3B cell line. Molecular docking simulation of the p53 core domain showed effective binding with SIN, which was found significant compared with the known p53 activator, RITA. Collectively, these data suggest that SIN may be a potential anti-cancer agent targeting autophagic cell death in human liver cancer.