Redox modifications of cysteine-containing proteins, cell cycle arrest and translation inhibition: Involvement in vitamin C-induced breast cancer cell death.
Redox Biol. 2019 Aug 2 ;26:101290. Epub 2019 Aug 2. PMID: 31412312
Nadine El Banna
Vitamin C (VitC) possesses pro-oxidant properties at high pharmacologic concentrations which favor repurposing VitC as an anti-cancer therapeutic agent. However, redox-based anticancer properties of VitC are yet partially understood. We examined the difference between the reduced and oxidized forms of VitC, ascorbic acid (AA) and dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), in terms of cytotoxicity and redox mechanisms toward breast cancer cells. Our data showed that AA displayed higher cytotoxicity towards triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines in vitro than DHA. AA exhibited a similar cytotoxicity on non-TNBC cells, while only a minor detrimental effect on noncancerous cells. Using MDA-MB-231, a representative TNBC cell line, we observed that AA- and DHA-induced cytotoxicity were linked to cellular redox-state alterations. Hydrogen peroxide (HO) accumulation in the extracellular medium and in different intracellular compartments, and to a lesser degree, intracellular glutathione oxidation, played a key role in AA-induced cytotoxicity. In contrast, DHA affected glutathione oxidation and had less cytotoxicity. A"redoxome"approach revealed that AA treatment altered the redox state of key antioxidants and a number of cysteine-containing proteins including many nucleic acid binding proteins and proteins involved in RNA and DNA metabolisms and in energetic processes. We showed that cell cycle arrest and translation inhibition were associated with AA-induced cytotoxicity. Finally, bioinformatics analysis and biological experiments identified that peroxiredoxin 1 (PRDX1) expression levels correlated with AA differential cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells, suggesting a potential predictive value of PRDX1. This study provides insight into the redox-based mechanisms of VitC anticancer activity, indicating that pharmacologic doses of VitC and VitC-based rational drug combinations could be novel therapeutic opportunities for triple-negative breast cancer.