HGK-sestrin 2 signaling-mediated autophagy contributes to antitumor efficacy of Tanshinone IIA in human osteosarcoma cells.
Cell Death Dis. 2018 Sep 26 ;9(10):1003. Epub 2018 Sep 26. PMID: 30258193
Tanshinone IIA (TIIA) is a diterpenoid naphthoquinone isolated from the herb Salvia miltiorrhiza with antitumor effects manifested at multiple levels that are mechanistically obscure. In our previous studies, we illustrated that TIIA treatment triggered apoptosis in human osteosarcoma 143B cells both in vitro and in vivo, accompanied with mitochondrial dysfunction. Importantly, the overall survival rate of patients with osteosarcoma who were randomly recruited to S. miltiorrhiza treatment was significantly higher than those without. Pursuing this observation, we evaluated the potential effect of TIIA on autophagy induction in osteosarcoma both in vivo and in vitro. We discovered that TIIA inhibited osteosarcoma cell survival through class I PI3K and Akt signaling pathways. In contrast, expression of class III PI3K required in the early stages of autophagosome generation was predominantly enhanced by TIIA treatment. Our study indicated that treatment of TIIA effectively induced autophagy in human osteosarcoma cells, which contributed to the blockade of anchorage-independent growth of osteosarcoma cells and ameliorated tumor progression in NOD/SCID mice. We demonstrated that TIIA-mediated autophagy occurred in a sestrin 2 (SESN2)-dependent but not Beclin 1-dependent manner. In addition, we defined the activation of HGK (MAP4K4 or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase)/SAPK/JNK1/Jun kinase pathways in upregulating transcription of SESN2, in which TIIA triggered HGK/JNK1-dependent Jun activation and led to increased Jun recruitment to AP-1-binding site in the SESN2 promoter region. Our results offer novel mechanistic insight into how TIIA inhibits osteosarcoma growth and suggest TIIA as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of cancer.