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Cell Death Dis. 2019 Feb 13;10(2):142. doi: 10.1038/s41419-019-1366-y.

Fisetin induces autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells via endoplasmic reticulum stress- and mitochondrial stress-dependent pathways.

Author information

1
Department of General Surgery, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 310000, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.
2
Department of General Surgery, Huzhou Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, 313003, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China.
3
Department of General Surgery, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 310000, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. dinguop@zju.edu.cn.
4
Department of General Surgery, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 310000, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. caolipingzju@zju.edu.cn.
5
Innovation Center for Minimally Invasive Technique and Device, Zhejiang University, 310000, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. caolipingzju@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive tumors and patients have poor survival rates. Fisetin, a natural flavonoid, was recently reported to have antitumor effects in various cancer models. Autophagy is a conserved catabolic process that maintains cellular homoeostasis in response to stress, and together with apoptosis, determines cell fate. Herein, we examined the effect of fisetin on pancreatic cancer. We reveal that fisetin inhibits PANC-1 cell proliferation using a real-time cell analysis system. Moreover, the in vivo antitumor effect of fisetin was verified in pancreatic cancer using a luciferase-expressing murine xenograft pancreatic cancer model. We found that the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway was enhanced after fisetin treatment; however, autophagy was not diminished by adding the AMPK inhibitor compound C. Thus, we hypothesized that an another autophagy regulating pathway existed. RNA-seq analysis revealed that the unfolded protein response pathway, which is activated by ER stress, was enriched. We also found that the stress-induced transcription factor p8 was increased in fisetin-treated PANC-1 cells, and that fisetin-induced autophagy was blocked by silencing p8. We revealed that p8-dependent autophagy was AMPK-independent, and that p8 regulated ATF6, ATF4, and PERK in response to ER stress via p53/PKC-α-mediated signaling. Furthermore, mitophagy was associated with Parkin and PINK1 in response to mitochondrial stress. Interestingly, ATF4 and ATF6 were increased in cells treated with fisetin and compound C. Moreover, inhibiting the AMPK/mTOR pathway with compound C may upregulate p8-dependent autophagy. Thus, there may be crosstalk between the AMPK/mTOR and p8-dependent pathways.

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