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J Cell Physiol. 2019 Sep 20. doi: 10.1002/jcp.29221. [Epub ahead of print]

Acetaminophen sensitizing erastin-induced ferroptosis via modulation of Nrf2/heme oxygenase-1 signaling pathway in non-small-cell lung cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Weifang Medical University, Weifang, Shandong, China.
Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacology, Weifang Medical University, Weifang, Shandong, China.


Growing evidence confirms that ferroptosis plays an important role in tumor growth inhibition. However, some non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines are less sensitive to erastin-induced ferroptotic cell death. Elucidating the mechanism of resistance of cancer cells to erastin-induced ferroptosis and increasing the sensitivity of cancer cells to erastin need to be addressed. In our experiment, erastin and acetaminophen (APAP) cotreatment inhibited NSCLC cell viability and promoted ferroptosis and apoptosis, accompanied with attenuation of glutathione and ectopic increases in lipid peroxides. Erastin and APAP promoted NSCLC cell death by regulating nucleus translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2); and the ferroptosis induced by erastin and APAP was abrogated by bardoxolone methyl (BM) with less generation of reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde. As a downstream gene of Nrf2, heme oxygenase-1 expression decreased significantly with the cotreatment of erastin and APAP, which could be rescued by BM. In vivo experiment showed that the combination of erastin and APAP had a synergic therapeutic effect on xenograft of lung cancer. In short, the present study develops a new effective treatment for NSCLC by synergizing erastin and APAP to induce ferroptosis.


Nrf2; acetaminophen; erastin; ferroptosis; non-small-cell lung cancer


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