Ciclopirox olamine (CPX), a fungicide, has been demonstrated as a potential anticancer agent. However, the underlying anticancer mechanism is not well understood. Here, we found that CPX induced autophagy in human rhabdomyosarcoma (Rh30 and RD) cells. It appeared that CPX-induced autophagy was attributed to induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger and antioxidant, prevented this process. Furthermore, we observed that CPX induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), including extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK, which was also blocked by NAC. However, only inhibition of JNK (with SP600125) or expression of dominant negative c-Jun partially prevented CPX-induced autophagy, indicating that ROS-mediated activation of JNK signaling pathway contributed to CPX-induced autophagy. Of interest, inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine (CQ) enhanced CPX-induced cell death, indicating that CPX-induced autophagy plays a pro-survival role in human rhabdomyosarcoma cells. Our finding suggests that the combination with autophagy inhibitors may be a novel strategy in potentiating the anticancer activity of CPX for treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma.
1.Chinese Acad Sci, Kunming Inst Bot, State Key Lab Phytochem & Plant Resources West Ch, Kunming 650201, Peoples R China 2.Louisiana State Univ, Hlth Sci Ctr, Dept Biochem & Mol Biol, Shreveport, LA 71130 USA 3.Louisiana State Univ, Hlth Sci Ctr, Feist Weiller Canc Ctr, Shreveport, LA 71130 USA