Endocrine resistance is a major complication during treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Although autophagy has recently gained increasing consideration among the causative factors, the link between autophagy and endocrine resistance remains elusive. Here, we investigate the autophagy-based mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance in MCF7 cells. Tamoxifen (Tam) triggers autophagy and affects the lysosomal compartment of MCF7 cells, such that activated autophagy supports disposal of tamoxifen-damaged lysosomes by lysophagy. MCF7 cells resistant to 5 µM tamoxifen (MCF7-TamR) have a higher autophagic flux and an enhanced resistance to Tam-induced lysosomal alterations compared to parental cells, which suggests a correlation between the two events. MCF7-TamR cells overexpress messenger RNAs (mRNAs) for metallothionein 2A and ferritin heavy chain, and they are re-sensitized to Tam by inhibition of autophagy. Overexpressing these proteins in parental MCF7 cells protects lysosomes from Tam-induced damage and preserves viability, while inhibiting autophagy abrogates lysosome protection. Consistently, we also demonstrate that other breast cancer cells that overexpress selected mRNAs encoding iron-binding proteins are less sensitive to Tam-induced lysosomal damage when autophagy is activated. Collectively, our data demonstrate that autophagy triggers Tam resistance in breast cancer cells by favoring the lysosomal relocation of overexpressed factors that restrain tamoxifen-induced lysosomal damage.

Autophagy triggers tamoxifen resistance in human breast cancer cells by preventing drug-induced lysosomal damage

Actis C.;Muzio G.;Autelli R.
2021

Abstract

Endocrine resistance is a major complication during treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Although autophagy has recently gained increasing consideration among the causative factors, the link between autophagy and endocrine resistance remains elusive. Here, we investigate the autophagy-based mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance in MCF7 cells. Tamoxifen (Tam) triggers autophagy and affects the lysosomal compartment of MCF7 cells, such that activated autophagy supports disposal of tamoxifen-damaged lysosomes by lysophagy. MCF7 cells resistant to 5 µM tamoxifen (MCF7-TamR) have a higher autophagic flux and an enhanced resistance to Tam-induced lysosomal alterations compared to parental cells, which suggests a correlation between the two events. MCF7-TamR cells overexpress messenger RNAs (mRNAs) for metallothionein 2A and ferritin heavy chain, and they are re-sensitized to Tam by inhibition of autophagy. Overexpressing these proteins in parental MCF7 cells protects lysosomes from Tam-induced damage and preserves viability, while inhibiting autophagy abrogates lysosome protection. Consistently, we also demonstrate that other breast cancer cells that overexpress selected mRNAs encoding iron-binding proteins are less sensitive to Tam-induced lysosomal damage when autophagy is activated. Collectively, our data demonstrate that autophagy triggers Tam resistance in breast cancer cells by favoring the lysosomal relocation of overexpressed factors that restrain tamoxifen-induced lysosomal damage.
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https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/13/6/1252
Autophagy; Breast cancer; Endocrine resistance; Iron-binding proteins; Lysophagy; Lysosomal membrane perme-abilization
Actis C.; Muzio G.; Autelli R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1784675
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