Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Artemisinin Derivatives Inhibit Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Cells Through Induction of ROS-dependent Apoptosis/Ferroptosis.

Abstract Source:

J Cancer. 2021 ;12(13):4075-4085. Epub 2021 May 13. PMID: 34093811

Abstract Author(s):

Qiuting Zhang, Huimei Yi, Hui Yao, Lu Lu, Guangchun He, Mi Wu, Chanjuan Zheng, Ying Li, Sisi Chen, Lewei Li, Hongyuan Yu, Guifei Li, Xiaojun Tao, Shujun Fu, Xiyun Deng

Article Affiliation:

Qiuting Zhang


Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the major cancer-related causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite the progress in lung cancer treatment, there is still an urgent need to discover novel therapeutic agents for NSCLC. Natural products represent a rich source of bioactive compounds. Through a natural compound library screening assay, we found that a group of anti-insect drugs had significant inhibitory effect on the proliferation of NSCLC cells. Among the anti-insect drugs, two derivatives of artemisinin, i.e., artesunate (ART) and dihydroartemisinin (DHA), a group of well-known anti-malarial drugs, have been shown to possess selective anti-cancer properties. Mechanistically, we found that ART and DHA induced apoptosis of A549 cells as evidenced by decreased protein level of VDAC and increased caspase 3 cleavage. Furthermore, cystine/glutamate transporter (xCT), a core negative regulator of ferroptosis, was downregulated by ART and DHA. The mRNA level of transferrin receptor (TFRC), a positive regulator of ferroptosis, was upregulated by ART and DHA. ART/DHA-induced apoptosis and ferroptosis in NSCLC cells were partly reversed by N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger, and ferrostatin-1, a ferroptosis inhibitor, respectively. These results suggest that artemisinin derivatives have anti-NSCLC activity through induction of ROS-dependent apoptosis/ferroptosis. Our findings provide the experimental basis for the potential application of artemisinin derivatives as a class of novel therapeutic drugs for NSCLC.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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