Alantolactone induces apoptosis, promotes STAT3 glutathionylation and enhances chemosensitivity of A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells to doxorubicin via oxidative stress.
Sci Rep. 2017 07 24 ;7(1):6242. Epub 2017 Jul 24. PMID: 28740138
Alantolactone (ALT), a sesquiterpene lactone component of Inula helenium, has been reported to exert anticancer activity in various cancers. However, the cellular targets and underlying mechanism of anticancer activity of ALT in various cancers including lung cancer has not been fully defined. In the present study, we found that ALT effectively inhibits proliferation and triggers oxidative stress mediated-apoptosis in A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells by inducing ER stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. This ALT-mediated apoptosis was inhibited by NAC while diamide potentiated it. Moreover, ALT effectively suppressed both constitutive and inducible STAT3 activation, inhibited its translocation into nucleus and decreased its DNA binding activity. Further mechanistic study revealed that ALT abrogated STAT3 activation by promoting STAT3 glutathionylation. ROS scavenger NAC reverted ALT-mediated STAT3 glutathionylation and inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation. Finally, ALT enhanced chemosensitivity of A549 cells to doxorubicin and reversed doxorubicin resistance in A549/DR cells by inhibiting STAT3 activation and P-glycoprotein expression and increasing intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin. Suppression of STAT3 activation by targeting ROS metabolism with ALT thus discloses a previously unrecognized mechanism underlying the biological activity of ALT. Taken together; ALT induces oxidative stress-dependent apoptosis, inhibits STAT3 activation and augments doxorubicin toxicity in A549 lung cancer cells. These findings provide an in-depth insight into the molecular mechanism of ALT in the treatment of lung cancer.