American Association for Cancer Research
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Figure S2 from Itraconazole-Induced Inhibition on Human Esophageal Cancer Cell Growth Requires AMPK Activation

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-03, 16:10 authored by Min-Bin Chen, Yuan-Yuan Liu, Zhao-Yu Xing, Zhi-Qing Zhang, Qin Jiang, Pei-Hua Lu, Cong Cao

Figure S2. TE-1 cells, expressing AMPKα1 shRNA ("sh-AMPKα1") or scramble control shRNA ("shRNA-Ctrl"), as well as the parental control TE-1 cells ("No shRNA"), were treated with itraconazole ("Itra", 3.0 μg/mL) for indicated time, and were tested by Western blot of listed proteins (A and B); Cell viability (MTT assay, C) and cell death (trypan blue staining assay, D) were tested. The primary human esophageal cancer cells ("Primary cancer cells") or HEEC esophageal epithelial cells were treated with/without itraconazole ("Itra", 3.0 μg/mL) for applied time, and were tested of listed proteins (E-G). Notably, RTKs (EGFR, PDGFRα and PDGFRβ) expression and Akt activation were low in HEEC cells. # P < 0.05 vs. group "shRNA-Ctrl".


National Natural Science Foundation



We here evaluated the antiesophageal cancer cell activity by the antifungal drug itraconazole. Our results show that μg/mL concentrations of itraconazole potently inhibited survival and proliferation of established (TE-1 and Eca-109) and primary human esophageal cancer cells. Itraconazole activated AMPK signaling, which was required for subsequent esophageal cancer cell death. Pharmacologic AMPK inhibition, AMPKα1 shRNA, or dominant negative mutation (T172A) almost completely abolished itraconazole-induced cytotoxicity against esophageal cancer cells. Significantly, itraconazole induced AMPK-dependent autophagic cell death (but not apoptosis) in esophageal cancer cells. Furthermore, AMPK activation by itraconazole induced multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs: EGFR, PDGFRα, and PDGFRβ), lysosomal translocation, and degradation to inhibit downstream Akt activation. In vivo, itraconazole oral gavage potently inhibited Eca-109 tumor growth in SCID mice. It was yet ineffective against AMPKα1 shRNA-expressing Eca-109 tumors. The in vivo growth of the primary human esophageal cancer cells was also significantly inhibited by itraconazole administration. AMPK activation, RTK degradation, and Akt inhibition were observed in itraconazole-treated tumors. Together, itraconazole inhibits esophageal cancer cell growth via activating AMPK signaling. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(6); 1229–39. ©2018 AACR.

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