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Areca Nut Extract Induced Oxidative Stress And Upregulated Hypoxia Inducing Factor Leading To Autophagy In Oral Cancer Cells

H. Lu, S. Kao, T. Liu, Shou-Tien Liu, Wei-Pang Huang, K. Chang, Shu-Chun Lin
Published 2010 · Medicine, Biology
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Areca (betel) chewing was tightly linked to oral tumorigenesis in Asians. Areca nut was a recently confirmed group I carcinogen and a popular addictive substance used by Asians. While, the pathogenetic impact of areca on oral epithelial cells was still unclear. This study investigated the association between the induction of autophagy by areca nut extract (ANE) and the molecular regulation underlying this induction in oral cancer cells. Oral cancer cells were treated with ANE to insight the signaling changes underlying phenotypic alterations. The NFκB activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) genesis were induced by ANE and the NF-κB activation could be the basis of the ROS genesis. Furthermore, p38 activation and upregulation of MKP-1 phosphatase occurred following ANE treatment. These effects can be inhibited by ROS blockers. ANE treatment induced autophagy among oral cancer cells, which was characterized by LC3-II accumulation, genesis of autophagosomes and the appearance of EGFP-LC3 puncta. This induction was mediated through the activation of p38, MKP-1 and HIF-1α. Knockdown of ANE-modulated HIF-1α expression reduced autophagy. Blockage of ANE-induced autophagy increased the proportion of oral cancer cells undergoing apoptotic death. This study identified for the first time that ANE modulates a signaling cascade that induces HIF-1α expression in oral cancer cells. The eventual induction of autophagy was beneficial to cell survival from ANE-induced apoptosis.

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