Mechanism of melanoma cells selective apoptosis induced by a photoactive NADPH analogue

Rouaud F, Boucher JL, Slama-Schwok A, Rocchi S

Oncotarget 2016 Dec;7(50):82804-82819


PMID: 27756874

Melanoma is one of the most lethal cancers when it reaches a metastatic stage. Despite the spectacular achievements of targeted therapies (BRAF inhibitors) or immuno-therapies (anti-CTLA4 or anti-PD1), most patients with melanoma will need additional treatments. Here we used a photoactive NADPH analogue called NS1 to induce cell death by inhibition of NADPH oxidases NOX in melanoma cells, including melanoma cells isolated from patients. In contrast, healthy melanocytes growth was unaffected by NS1 treatment.NS1 established an early Endoplasmic Reticulum stress by the early release of calcium mediated by (a) calcium-dependent redox-sensitive ion channel(s). These events initiated autophagy and apoptosis in all tested melanoma cells independently of their mutational status. The autophagy promoted by NS1 was incomplete. The autophagic flux was blocked at late stage events, consistent with the accumulation of p62, and a close localization of LC3 with NS1 associated with NS1 inhibition of NOX1 in autophagosomes. This hypothesis of a specific incomplete autophagy and apoptosis driven by NS1 was comforted by the use of siRNAs and pharmacological inhibitors blocking different processes. This study highlights the potential therapeutic interest of NS1 inducing cell death by triggering a selective ER stress and incomplete autophagy in melanoma cells harbouring wt and BRAF mutation.