The modulation of autophagy and unfolded protein response by ent-kaurenoid derivative CPUK02 in human colorectal cancer cells


Mol Biol Rep. 2024 Apr 30;51(1):599. doi: 10.1007/s11033-024-09541-2.


BACKGROUND: CPUK02 (15-Oxosteviol benzyl ester) is a semi-synthetic derivative of stevioside known for its anticancer effects. It has been reported that the natural compound of stevioside and its associated derivatives enhances the sensitivity of cancer cells to conventional anti-cancer agents by inducing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In response to ER stress, autophagy and unfolded protein responses (UPR) are activated to restore cellular homeostasis. Consequently, the primary aim of this study is to investigate the impact of CPUK02 treatment on UPR and autophagy markers in two colorectal cancer cell lines.

METHODS: HCT116 and SW480 cell lines were treated with various concentrations of CPUK02 for 72 h. The expression levels of several proteins and enzymes were evaluated to investigate the influence of CPUK02 on autophagy and UPR pathways. These include glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), Inositol-requiring enzyme 1-α (IRE1-α), spliced X-box binding protein 1 (XBP-1 s), protein kinase R-like ER kinase (PERK), C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), Beclin-1, P62 and Microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha (LC3βII). The evaluation was conducted using western blotting and quantitative real-time PCR techniques.

RESULTS: The results obtained indicate that the treatment with CPUK02 reduced the expression of UPR markers, including GRP78 and IRE1-α at protein levels and XBP-1 s, PERK, and CHOP at mRNA levels in both HCT116 and SW480 cell lines. Furthermore, CPUK02 also influenced autophagy by decreasing Beclin-1 and increasing P62 and LC3βII at mRNA levels in both HCT116 and SW480 treated cells.

CONCLUSIONS: The study findings suggest CPUK02 may exert its cytotoxic effects by inhibiting UPR and autophagy flux in colorectal cancer cells.

PMID:38689181 | DOI:10.1007/s11033-024-09541-2