Inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA enhances IL-24-induced apoptosis in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells.

Research paper by Jichen J Li, Dezhao D Yang, Wei W Wang, Songlin S Piao, Jianyu J Zhou, Wuliji W Saiyin, Changyu C Zheng, Hongchen H Sun, Yu Y Li

Indexed on: 13 Sep '15Published on: 13 Sep '15Published in: Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR


Interleukin-24(IL-24), also referred to as melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7(mda-7), is a unique member of the IL-10 gene family, which displays nearly ubiquitous cancer-specific toxicity. The most notable feature of IL-24 is selectively induced growth suppression and apoptosis in various cancer cells, with no harmful effects toward normal cells. Autophagy is a self-protective mechanism in many kinds of tumor cells that respond to anticancer treatment. It is reported that autophagy inhibition could enhance the effects of many kinds of anticancer treatments, including gene therapy. However, whether IL-24 is effective to treat oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) and if autophagy inhibition could improve the anticancer effect of IL-24 towards OSCC is has not been detected.MTT assays were carried out to determine the cell proliferation; Transfection was used to gene transfer; Western Blot was performed to detect the protein level of LC3II, P62, Beclin 1, Cleaved caspase-3, β-Tubulin and β-actin; Apoptosis rates and cell cycle alteration were analyzed using flow cytometry; Autophagy induction was confirmed by MDC staining, GFP-LC3 staining and transmission electron microscopy. Amount of IL-24 in the culture medium was quantified by ELISA. Apoptosis in vivo was analyzed by TUNEL assay. HE staining was used to observe the morphology of the samples.In the present study, we proved that IL-24 have a novel anticancer effect towards KB cells and that autophagy inhibition could improve the anticancer effect of IL-24. IL-24 treated cells showed autophagy characteristics and autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (3-MA) significantly enhanced IL-24-induced apoptosis. Similar results were obtained in the KB cells xenograft tumor model.These results suggest that the combination of autophagy inhibitors and IL-24 based on the AdLTR2EF1α-mediated gene transfer could be a promising way to cure OSCC.