Regulation of GSK3β/Nrf2 signaling pathway modulated erastin-induced ferroptosis in breast cancer.Mol Cell Biochem. 2020 Oct; 473(1-2):217-228.MC
Ferroptosis is a newly discovered form of regulated cell death and characterized by an iron-dependent accumulation of lethal lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS), ferroptosis may exhibit a novel spectrum of clinical activity for cancer therapy. However, the significance of ferroptosis in the context of carcinoma biology is still emerging. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) has been found to be a fundamental element in weaking antioxidant cell defense by adjusting the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). In our study, decreased expression of GSK-3β was observed in the cancer tissues of breast cancer patients, results of immunohistochemistry indicated that Nrf2 was highly expressed in low-GSK-3β-expressed breast cancer tissues. The contributions of aberrant expression of GSK-3β and Nrf2 to the erastin-induced ferroptosis in breast cancer were further assessed, silence of GSK-3β blocked erastin-induced ferroptosis with less production of ROS and malondialdehyde (MDA) via upregulation of GPX4 and downregulation of arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase (Alox15), overexpression of GSK-3β enhanced erastin-triggered ferroptosis with elevated ROS and MDA. Enhanced erastin-induced ferroptosis by overexpression of GSK-3β was blocked by activating Nrf2. We further confirmed that overexpression of GSK-3β strengthened erastin-induced tumor growth inhibition in breast cancer xenograft models in vivo. In summary, our findings conclude that modulation the balance between GSK-3β/Nrf2 is a promising therapeutic approach and probably will be important targets to enhance the effect of erastin-induced ferroptosis in breast cancer.