Bromopyruvate mediates autophagy and cardiolipin degradation to monolyso-cardiolipin in GL15 glioblastoma cells

Magdalena Davidescu, Miriam Sciaccaluga, Lara Macchioni, Roberto Angelini, Patrizia Lopalco, Maria Grazia Rambotti, Rita Roberti, Angela Corcelli, Emilia Castigli, Lanfranco Corazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The GL15 glioblastoma cell line undergoes viability loss upon treatment with bromopyruvate. The biochemical mechanisms triggered by the antiglycolytic agent indicate the activation of an autophagic pathway. Acridine orange stains acidic intracellular vesicles already 60 min after bromopyruvate treatment, whereas autophagosomes engulfing electron dense material are well evidenced 18 h later. The autophagic process is accompanied by the expression of the early autophagosomal marker Atg5 and by LC3-II formation, a late biochemical marker associated with autophagosomes. In agreement with the autophagic route activation, the inhibitory and the activator Akt and ERK signaling pathways are depressed and enhanced, respectively. In spite of the energetic collapse suffered by bromopyruvate-treated cells, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry lipid analysis does not evidence a decrease of the major phospholipids, in accordance with the need of phospholipids for autophagosomal membranes biogenesis. Contrarily, mitochondrial cardiolipin decreases, accompanied by monolyso-cardiolipin formation and complete cytochrome c degradation, events that could target mitochondria to autophagy. However, in our experimental conditions cytochrome c degradation seems to be independent of the autophagic process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Autophagy
  • Bromopyruvate
  • Cardiolipin
  • Cytochrome c
  • Glioblastoma cells
  • Lyso-cardiolipin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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