Role of hypoxia and autophagy in mda-mb-231 invasiveness

Manuela Indelicato, Bruna Pucci, Luana Schito, Valentina Reali, Michele Aventaggiato, Maria C. Mazzarino, Franca Stivala, Massimo Fini, Matteo A. Russo, Marco Tafani

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Survival strategies adopted by tumor cells in response to a hypoxic stress include activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) and autophagy. However, the importance and the function of each molecular response is not well defined. In the present study, we investigated invasiveness, migration, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity, and cell survival of MDA-MB-231 cells under normoxia, hypoxia, and hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). Moreover, to assess the importance of hypoxia and autophagy on the parameters studied, cells were either left untreated or treated with Chetomin (a selective inhibitor of HIF-1α) or trifluoperazine (TFP, an activator of autophagy).Wefound that hypoxia and H/R stimulated invasiveness and migration of MDA-MB-231 cells with an increased MMP-2 activity. Chetomin and TFP differently regulated the cellular behavior under the oxygenation conditions studied. In fact, Chetomin was most effective in inhibiting cell invasion, MMPs activity, and cell survival under hypoxia but not normoxia or H/R. By contrast, TFP inhibition of cell invasion, migration, and cell survival was independent from oxygenation conditions. TFP-induced autophagy was inhibited by light chain protein 3 (LC3) silencing or 3-methyladenine (3MA) treatment. In fact, LC3-silenced cells were able to invade in the presence of TFP without any GATE16 processing and p62 degradation. Immunofluorescence assay showed that LC3 silencing inhibited TFP-induced autophagosome formation. However, we also showed that both TPF treatment and LC3 silencing caused cytoskeleton impairments suggesting a possible interaction between LC3 and cytoskeleton components. In conclusion, our study shows that hypoxia and autophagy by acting on common (HIF-1α) or separate (MMPs, cytoskeleton) targets differently regulate cell invasion, MMPs activity, and survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-368
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology

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    Indelicato, M., Pucci, B., Schito, L., Reali, V., Aventaggiato, M., Mazzarino, M. C., Stivala, F., Fini, M., Russo, M. A., & Tafani, M. (2010). Role of hypoxia and autophagy in mda-mb-231 invasiveness. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 223(2), 359-368.