Experimental evidence implicates reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in the hypoxic stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and in the subsequent expression of promoters of tumor invasiveness and metastatic spread. However, the role played by mitochondrial ROS in hypoxia-induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) activation is still unclear. This study was aimed at testing the hypothesis that the inhibition of hypoxia-induced mitochondrial ROS production, mainly at the mitochondrial Complex III UQCRB site, could result in the reversion of EMT, in addition to decreased HIF-1α stabilization. The role of hypoxia-induced ROS increase in HIF-1α stabilization and the ability of antioxidants, some of which directly targeting mitochondrial Complex III, to block ROS production and HIF-1α stabilization and prevent changes in EMT markers were assessed by evaluating ROS, HIF-1α and EMT markers on breast cancer cells, following 48 h treatment with the antioxidants. The specific role of UQCRB in hypoxia-induced EMT was also evaluated by silencing its expression through RNA interference and by assessing the effects of its downregulation on ROS production, HIF-1α levels, and EMT markers. Our results confirm the pivotal role of UQCRB in hypoxic signaling inducing EMT. Thus, UQCRB might be a new therapeutic target for the development of drugs able to reverse EMT by blocking mitochondrial ROS production.

Targeting mitochondrial ROS production to reverse the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in breast cancer cells

Elena Monti
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Emanuela Marras
Methodology
;
Marzia Bruna Gariboldi
Ultimo
Conceptualization
2022-01-01

Abstract

Experimental evidence implicates reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in the hypoxic stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and in the subsequent expression of promoters of tumor invasiveness and metastatic spread. However, the role played by mitochondrial ROS in hypoxia-induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) activation is still unclear. This study was aimed at testing the hypothesis that the inhibition of hypoxia-induced mitochondrial ROS production, mainly at the mitochondrial Complex III UQCRB site, could result in the reversion of EMT, in addition to decreased HIF-1α stabilization. The role of hypoxia-induced ROS increase in HIF-1α stabilization and the ability of antioxidants, some of which directly targeting mitochondrial Complex III, to block ROS production and HIF-1α stabilization and prevent changes in EMT markers were assessed by evaluating ROS, HIF-1α and EMT markers on breast cancer cells, following 48 h treatment with the antioxidants. The specific role of UQCRB in hypoxia-induced EMT was also evaluated by silencing its expression through RNA interference and by assessing the effects of its downregulation on ROS production, HIF-1α levels, and EMT markers. Our results confirm the pivotal role of UQCRB in hypoxic signaling inducing EMT. Thus, UQCRB might be a new therapeutic target for the development of drugs able to reverse EMT by blocking mitochondrial ROS production.
EMT; UQCRB; ROS; hypoxia; HIF-1α
Monti, ELENA CATERINA GIOVANNA; Mancini, Alessandro; Marras, Emanuela; Gariboldi, MARZIA BRUNA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2144291
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