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The marine toxin yessotoxin (YTX) can induce programmed cell death through both caspase-dependent and -independent pathways in various cellular systems. It appears to stimulate different forms of cellular stress causing instability among cell death mechanisms and making them overlap and cross-talk. Autophagy is one of the key pathways that can be stimulated by multiple forms of cellular stress which may determine cell survival or death. The present work evaluates a plausible link between ribotoxic stress and autophagic activity in BC3H1 cells treated with YTX. Such treatment produces massive cytoplasmic compartments as well as double-membrane vesicles termed autophagosomes which are typically observed in cells undergoing autophagy. The observed autophagosomes contain a large amount of ribosomes associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Western blotting analysis of Atg proteins and detection of the autophagic markers LC3-II and SQSTM1/p62 by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence verified autophagic activity during YTX-treatment. The present work supports the idea that autophagic activity upon YTX exposure may represent a response to ribotoxic stress.
PMID: 26743762 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]