Aldose Reductase Inhibitor Fidarestat as a Promising Drug Targeting Autophagy in Colorectal Carcinoma: a Pilot Study

  • Pandey, Saumya (Research Cell, Department of Research, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, University of Texas Medical Branch)
  • Published : 2015.07.13


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Targeting autophagic cell death is emerging as a novel strategy in cancer chemotherapy. Aldose reductase (AR) catalyzes the rate limiting step of the polyol pathway of glucose metabolism; besides reducing glucose to sorbitol, AR reduces lipid peroxidation-derived aldehydes and their glutathione conjugates. A complex interplay between autophagic cell death and/or survival may in turn govern tumor metastasis. This exploratory study aimed to investigate the potential role of AR inhibition using a novel inhibitor Fidarestat in the regulation of autophagy in CRC cells. Materials and Methods: For glucose depletion (GD), HT-29 and SW480 CRC cells were rinsed with glucose-free RPMI-1640, followed by incubation in GD medium +/- Fidarestat ($10{\mu}M$). Proteins were extracted by a RIPA-method followed by Western blotting ($35-50{\mu}g$ of protein; n=3). Results: Autophagic regulatory markers, primarily, microtubule associated protein light chain (LC) 3, autophagy-related gene (ATG) 5, ATG 7 and Beclin-1 were expressed in CRC cells; glyceraldehyde-3 phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was used as an internal reference. LC3 II (14 kDa) expression was relatively high compared to LC3A/B I levels in both CRC cell lines, suggesting occurrence of autophagy. Expression of non-autophagic markers, high mobility group box (HMG)-1 and Bcl-2, was comparatively low. Conclusions: GD +/- ARI induced autophagy in HT-29 and SW-480 cells, thereby implicating Fidarestat as a promising therapeutic agent for colorectal cancer; future studies with more potent ARIs are warranted to fully dissect the molecular regulatory networks for autophagy in colorectal carcinoma.


Aldose reductase;autophagy;colorectal cancer;drug;fidarestat;therapeutics


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