Aspirin induces Beclin-1-dependent autophagy of human hepatocellular carcinoma cell

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Aspirin not only reduces the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but also plays a synergistic role with chemotherapy for HCC treatment. However, the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely elucidated. Given that autophagy triggers cancer cell death, the present study examined the autophagic effect of aspirin on HCC cells. Results showed that aspirin increased LC3II/LC3I ratio, decreased p62 expression, and enhanced autophagic flux (autophagosome and autolysosome puncta) in Hep3B, HepG2, or SMMC-7721 cells, reflecting the autophagy of HCC cells. The autophagic effects of aspirin depended on Beclin-1 expression. Aspirin disrupted the interaction between Bcl-2 and Beclin-1. In addition to activating the AMP-activated protein kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and Glycogen synthase kinase-3 pathways, aspirin inhibited the mammalian-target-of rapamycin-S6K1/4E-BP1 signaling. Aspirin induced autophagy of HCC cell. This study contributes to understanding the chemoprotective and inhibitory effects of aspirin on HCC development.Graphical abstract

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