Cytosolic calcium mediates RIP1/RIP3 complex-dependent necroptosis through JNK activation and mitochondrial ROS production in human colon cancer cells

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Necroptosis is a form of programmed necrosis mediated by signaling complexes with receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1) and RIP3 kinases as the main mediators. However, the underlying execution pathways of this phenomenon have yet to be elucidated in detail. In this study, a RIP1/RIP3 complex was formed in 2-methoxy-6-acetyl-7-methyljuglone (MAM)-treated HCT116 and HT29 colon cancer cells. With this formation, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels increased, mitochondrial depolarization occurred, and ATP concentrations decreased. This process was identified as necroptosis. This finding was confirmed by experiments showing that MAM-induced cell death was attenuated by the pharmacological or genetic blockage of necroptosis signaling, including RIP1 inhibitor necrostatin-1s (Nec-1s) and siRNA-mediated gene silencing of RIP1 and RIP3, but was unaffected by caspase inhibitor z-vad-fmk or necrosis inhibitor 2-(1H-Indol-3-yl)-3-pentylamino-maleimide (IM54). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis further revealed the ultrastructural features of MAM-induced necroptosis. MAM-induced RIP1/RIP3 complex triggered necroptosis through cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) accumulation and sustained c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation. Both calcium chelator BAPTA-AM and JNK inhibitor SP600125 could attenuate necroptotic features, including mitochondrial ROS elevation, mitochondrial depolarization, and ATP depletion. 2-thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA), which is a mitochondrial complex II inhibitor, was found to effectively reverse both MAM induced mitochondrial ROS generation and cell death, indicating the complex II was the ROS-producing site. The essential role of mitochondrial ROS was confirmed by the protective effect of overexpression of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). MAM-induced necroptosis was independent of TNFα, p53, MLKL, and lysosomal membrane permeabilization. In summary, our study demonstrated that RIP1/RIP3 complex-triggered cytosolic calcium accumulation is a critical mediator in MAM-induced necroptosis through sustained JNK activation and mitochondrial ROS production. Our study also provided new insights into the molecular regulation of necroptosis in human colon cancer cells.

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