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Ferroptosis is a new form of regulated cell death that is mediated by intracellular iron and ester oxygenase, and glutathione-dependent lipid hydroperoxidase glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) prevents ferroptosis by converting lipid hydroperoxides into nontoxic lipid alcohols. Although thiostrepton (TST) has been reported to exert antitumor effects, its role in pancreatic cancer and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we found that TST reduced the viability and clonogenesis of pancreatic cancer cell lines, along with intracellular iron overload, increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, malondialdehyde (MDA) overexpression, and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) depletion. Mechanistically, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and dual luciferase reporter gene assays were used to confirm that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) binds to the GPX4 promoter region and promotes its transcription, whereas TST blocked GPX4 expression by regulating STAT3. Finally, in vivo experiments revealed that TST inhibited the growth of subcutaneously transplanted tumours and had considerable biosafety. In conclusion, our study identified the mechanism by which TST-induced ferroptosis in pancreatic cancer cells through STAT3/GPX4 signalling. © 2022. The Author(s).


Weifan Zhang, Mengyuan Gong, Wunai Zhang, Jiantao Mo, Simei Zhang, Zeen Zhu, Xueni Wang, Bo Zhang, Weikun Qian, Zheng Wu, Qingyong Ma, Zheng Wang. Thiostrepton induces ferroptosis in pancreatic cancer cells through STAT3/GPX4 signalling. Cell death & disease. 2022 Jul 20;13(7):630

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PMID: 35859150

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