Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that emerges to be relevant for therapy-resistant and dedifferentiating cancers. Although several lines of evidence suggest that ferroptosis is a type of autophagy-dependent cell death, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Fin56, a type 3 ferroptosis inducer, triggers ferroptosis by promoting glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) protein degradation via a not fully understood pathway. Here, we determined that Fin56 induces ferroptosis and autophagy in bladder cancer cells and that Fin56-triggered ferroptosis mechanistically depends on the autophagic machinery. Furthermore, we found that autophagy inhibition at different stages attenuates Fin56-induced oxidative stress and GPX4 degradation. Moreover, we investigated the effects of Fin56 in combination with Torin 2, a potent mTOR inhibitor used to activate autophagy, on cell viability. We found that Fin56 synergizes with Torin 2 in cytotoxicity against bladder cancer cells. Collectively, our findings not only support the concept that ferroptosis is a type of autophagy-dependent cell death but imply that the combined application of ferroptosis inducers and mTOR inhibitors is a promising approach to improve therapeutic options in the treatment of bladder cancer.
GrantsEC | EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation H2020 | H2020 Priority Excellent Science | H2020 European Research Council (H2020 Excellent Science - European Research Council) Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)