The Role of endoplasmic reticulum metallo protease 1 on Autophagy Pathway in HCT-116 Colorectal Cancer Cell Line

Document Type : Research/Original Article


1 Colorectal Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran Autophagy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch, Arak, Iran

4 Colorectal Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Autophagy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Autophagy and unfolded protein response (UPR) are mechanisms with dual roles in both maintaining the cellular homeostasis and progression of various diseases such as cancer. Therefore, identification of different molecules and proteins involved in the regulation of these pathways may contribute to find new therapeutic targets. A member of the M28 family of the metallopeptidases, Endoplasmic Reticulum Metallo Protease 1 (ERMP1), is overexpressed in cancers such as colorectal cancer. The role of this protein in the UPR activation was previously reported in breast cancer. We aimed to evaluate the role of ERMP1 in the activation of autophagy and apoptosis in colorectal cancer. Methods: ERMP1 Gene silencing was performed using specific small hairpin RNA (shRNA) in HCT-116 colorectal cancer cell line. Then, autophagy associated protein markers including Beclin 1, p62 and LC3II were evaluated using western blot. The effect of ERMP1 knockdown on cellular apoptosis was also assessed by propidium iodide staining flow cytometry analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software version 20. Results: All three autophagy markers were increased significantly in the ERMP1-silenced HCT116 cell lines compared with negative control cells (P < 0.05). It seems that ERMP1 silencing inhibits autophagy at the flux stage. However, ERMP1 knockdown had no significant effect on HCT-116 apoptotic cell death (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The oncogenic protein, ERMP1, activates autophagy in colorectal cancer cell line. Targeting of ERMP1 may be considered as a proper approach in colorectal cancer therapy. Further investigations are required to confirm these results.


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