Journal of Cancer Therapeutics & Research

Journal of Cancer Therapeutics & Research

ISSN 2049-7962
Original Research

5-androstene 3β,17α diol induces autophagic cell death of human breast cancer cells and enhances radiation cytotoxicity

Martin R. Graf1, Wentao Jia2, Tiffany Powell2 and Roger M. Loria1,3*

*Corresponding author: Roger M. Loria

1. Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology and Emergency Medicine and the Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980678, Richmond, VA, 23298-0678, USA.

Author Affiliations

2. Department of Neurosurgery, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980631, Richmond, Virginia, 23298-0631, USA.

3. Virginia and Commonwealth University Reanimation, Engineering Science Center (VCURES).


Herein, we demonstrate that the steroid, 5-androstene 3β,17α diol (17α-AED) induced cell death in human breast cancer cells MCF-7, MDA-MB231, T47D and TTU-1 at clinically relevant levels. 17α-AED treatment resulted in autophagic cell death without evidence of apoptosis in breast cancer cells revealed by increased cleavage of microtubule-associated proteinlight chain 3 and the presence of acidic vesicular organelles in the absence of caspase 3, 8 or 9 activation and PARP processing. Increased phosphorylation of eukaryotic translational initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) was detected in treated MCF-7 cells and disruption of eIF2α signaling reduced autophagic cell death in 17α-AED treated MCF-7 cells. In breast cancer cell survival studies, 17α-AED synergistically potentiated the cytotoxicity of radiation treatment. Collectively, 17α-AED induces autophagic cell death in human breast tumors which is mediated, at least in part, by eIF2α signaling and may have potential therapeutic value for the treatment of breast tumors.

Keywords: autophagy; androstene steroids; breast cancer; radio-sensitizer

ISSN 2049-7962
Volume 1
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