Suppressed translation as a mechanism of initiation of CASP8 (caspase 8)-dependent apoptosis in autophagy-deficient NSCLC cells under nutrient limitation

<p>Macroautophagy/autophagy inhibition under stress conditions is often associated with increased cell death. We found that under nutrient limitation, activation of CASP8/caspase-8 was significantly increased in autophagy-deficient lung cancer cells, which precedes mitochondria outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), CYCS/cytochrome <i>c</i> release, and activation of CASP9/caspase-9, indicating that under such conditions the activation of CASP8 is a primary event in the initiation of apoptosis as well as essential to reduce clonogenic survival of autophagy-deficient cells. Starvation leads to suppression of CFLAR proteosynthesis and accumulation of CASP8 in SQSTM1 puncta. Overexpression of CFLARs reduces CASP8 activation and apoptosis during starvation, while its silencing promotes efficient activation of CASP8 and apoptosis in autophagy-deficient U1810 lung cancer cells even under nutrient-rich conditions. Similar to starvation, inhibition of protein translation leads to efficient activation of CASP8 and cell death in autophagy-deficient lung cancer cells. Thus, here for the first time we report that suppressed translation leads to activation of CASP8-dependent apoptosis in autophagy-deficient NSCLC cells under conditions of nutrient limitation. Our data suggest that targeting translational machinery can be beneficial for elimination of autophagy-deficient cells via the CASP8-dependent apoptotic pathway.</p>