Brefeldin A inhibits colorectal cancer growth by triggering Bip/Akt-regulated autophagy

Li Zhou, Wei Gao, Kui Wang, Zhao Huang, Lu Zhang, Zhe Zhang, Jing Zhou, Edouard C. Nice, Canhua Huang

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent neoplastic diseases worldwide, and effective treatment remains a challenge. Here, we found that the macrolide antibiotic brefeldin A (BFA) exhibits considerable antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo. Induction of complete autophagic flux is characterized as a key event in BFA-induced CRC suppression. Mechanistically, BFA provokes endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated binding immunoglobulin protein (Bip) expression, leading to increased Bip/Akt interaction and resultant decreased Akt phosphorylation, thereby activating autophagy. Autophagy inhibition or Bip suppression relieves BFA-induced cell death, suggesting a key role for Bip-regulated autophagy in the antitumor properties of BFA. Moreover, BFA acts synergistically with paclitaxel or 5-fluorouracil in CRC suppression. Collectively, our study provides an important molecular basis for BFA-induced autophagy and suggests that the antibiotic BFA could be repositioned as a potential anticancer drug for CRC treatment.-Zhou, L., Gao, W., Wang, K., Huang, Z., Zhang, L., Zhang, Z., Zhou, J., Nice, E. C., Huang, C. Brefeldin A inhibits colorectal cancer growth by triggering Bip/Akt-regulated autophagy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5520-5534
Number of pages15
JournalThe FASEB Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • autophagic flux
  • cancer therapy
  • ER stress

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