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Lysosome-Targeted Drug Combination Induces Multiple Organelle Dysfunctions and Non-Canonical Death in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

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Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer‑related mortality and has the lowest 5‑year survival rate. Therefore, novel strategies are urgently required to treat pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells rely on enhanced lysosomal function for survival and proliferation to facilitate the degradation of contents accumulated via autophagy and macropinocytosis. Previously, we have reported that the combination of epidermal growth factor receptor/HER2 inhibitor lapatinib and sphingosine analog fingolimod (FTY720) confers a significant cytostatic effect in lung cancer cells.

In the present study, the combined effects of these drugs on PDAC cell lines, BxPC‑3, KP‑4, PANC‑1 and MIA PaCa‑2, were examined. It was observed that FTY720 enhanced the lapatinib‑induced cytotoxic effect and caused non‑canonical and lysosome‑dependent death in PDAC cells. Lapatinib and FTY720 induced lysosomal swelling and inhibited lysosomal acidification. Combination treatment with lapatinib and FTY720 increased lysosomal membrane permeability, induced mitochondrial depolarization, induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and disturbed intracellular calcium homeostasis. Read more . . . 


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