Ultrasound-triggered microbubble destruction enhances the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma by inhibiting PGRMC1-mediated autophagy in vitro and in vivo

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Background: Ultrasound-triggered microbubble destruction (UTMD) is a widely used noninvasive technology in both military and civilian medicine, which could enhance radiosensitivity of various tumors. However, little information is available regarding the effects of UTMD on radiotherapy for glioblastoma or the underlying mechanism. This study aimed to delineate the effect of UTMD on the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma and the potential involvement of autophagy. Methods: GL261, U251 cells and orthotopic glioblastoma-bearing mice were treated with ionizing radiation (IR) or IR plus UTMD. Autophagy was observed by confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Western blotting and immunofluorescence analysis were used to detect progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), light chain 3 beta 2 (LC3B2) and sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1/p62) levels. Lentiviral vectors or siRNAs transfection, and fluorescent probes staining were used to explore the underlying mechanism. Results: UTMD enhanced the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma in vitro and in vivo (P < 0.01). UTMD inhibited autophagic flux by disrupting autophagosome-lysosome fusion without impairing lysosomal function or autophagosome synthesis in IR-treated glioblastoma cells. Suppression of autophagy by 3-methyladenine, bafilomycin A1 or ATG5 siRNA had no significant effect on UTMD-induced radiosensitization in glioblastoma cells (P < 0.05). Similar results were found when autophagy was induced by rapamycin or ATG5 overexpression (P > 0.05). Furthermore, UTMD inhibited PGRMC1 expression and binding with LC3B2 in IR-exposed glioblastoma cells (P < 0.01). PGRMC1 inhibitor AG-205 or PGRMC1 siRNA pretreatment enhanced UTMD-induced LC3B2 and p62 accumulation in IR-exposed glioblastoma cells, thereby promoting UTMD-mediated radiosensitization (P < 0.05). Moreover, PGRMC1 overexpression abolished UTMD-caused blockade of autophagic degradation, subsequently inhibiting UTMD-induced radiosensitization of glioblastoma cells. Finally, compared with IR plus UTMD group, PGRMC1 overexpression significantly increased tumor size [(3.8 ± 1.1) mm2 vs. (8.0 ± 1.9) mm2, P < 0.05] and decreased survival time [(67.2 ± 2.6) d vs. (40.0 ± 1.2) d, P = 0.0026] in glioblastoma-bearing mice. Conclusion: UTMD enhanced the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma partially by disrupting PGRMC1-mediated autophagy.




He, Y., Dong, X. H., Zhu, Q., Xu, Y. L., Chen, M. L., & Liu, Z. (2022). Ultrasound-triggered microbubble destruction enhances the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma by inhibiting PGRMC1-mediated autophagy in vitro and in vivo. Military Medical Research, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40779-022-00369-0

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