The tumor-suppressor cholesterol metabolite, dendrogenin A, is a new class of LXR modulator activating lethal autophagy in cancers

Abstract : Dendrogenin A (DDA) is a mammalian cholesterol metabolite recently identified that displays tumor suppressor properties. The discovery of DDA has revealed the existence in mammals of a new metabolic branch in the cholesterol pathway centered on 5,6α-epoxycholesterol and bridging cholesterol metabolism with histamine metabolism. Metabolic studies showed a drop in DDA levels in cancer cells and tumors compared to normal cells, suggesting a link between DDA metabolism deregulation and oncogenesis. Importantly, complementation of cancer cells with DDA induced 1) cancer cell re-differentiation, 2) blockade of 6-oxo-cholestan-3β,5α-diol (OCDO) production, an endogenous tumor promoter and 3) lethal autophagy in tumors. Importantly, by binding the liver X receptor (LXR), DDA activates the expression of genes controlling autophagy. These genes include NR4A1, NR4A3, LC3 and TFEB. The canonical LXR ligands 22(R)hydroxycholesterol, TO901317 and GW3965 did not induce these effects indicating that DDA delineates a new class of selective LXR modulator (SLiM). The induction of lethal autophagy by DDA was associated with the accumulation in cancer cells of lysosomes and of the pro-lysosomal cholesterol precursor zymostenol due to the inhibition of the 3β-hydroxysteroid-Δ8Δ7-isomerase enzyme (D8D7I). The anti-cancer efficacy of DDA was established on different mouse and human cancers such as breast cancers, melanoma and acute myeloid leukemia, including patient derived xenografts, and did not discriminate bulk cancer cells from cancer cell progenitors. Together these data highlight that the mammalian metabolite DDA is a promising anticancer compound with a broad range of anticancer applications. In addition, DDA and LXR are new actors in the transcriptional control of autophagy and DDA being a "first in line" driver of lethal autophagy in cancers via the LXR.
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Marc Poirot, Sandrine Silvente-Poirot. The tumor-suppressor cholesterol metabolite, dendrogenin A, is a new class of LXR modulator activating lethal autophagy in cancers. Biochemical Pharmacology, Elsevier, 2018, 153, pp.75-81. ⟨10.1016/j.bcp.2018.01.046⟩. ⟨inserm-02380575⟩

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