Original magnification: 40. To further investigate the role of elaiophylin in autophagy, we monitored the total amount of SQSTM1, which has been implicated in autophagic cargo recognition and is lost in the final stages of autophagy during autolysosome degradation.19 An increase in the amount of SQSTM1 is related to the inhibition of autophagy flux. viability, especially in combination with cisplatin or under hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, administration of a lower dose (2?mg/kg) of elaiophylin as a single agent achieves a significant antitumor effect without toxicity in an orthotopic ovarian cancer model with metastasis; however, high doses (8?mg/kg) of elaiophylin lead to dysfunction of Paneth cells, which resembles the intestinal phenotype of ATG16L1-deficient mice. Together, these results provide a safe therapeutic window for potential clinical applications of this compound. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that elaiophylin is a novel autophagy inhibitor, with significant antitumor efficacy as a single agent or in combination in human ovarian cancer cells, establishing the potential treatment of ovarian cancer by this compound. 0.05). (C) SKOV3 cells were treated with elaiophylin (0.5?M) alone or in the presence of chloroquine (25?M) for 12?h. Conversion of LC3B-I to LC3B-II was evaluated by western blot. (D) SKOV3 cells were treated with elaiophylin (0.5?M) for indicated time point. Protein expression was determined for LC3B and SQSTM1. (E) SKOV3 cells (+)-CBI-CDPI2 expressing GFP-LC3B were treated with DMSO, elaiophylin (0.5?M), or chloroquine (25?M) for 12?h, followed by staining with 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (blue) and anti-SQSTM1 (red). Panels on the right are higher-magnification images of the boxed CDC46 regions. Original magnification: 40. (+)-CBI-CDPI2 To further investigate the role of elaiophylin in autophagy, we monitored the total amount of SQSTM1, which has been implicated in autophagic cargo recognition and is lost in the final stages of autophagy during autolysosome degradation.19 An increase in the amount of SQSTM1 is related to the inhibition of autophagy flux. Data presented by immunoblot revealed an accumulation of SQSTM1 following elaiophylin incubation in SKVO3 cells (Fig. 2D). Consistently, increased expression of SQSTM1 was found not only in 4 other ovarian cancer cell lines (SW626, OVCAR3, A2780, CaOV-3) but also in several other human cancer cell lines (PC-3, HepG2, A549, and HeLa), as well as in HEK-293 and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) (Fig. S3; Fig. S4). These results suggest that elaiophylin universally interrupted autophagy flux in mammalian cells. This phenomenon was further confirmed by immunofluorescence-based analysis. As shown in Figure 2E, elaiophylin treatment led to the accumulation of SQSTM1 and GFP-LC3B puncta with extensive colocalization, similar to that seen following CQ treatment, indicating that elaiophylin inhibited the late stage of autophagy. Together, these results demonstrated that elaiophylin-induced autophagosome accumulation was due to impaired autophagic flux, indicating that elaiophylin was a potent autophagic flux inhibitor. Fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes or endosomes was not inhibited by elaiophylin A probable explanation for the impaired autophagy flux induced by elaiophylin could be an inhibition of fusion of autophagosomes with late endosomes or lysosomes. To determine whether elaiophylin induced autophagosome fusion with lysosomes, we used confocal microscopy to assess the colocalization of GFP-LC3B with LAMP1, a marker for endosomal and lysosomal membranes (Fig. 3A and B). Notably, we found that elaiophylin induced a significant overlap (+)-CBI-CDPI2 between GFP-LC3B and LAMP1-RFP (Fig. 3A, Pearson correlation coefficient (+)-CBI-CDPI2 = 0.59) in SKOV3 cells similar to the effect of starvation (EBSS, Earle’s balanced salt solution), indicating that autophagosome and lysosome fusion was not inhibited by elaiophylin treatment. In contrast, treatment with the lysosomotropic agent CQ as a negative control produced a significant separation of GFP-LC3B and LAMP1-RFP (Fig. 3A, Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.33). Furthermore, when monitoring fluid phase endocytosis by fluorescent dextran uptake, confocal analysis revealed a considerable colocalization of LC3B-positive autophagosomes with Texas Red dextran, indicating that elaiophylin did not block fluid-phase endocytosis (Fig. 3C and D). Open in a separate window Figure 3 (See previous page). Elaiophylin does not block the fusion between the autophagosome with the lysosome or endosome. (A) LAMP1-RFP transfected SKOV3-GFP-LC3B cells were treated with elaiophylin (0.5?M) or CQ (25?M) for 12?h, or cultured in EBSS solution for 2?h. Fusion between autophagosomes (GFP-LC3B) and lysosomes (LAMP1-RFP) was evident in EBSS- and elaiophylin -treated cells (yellow in merged images). A complete separation of green and red signals was observed in CQ-treated cells. Numbers represent Pearson correlation coefficient as a statistic for quantifying colocalization calculated using ImageJ software. More than 30 cells were.