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      Ferroportin-Dependent Iron Homeostasis Protects against Oxidative Stress-Induced Nucleus Pulposus Cell Ferroptosis and Ameliorates Intervertebral Disc Degeneration In Vivo


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          Ferroptosis is a specialized form of regulated cell death that is charactered by iron-dependent lethal lipid peroxidation, a process associated with multiple diseases. However, its role in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is rarely investigated. This study is aimed at investigating the role of ferroptosis in oxidative stress- (OS-) induced nucleus pulposus cell (NPC) decline and the pathogenesis of IVDD and determine the underlying regulatory mechanisms. We used tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) to simulate OS conditions around human NPCs. Flow cytometry and transmission electron microscopy were used to identify ferroptosis, while iron assay kit, Perl's staining, and western blotting were performed to assay the intracellular iron levels. A ferroportin- (FPN-) lentivirus and FPN-siRNA were constructed and used to explore the relationship between FPN, intracellular iron homeostasis, and ferroptosis. Furthermore, hinokitiol, a bioactive compound known to specifically resist OS and restore FPN function, was evaluated for its therapeutic role in IVDD both in vitro and in vivo. The results indicated that intercellular iron overload plays an essential role in TBHP-induced ferroptosis of human NPCs. Mechanistically, FPN dysregulation is responsible for intercellular iron overload under OS. The increase in nuclear translocation of metal-regulatory transcription factor 1 (MTF1) restored the function of FPN, abolished the intercellular iron overload, and protected cells against ferroptosis. Additionally, hinokitiol enhanced the nuclear translocation of MTF1 by suppressing the JNK pathway and ameliorated the progression of IVDD in vivo. Taken together, our results demonstrate that ferroptosis and FPN dysfunction are involved in the NPC depletion and the pathogenesis of IVDD under OS. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the protective role of FPN in ferroptosis of NPCs, suggesting its potential used as a novel therapeutic target against IVDD.

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          Ferroptosis: an iron-dependent form of nonapoptotic cell death.

          Nonapoptotic forms of cell death may facilitate the selective elimination of some tumor cells or be activated in specific pathological states. The oncogenic RAS-selective lethal small molecule erastin triggers a unique iron-dependent form of nonapoptotic cell death that we term ferroptosis. Ferroptosis is dependent upon intracellular iron, but not other metals, and is morphologically, biochemically, and genetically distinct from apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy. We identify the small molecule ferrostatin-1 as a potent inhibitor of ferroptosis in cancer cells and glutamate-induced cell death in organotypic rat brain slices, suggesting similarities between these two processes. Indeed, erastin, like glutamate, inhibits cystine uptake by the cystine/glutamate antiporter (system x(c)(-)), creating a void in the antioxidant defenses of the cell and ultimately leading to iron-dependent, oxidative death. Thus, activation of ferroptosis results in the nonapoptotic destruction of certain cancer cells, whereas inhibition of this process may protect organisms from neurodegeneration. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Ferroptosis: A Regulated Cell Death Nexus Linking Metabolism, Redox Biology, and Disease

            Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death characterized by the iron-dependent accumulation of lipid hydroperoxides to lethal levels. Emerging evidence suggests that ferroptosis represents an ancient vulnerability caused by the incorporation of polyunsaturated fatty acids into cellular membranes, and cells have developed complex systems that exploit and defend against this vulnerability in different contexts. The sensitivity to ferroptosis is tightly linked to numerous biological processes, including amino acid, iron, and polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism, and the biosynthesis of glutathione, phospholipids, NADPH, and coenzyme Q10. Ferroptosis has been implicated in the pathological cell death associated with degenerative diseases (i.e., Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases), carcinogenesis, stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and kidney degeneration in mammals and is also implicated in heat stress in plants. Ferroptosis may also have a tumor-suppressor function that could be harnessed for cancer therapy. This Primer reviews the mechanisms underlying ferroptosis, highlights connections to other areas of biology and medicine, and recommends tools and guidelines for studying this emerging form of regulated cell death.
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              The CoQ oxidoreductase FSP1 acts in parallel to GPX4 to inhibit ferroptosis

              Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that is caused by the iron-dependent peroxidation of lipids 1,2 . The glutathione-dependent lipid hydroperoxidase glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) prevents ferroptosis by converting lipid hydroperoxides into non-toxic lipid alcohols 3,4 . Ferroptosis has been implicated in the cell death that underlies several degenerative conditions 2 , and induction of ferroptosis by inhibition of GPX4 has emerged as a therapeutic strategy to trigger cancer cell death 5 . However, sensitivity to GPX4 inhibitors varies greatly across cancer cell lines 6 , suggesting that additional factors govern resistance to ferroptosis. Here, employing a synthetic lethal CRISPR/Cas9 screen, we identify ferroptosis suppressor protein 1 (FSP1) (previously known as apoptosis-inducing factor mitochondrial 2 (AIFM2)) as a potent ferroptosis resistance factor. Our data indicate that myristoylation recruits FSP1 to the plasma membrane where it functions as an oxidoreductase that reduces coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), generating a lipophilic radical-trapping antioxidant (RTA) that halts the propagation of lipid peroxides. We further find that FSP1 expression positively correlates with ferroptosis resistance across hundreds of cancer cell lines, and that FSP1 mediates resistance to ferroptosis in lung cancer cells in culture and in mouse tumor xenografts. Thus, our data identify FSP1 as a key component of a non-mitochondrial CoQ antioxidant system that acts in parallel to the canonical glutathione-based GPX4 pathway. These findings define a new ferroptosis suppression pathway and indicate that pharmacological inhibition of FSP1 may provide an effective strategy to sensitize cancer cells to ferroptosis-inducing chemotherapeutics.

                Author and article information

                Oxid Med Cell Longev
                Oxid Med Cell Longev
                Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
                10 February 2021
                : 2021
                : 6670497
                1Department of Orthopaedics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
                2Department of Health Management Center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Sidong Yang

                Author information
                Copyright © 2021 Saideng Lu et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 5 November 2020
                : 19 January 2021
                : 21 January 2021
                Funded by: Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
                Award ID: 2019kfyXMBZ063
                Funded by: Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau
                Award ID: 2019020701011457
                Funded by: National Key Research and Development Program of China
                Award ID: 2018YFB1105700
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: 81803917
                Award ID: 81772401
                Research Article

                Molecular medicine
                Molecular medicine


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