Human lung adenocarcinoma cells with an EGFR mutation are sensitive to non-autophagic cell death induced by zinc oxide and aluminium-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles

Kuan-Jen Bai, Kai-Jen Chuang, Chih-Ming Ma, Ta-Yuan Chang, Hsiao-Chi Chuang

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Lung cancer, mostly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is the leading cause of cancer deaths; however, efficient treatments for NSCLC remain insufficient. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation on autophagic cell death in human lung adenocarcinoma cells by 20-nm zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONP20) and aluminum-doped ZnONPs (Al-ZnONP20). Two types of human lung adenocarcinoma cells were used throughout the study: wild-type EGFR A549 cells and EGFR-mutated CL1-5 cells. We observed that a significant reduction in cell viability resulting from ZnONP20 and Al-ZnONP20 occurred in A549 and CL1-5 cells after 18 and 24 hr of exposure. A colony formation analysis showed that A549 cells re-grew after exposure to 20 μg/mL Al-ZnONP20. Levels of light chain 3 (LC3) II conversion were activated by ZnONP20 and Al-ZnONP20 in A549 cells, whereas LC3 II was inhibited by ZnONP20 and Al-ZnONP20 in CL1-5 cells. In conclusion, we have shown that human lung adenocarcinoma cells with an EGFR mutation are sensitive to ZnONP20 and Al-ZnONP20, which may have resulted in non-autophagic cell death. ZnONP20 and Al-ZnONP20 may have the potential for personalized therapeutics in NSCLC with an EGFR mutation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Toxicological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017



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