NCI677397 targeting USP24-mediated induction of lipid peroxidation induces ferroptosis in drug-resistant cancer cells

Shao An Wang, Yu Chih Wu, Feng Ming Yang, Feng Lin Hsu, Kuan Zhang, Jan Jong Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer represents a profound challenge to healthcare systems and individuals worldwide. The development of multiple drug resistance is a major problem in cancer therapy and can result in progression of the disease. In our previous studies, we developed small-molecule inhibitors targeting ubiquitin-specific peptidase 24 (USP24) to combat drug-resistant lung cancer. Recently, we found that the USP24 inhibitor NCI677397 induced ferroptosis, a type of programmed cell death, in drug-resistant cancer cells by increasing lipid reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. In the present study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms and found that the targeting of USP24 by NCI677397 increased gene expression of most lipogenesis-related genes, such as acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 (ACSL4), and activated autophagy. In addition, the activity of several antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), was inhibited by NCI677397 treatment via an increase in protein degradation, thereby inducing lipid ROS production and lipid peroxidation. In summary, we demonstrated that NCI677397 induced a marked increase in lipid ROS levels, subsequently causing lipid peroxidation and leading to the ferroptotic death of drug-resistant cancer cells. Our study provides new insights into the clinical use of USP24 inhibitors as ferroptosis inducers (FINs) to block drug resistance during chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • cancer
  • ferroptosis
  • lipid peroxidation
  • small molecular inhibitor
  • USP24

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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