Bladder cancer (BC) is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. However, the recurrence rate and five-year survival rate have not been significantly improved in advanced BC, and new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. The anticancer activity of stellettin B (SP-2), a triterpene isolated from the marine sponge Rhabdastrella sp., was evaluated with the MTT assay as well as PI and Annexin V/7-AAD staining. Detailed mechanisms were elucidated through an NGS analysis, protein arrays, and Western blotting. SP-2 suppressed the viability of BC cells without severe toxicity towards normal uroepithelial cells, and it increased apoptosis with the activation of caspase 3/8/9, PARP, and γH2AX. The phosphorylation of FGFR3 and its downstream targets were downregulated by SP-2. Meanwhile, it induced autophagy in BC cells as evidenced by LC3-II formation and p62 downregulation. The inhibition of autophagy using pharmacological inhibitors or through an ATG5-knockout protected RT-112 cells from SP-2-induced cell viability suppression and apoptosis. In addition, the upregulation of DAPK2 mRNA and protein expression also contributed to SP-2-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis. In RT-112 cells, an FGFR3-TACC3-knockout caused the downregulation of DAPK2, autophagy, and apoptosis. In conclusion, this is the first study demonstrating that SP-2 exhibits potent anti-BC activity by suppressing the FGFR3-TACC3/Akt/mTOR pathway, which further activates a novel autophagy/DAPK2/apoptosis signaling cascade.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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