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Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) continues to be a vital disease worldwide for its high incidence and consequent mortality rate. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer effect of LZ-101, a new derivative of danofloxacin, against non-small-cell lung cancer and the underlying mechanisms. In vitro, LZ-101 inhibited the viability of human non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. We demonstrated that LZ-101 induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis by increasing Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), release of cytochrome c (Cyt c) and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) in A549 cells. Further research illuminated that LZ-101 induced apoptosis was related to the activation of FOXO3a/Bim pathway. Moreover, we found that LZ-101 increased the stability of FOXO3a by blocking autophagy-dependent FOXO3a degradation. However, inhibition of autophagosome formation abolished FOXO3a stabilization and apoptosis induced by LZ-101. In vivo, LZ-101 exerted a remarkable anti-tumor activity with high safety in xenograft model inoculated A549 tumor through the same mechanism as in our in vitro study. In conclusion, our findings indicated that LZ-101 induces mitochondrial apoptosis and stabilizes FOXO3a by blocking autophagy flux.


Originally published in Cell Death & Disease.

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