JPH203, a selective L-type amino acid transporter 1 inhibitor, induces mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in Saos2 human osteosarcoma cells

Most normal cells express L-type amino acid transporter 2 (LAT2). However, L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1) is highly expressed in many tumor cells and presumed to support their increased growth and proliferation. This study examined the effects of JPH203, a selective LAT1 inhibitor, on cell growth and its mechanism for cell death in Saos2 human osteosarcoma cells. FOB human osteoblastic cells and Saos2 cells expressed LAT1 and LAT2 together with their associating protein 4F2 heavy chain, but the expression of LAT2 in the Saos2 cells was especially weak. JPH203 and BCH, a non-selective L-type amino acid transporter inhibitor, potently inhibited L-leucine uptake in Saos2 cells. As expected, the intrinsic ability of JPH203 to inhibit L-leucine uptake was far more efficient than that of BCH in Saos2 cells. Likewise, JPH203 and BCH inhibited Saos2 cell growth with JPH203 being superior to BCH in this regard. Furthermore, JPH203 increased apoptosis rates and formed DNA ladder in Saos2 cells. Moreover, JPH203 activated the mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signaling pathway by upregulating pro-apoptotic factors, such as Bad, Bax, and Bak, and the active form of caspase-9, and downregulating anti-apoptotic factors, such as Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. These results suggest that the inhibition of LAT1 activity via JPH203, which may act as a potential novel anti-cancer agent, leads to apoptosis mediated by the mitochondria-dependent intrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway by inducing the intracellular depletion of neutral amino acids essential for cell growth in Saos2 human osteosarcoma cells.

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S8667 JPH203 JPH203 (KYT-0353, JPH-203SBECD), a selective L-type amino acid transporter 1 inhibitor, shows a dramatic inhibition of leucine uptake (IC50=0.06 µM) and cell growth (IC50=4.1 µM) in human colon cancer cells (HT-29), human oral cancer cells (YD-38) and leukemic cells. (7)

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