Quantitative proteomics using SILAC-MS identifies N-acetylcysteine-solution-triggered reversal response of renal cell carcinoma cell lines.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor for glutathione (GSH), causes permeable antioxidation protecting normal cells and disrupting cancer cells. In the present study, we found that a NAC-based medium can trigger a reversal response of human clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). To further investigate the action of a NAC-based solution in ccRCC cell lines, 786-O and SN12C were incubated in a serum-free acid medium (low pH) in the presence of 2 mM NAC for 24 hours or in a serum-free medium (normal pH) as the control, and then a phenotypic and proteomic analyses were performed. To determine the reversal occurrence, we tested the phenotypic features associated with cancer cells. Under this premise, a systematic and in-depth analysis of NAC-solution-triggered protein alterations was carried out by quantitative proteomics in both cell lines. Among the paramount protein signature, we identified a large number of proteins associated with cancer features were downregulated, but other proteins in the KEGG pathways associated with recovery of the missing tumorigenicity, such as the p53 pathway and repair pathway, were significantly upregulated. Quantification of notable proteins was validated by messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels in the ccRCC cell line. Collectively, our data indicate that the NAC-based solution inhibits human ccRCC cell growth by decreasing cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis, limiting their migration by limiting cell motility and completely changing their metabolic mode. Thus, NAC-based solutions could be used for the prevention or treatment of ccRCC.

Journal of cellular biochemistry. 2018 Dec 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Cuihong Zhao, Jianhua Chen, Yong Ling, Shenghai Wang

Department of Pharmacy, Hanzhong Central Hospital, Hanzhong, Shanxi, China., Department of Orthopedics, Hanzhong Central Hospital, Hanzhong, Shanxi, China., Department of Pharmacy, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University Medical College, Qingdao, China.