Concanavalin A (Con A), a mannose or glucose specific legume lectin, is well known for its anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effect on different types of cancer cells, through its binding to the membrane receptors leading to a major stimulus for the induction of distinct metabolic responses. Recently it has been also been proved that, Con A induces autophagy in hepatoma cells through internalization and mitochondria mediated pathway involving a mitochondrial interacting protein named Bcl2/E1B-19kDa protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3). Through this current endeavor, we propose a membrane associated pathway involved in Con A induced autophagy, taking Human cervical cancer (HeLa) cell as a cancer model. Here, we deciphered the role of membrane mediated phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and MEK/Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) pathway in Con A induced autophagy in HeLa cells. Subsequently, we found that Con A treatment suppresses the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and up regulates the MEK/ERK pathway leading to the activation of autophagy. This study will further help us to understand the mechanism behind the autophagic pathway induced by Con A and simultaneously it will strengthen its effective use as a prospective cancer chemo-therapeutic.
Keywords: Autophagy; Concanavalin A (Con A); MEK/ERK pathway; PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.
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