Background: Our previous work has shown peroxiredoxin-1 (PRDX1), one of major antioxidant enzymes, to be a biomarker in human breast cancer. Hereby, we further investigate the role of PRDX1, compared to its close homolog PRDX2, in mammary malignant cells.
Methods: CRISPR/Cas9- or RNAi-based methods were used for genetic targeting PRDX1/2. Cell growth was assessed by crystal violet, EdU incorporation or colony formation assays. In vivo growth was assessed by a xenotransplantation model. Adenanthin was used to inhibit the thioredoxin-dependent antioxidant defense system. The prooxidant agents used were hydrogen peroxide, glucose oxidase and sodium L-ascorbate. A PY1 probe or HyPer-3 biosensor were used to detect hydrogen peroxide content in samples.
Results: PRDX1 downregulation significantly impaired the growth rate of MCF-7 and ZR-75-1 breast cancer cells. Likewise, xenotransplanted PRDX1-deficient MCF-7 cells presented a retarded tumour growth. Furthermore, genetic targeting of PRDX1 or adenanthin, but not PRDX2, potently sensitised all six cancer cell lines studied, but not the non-cancerous cells, to glucose oxidase and ascorbate.
Conclusions: Our study pinpoints the dominant role for PRDX1 in management of exogeneous oxidative stress by breast cancer cells and substantiates further exploration of PRDX1 as a target in this disease, especially when combined with prooxidant agents.