ATF3 promotes erastin-induced ferroptosis by suppressing system Xc

Academic Article


  • The amino acid antiporter system Xc− is important for the synthesis of glutathione (GSH) that functions to prevent lipid peroxidation and protect cells from nonapoptotic, iron-dependent death (i.e., ferroptosis). While the activity of system Xc− often positively correlates with the expression level of its light chain encoded by SLC7A11, inhibition of system Xc− activity by small molecules (e.g., erastin) causes a decrease in the intracellular GSH level, leading to ferroptotic cell death. How system Xc− is regulated during ferroptosis remains largely unknown. Here we report that activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), a common stress sensor, can promote ferroptosis induced by erastin. ATF3 suppressed system Xc−, depleted intracellular GSH, and thereby promoted lipid peroxidation induced by erastin. ATF3 achieved this activity through binding to the SLC7A11 promoter and repressing SLC7A11 expression in a p53-independent manner. These findings thus add ATF3 to a short list of proteins that can regulate system Xc− and promote ferroptosis repressed by this antiporter.
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    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang L; Liu Y; Du T; Yang H; Lei L; Guo M; Ding HF; Zhang J; Wang H; Chen X
  • Start Page

  • 662
  • End Page

  • 675
  • Volume

  • 27
  • Issue

  • 2