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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 505041, 10 pages
Research Article

Single Amino Acid Arginine Deprivation Triggers Prosurvival Autophagic Response in Ovarian Carcinoma SKOV3

1Institute of Cell Biology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Drahomanov Street 14/16, Lviv 79005, Ukraine
2Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Department of Health Sciences, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Via P. Solaroli 17, 28100 Novara, Italy

Received 24 January 2014; Accepted 30 April 2014; Published 1 June 2014

Academic Editor: Danny N. Dhanasekaran

Copyright © 2014 Galyna Shuvayeva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autophagy is a process of cytosol-to-lysosome vesicle trafficking of cellular constituents for degradation and recycling of their building blocks. Autophagy becomes very important for cell viability under different stress conditions, in particular under amino acid limitation. In this report we demonstrate that single amino acid arginine deprivation triggers profound prosurvival autophagic response in cultured human ovarian cancer SKOV3 cells. In fact, a significant drop in viability of arginine-starved SKOV3 cells was observed when autophagy was inhibited by either coadministration of chloroquine or transcriptional silencing of the essential autophagy protein BECLIN 1. Enzymatic arginine deprivation is a novel anticancer therapy undergoing clinical trials. This therapy is considered nontoxic and selective, as it allows controlling the growth of malignant tumours deficient in arginine biosynthesis. We propose that arginine deprivation-based combinational treatments that include autophagy inhibitors (e.g., chloroquine) may produce a stronger anticancer effect as a second line therapy for a subset of chemoresistant ovarian cancers.