MGST1 is a redox-sensitive repressor of ferroptosis in pancreatic cancer cells

Feimei Kuang, Jiao Liu, Yangchun Xie, Daolin Tang, Rui Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Ferroptosis is a type of nonapoptotic cell death driven by lipid peroxidation. Here, we show a key role of MGST1 in inhibiting ferroptosis in cell cultures and mouse xenograft models. Ferroptosis activators induce MGST1 upregulation in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines in an NFE2L2-dependent manner. The genetic depletion of MGST1 or NFE2L2 has a similar effect in promoting ferroptosis, whereas the re-expression of MGST1 restores the resistance of NFE2L2-knockdown cells to ferroptosis. MGST1 inhibits ferroptotic cancer cell death partly by binding to ALOX5, resulting in reduced lipid peroxidation. The expression of MGST1 is positively correlated with NFE2L2 expression in pancreatic tumors, which is implicated in the poor prognosis of patients with PDAC. These findings not only provide a valuable insight into the defense mechanism against ferroptotic cell death, but also indicate that targeting the MGST1 redox-sensitive pathway may be a promising strategy for the treatment of PDAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-775.e5
JournalCell Chemical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 17 2021


  • MGST1
  • ferroptosis
  • lipid peroxidation
  • oxidative stress
  • pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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