Supplementary Components1. was necessary to keep up with the hepatic tumor stem cell human population by removing mitochondria-associated p53, which otherwise would be activated by PINK1 to suppress the expression of NANOG. Introduction Autophagy (i.e., macroautophagy) is a catabolic process that removes protein aggregates and damaged organelles in cells. It is important for maintaining cellular homeostasis and has also been implicated in the development of cancers with two opposite functions (White, 2015). It may function as a tumor suppressor by preventing the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria, which can lead to increased oxidative stress and DNA damage (Tian et al., 2015), and the accumulation of the p62 sequestosome protein, which also promotes oxidative stress and tumor growth (Mathew et al., 2009). Autophagy may also function as a tumor promoter to alleviate metabolic stress during tumorigenesis and suppress the manifestation of tumor suppressors (Guo et al., 2013; Rosenfeldt et al., 2013; Tian et al., 2015), and impairing autophagy can impede hepatocarcinogenesis and stop harmless hepatic tumors from getting malignant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (Takamura et al., 2011; Tian et al., 2015), prevent low-grade pre-malignant pancreatic neoplastic lesions from progressing into high-grade pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia as well as the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (Rosenfeldt et al., 2013), and alter the destiny of pulmonary tumors from adenomas and carcinomas to harmless oncocytomas (Guo et al., 2013). Oddly enough, in the aforementioned research of hepatic, pulmonary and pancreatic tumors with impaired autophagy, tumor development was restored or partly restored when the manifestation from the tumor suppressor p53 was suppressed, recommending that autophagy might promote tumorigenesis via the control of p53 activities. As a significant tumor suppressor, p53 offers many different actions. Among these activities would be to become a transcription factor to regulate the expression of its target genes via its response element in the promoters of those genes (Beckerman and Prives, 2010). The activities of p53 are regulated by a variety of post-translational modifications. For example, the phosphorylation of p53 at serine-392 (S392) can lead to its stabilization and tetramerization and the activation of its Rabbit polyclonal to CREB1 sequence-specific DNA binding activity (Dai and Gu, 2010). The role of p53 in the regulation of the homeostasis of stem cells has also been recognized. It can restrict the self-renewal of stem cells, inhibit symmetric division and block the reprogramming of somatic/progenitor cells into stem cells (Bonizzi et al., 2012). The loss of Trapidil p53 will therefore facilitate the development of tumors due to the expansion of stem cells resulting from increased self-renewal and symmetric divisions and the reprogramming of somatic/progenitor cells (Bonizzi et al., 2012). Cancer stem cells (CSCs), also known as tumor-initiating cells, are a subset of tumor cells that display the stem cell markers and, similar to stem cells, possess the ability to self-renew and produce heterogeneous progeny cells (Ailles and Weissman, 2007). They are found in solid tumors including HCC and may be derived from normal stem cells or differentiated cells (Ailles and Weissman, 2007; Ma et al., 2007; Yamashita et al., 2009). CSCs are highly tumorigenic and chemotherapy-resistant. They are thought to play important roles in the tumorigenesis of HCC (Yamashita and Wang, 2013). In this report, we studied how autophagy might promote hepatocarcinogenesis. Our results indicated that autophagy was required to maintain the hepatic CSC population via the suppression of p53, which was removed by a pathway dependent on mitophagy, a selective autophagy that specifically removes mitochondria. We also found that p53 was phosphorylated at serine-392 and activated by Pten-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), a kinase associated with mitochondria and important for mitophagy, and when autophagy or mitophagy was impaired, the activated p53 was localized to the nucleus to suppress the expression of NANOG, a Trapidil key transcription factor required for the self-renewal and the maintenance of the stemness of stem cells (Lin et al., 2005), resulting in the reduction of the hepatic CSC population. Our studies thus indicated that mitophagy positively Trapidil regulated hepatic CSCs by suppressing p53, which otherwise would be activated by Red1 to suppress the manifestation of NANOG and hepatic CSCs. These outcomes offered a conclusion to how autophagy and, more specifically, mitophagy promoted hepatocarcinogenesis. Outcomes Autophagy favorably regulates hepatic tumor stem cells To comprehend why autophagy was necessary to promote hepatocarcinogenesis, we examined the result of autophagy on hepatic CSCs using HepG2 cells,.