ABSTRACT: Noxa is an important proapoptotic protein in the intrinsic pathway of cell apoptosis. Experiments were carried out to investigate whether Noxa could, therefore, enhance the cytotoxic effect of gemcitabine in human ovarian cancer cell lines (A2780 and COC1). In this study, the combined treatment of Noxa and gemcitabine, in vitro, significantly inhibited the proliferation of A2780 and COC1 cells, as verified by MTT assay, Hoechst staining, and flow cytometric analysis. Moreover, the combination of Noxa and gemcitabine inhibited tumor growth and prolonged the survival of nude mice in vivo. The combined treatment also inhibited the growth of tumor xenografts through the inhibition of proliferation and the induction of apoptosis, as observed in immunohistochemical anti-PCNA staining and TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Our data suggest that Noxa exhibited potent proapoptotic activity against human ovarian cancer cells, and the combination of Noxa and gemcitabine showed a more significant cytotoxic effect against ovarian cancer cells in comparison with either of these agents alone. To our knowledge, we have provided the first evidence that Noxa can enhance therapeutic responses of ovarian cancer cells to gemcitabine, and that it could be potentially useful as a chemosensitizer in ovarian cancer therapy.
Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals 04/2012; 27(4):259-66. · 1.44 Impact Factor