Emodin enhances gefitinib-induced cytotoxicity via Rad51 downregulation and ERK1/2 inactivation

ArticleinExperimental Cell Research 315(15):2658-72 · July 2009with19 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2009.06.002 · Source: PubMed
Emodin, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is a natural anthraquinone derivative found in the roots and rhizomes of numerous plants. It reportedly exhibits an anticancer effect on lung cancer. Gefitinib (Iressa) is a selective epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor for human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the molecular mechanism of how emodin combined with gefitinib decreases NSCLC cell viability is unclear. The recombinase protein Rad51 is essential for homologous recombination repair, and Rad51 overexpression is resistant to DNA double-strand break-inducing cancer therapies. In this study, we found that emodin enhanced the cytotoxicity induced by gefitinib in two NSCLC cells lines, A549 and H1650. Emodin at low doses of 2-10 microM did not affect ERK1/2 activation, mRNA, and Rad51 protein levels; however, it enhanced a gefitinib-induced decrease in phospho-ERK1/2 and Rad51 protein levels by enhancing Rad51 protein instability. Expression of constitutively active MKK1/2 vectors (MKK1/2-CA) significantly rescued the reduced phospho-ERK1/2 and Rad51 protein levels as well as cell viability on gefitinib and emodin cotreatment. Blocking of ERK1/2 activation by U0126 (an MKK1/2 inhibitor) lowered Rad51 protein levels and cell viability in emodin-treated H1650 and A549 cells. Knockdown of Rad51 expression by transfection with si-Rad51 RNA enhanced emodin cytotoxicity. In contrast, Rad51 overexpression protected the cells from the cytotoxic effects induced by emodin and gefitinib. Consequently, emodin-gefitinib cotreatment may serve as the basis for a novel and better therapeutic modality in the management of advanced lung cancer.
    • "However, we also observed an effect of DSB on radiation-reduced repair through HR as we detected increased levels of Rad51, a key protein in HR. Inhibition of EGFR signaling has been shown to regulate HR, but this seems to be regulated through the cytoplasmic and not the nuclear pathway of EGFR [28]. HR acts only in S and G 2 phases of the cell cycle. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Src family kinases (SFKs) have been implicated in resistance to both radiation and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition. Therefore, we investigated whether inhibition of SFK through dasatinib (DSB) can enhance the effect of radiotherapy in two in vivo human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) models. Response to DSB and/or radiotherapy was assessed with tumor growth delay assays in two HNSCC xenograft models, SCCNij153 and SCCNij202. Effects on EGFR signaling were evaluated with Western blot analysis, and effects on DNA repair, hypoxia, and proliferation were investigated with immunohistochemistry. DSB and radiotherapy induced a significant growth delay in both HNSCC xenograft models, although to a lesser extent in SCCNij202. DSB did not inhibit phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAKT) or phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (pERK1/2) but did inhibit (phosphorylated) DNA-dependent protein kinase. Moreover, DSB reduced repair of radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks as shown by an increase of p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) staining 24 hours after radiation. This effect on DNA repair was only observed in the cell compartment where phosphorylated SFK (pSFK) was expressed: for SCCNij153 tumors in both normoxic and hypoxic areas and for SCCNij202 tumors only in hypoxic areas. No consistent effects of DSB on hypoxia or proliferation were observed. In conclusion, DSB enhances the effect of radiotherapy in vivo by inhibition of radiation-induced DNA repair and is a promising way to improve outcome in HNSCC patients.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013
    • "Treatment of cervical cancer cells with curcumin led to enhanced production of IR-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), which causes sustained ERK1/2-MAPK activation [37]. In contrast, emodin, a substance found in some plants including rhubarb, was reported to inhibit the activation of ERK1/2 in lung cancer cells, which in turn leads to a downregulation of RAD51 and confers chemosensitivity [38], [39]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC) have poor prognosis. While combined modality of chemotherapy and radiotherapy increases survival, most patients die within five years. Development of agents that confer cancer cell-specific chemo- and radiosensitivity may improve the therapy of ESCC. We here reported the discovery of berberine as a potent radiosensitizing agent on ESCC cells. Berberine at low concentrations (<15 µM) substantially radiosensitized ESCC cells. X-ray induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) persist longer in ESCC cells pretreated with berberine. Berberine pretreatment led to a significant downregulation of RAD51, a key player in homologous recombination repair, in ESCC cells, but not in non-malignant human cells. Downregulation of RAD51 by RNA interference similarly radiosensitized the cancer cells, and, conversely, introduction of exogenous RAD51 was able to significantly counteract the radiosensitizing effect of berberine, thus establishing RAD51 as a key determinant in radiation sensitivity. We also observed that RAD51 was commonly overexpressed in human ESCC tissues, suggesting that it is necessary to downregulate RAD51 to achieve high radio- or chemotherapeutic efficacy of ESCC in clinic, because overexpression of RAD51 is known to confer radio- and chemoresistance. Berberine can effectively downregulate RAD51 in conferring radiosensitivity on esophageal cancer cells. Its clinical application as an adjuvant in chemotherapy and radiotherapy of esophageal cancers should be explored.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011
    • "Emodin enhances the sensitivity of gallbladder cancer SGC996 cells to platinum drugs via glutathione depletion and multidrug resistancerelated protein 1 down-regulation [224] . The mechanisms of the synergistic effects of emodin with cisplatin or gencitabin may be attributed to the emodin-induced down-regulation of ERCC1 and Rad51 expression, respectively [225,226]. These results suggest that emodin may be used as an adjuvant to enhance the anti-cancer effects of chemotherapeutic agents. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, a number of natural products isolated from Chinese herbs have been found to inhibit proliferation, induce apoptosis, suppress angiogenesis, retard metastasis and enhance chemotherapy, exhibiting anti-cancer potential both in vitro and in vivo. This article summarizes recent advances in in vitro and in vivo research on the anti-cancer effects and related mechanisms of some promising natural products. These natural products are also reviewed for their therapeutic potentials, including flavonoids (gambogic acid, curcumin, wogonin and silibinin), alkaloids (berberine), terpenes (artemisinin, β-elemene, oridonin, triptolide, and ursolic acid), quinones (shikonin and emodin) and saponins (ginsenoside Rg3), which are isolated from Chinese medicinal herbs. In particular, the discovery of the new use of artemisinin derivatives as excellent anti-cancer drugs is also reviewed.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011
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