Parthenolide and sulindac cooperate to mediate growth suppression and inhibit the nuclear factor-κB pathway in pancreatic carcinoma cells

Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Room 041, Building R4, 1044 West Walnut Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. <>
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 5.68). 05/2005; 4(4):587-94. DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-04-0215
Source: PubMed


Activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) has been implicated in pancreatic tumorigenesis. We evaluated the effect of a novel NF-kappa B inhibitor, parthenolide, a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from the herb feverfew, in three human pancreatic tumor cell lines (BxPC-3, PANC-1, and MIA PaCa-2). Parthenolide inhibited pancreatic cancer cell growth in a dose-dependent manner with substantial growth inhibition observed between 5 and 10 micromol/L parthenolide in all three cell lines. Parthenolide treatment also dose-dependently increased the amount of the NF-kappa B inhibitory protein, I kappa B-alpha, and decreased NF-kappa B DNA binding activity. We have previously shown that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) suppress the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. To determine whether inhibition of the NF-kappa B pathway by parthenolide could sensitize pancreatic cancer cells to NSAID inhibition, BxPC-3, PANC-1, and MIA PaCa-2 cells were treated with parthenolide and the NSAID sulindac, either alone or in combination. Treatment with the combination of parthenolide and sulindac inhibited cell growth synergistically in MIA PaCa-2 and BxPC-3 cells and additively in PANC-1 cells. In addition, treatment with the parthenolide/sulindac combination lowered the threshold for apoptosis. Increased levels of I kappa B-alpha protein were detected, especially in MIA PaCa-2 cells, after treatment with parthenolide and sulindac compared with each agent alone. Similarly, decreased NF-kappa B DNA binding and transcriptional activities were detected in cells treated with the combination compared with the single agents, demonstrating cooperative targeting of the NF-kappa B pathway. These data provide preclinical support for a combined chemotherapeutic approach with NF-kappa B inhibitors and NSAIDs for the treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    • "The clinical application of PTL has been suggested when combined with chemotherapeutic drugs. For example, parthenolide and sulindac cooperatively block cell growth in pancreatic carcinoma cells [7]. It seems that PTL exerts its anticancer role by increasing the sensitivity of cells to the drugs, rather by directly killing cells. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parthenolide (PTL) is a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from feverfew and exhibits potent antitumor activity against various cancers. Many studies indicate that PTL treatment leads to apoptosis, however, the mechanism has not been defined. Here, we observed that cells underwent autophagy shortly after PTL treatment. Inhibition of autophagy by knocking out autophagy associated gene atg5 blocked PTL-induced apoptosis. Surprisingly, PTL decreased the level of translation initiation factor eIF4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) in correlation with autophagy. Ectopic expression or shRNA knockdown of 4E-BP1 further verified the effect of 4E-BP1 on PTL-induced autophagy. Meanwhile, PTL elevated the cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) which located upstream of the depletion of 4E-BP1, and contributed to the consequent autophagy. This study revealed 4E-BP1 as a trigger for PTL-induced autophagy and may lead to therapeutic strategy to enhance the efficacy of anticancer drugs. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
  • Source
    • "In recent years, the anticancer properties of PTL were discovered and attracted a great deal of therapeutic interest. PTL may induce apoptosis and inhibit the proliferation of various human cancer cells, such as colorectal cancer, hepatoma and pancreatic carcinoma, in vitro8,9,10,11. In addition, PTL can sensitize resistant cancer cells to antitumor agents7,8,12. It was reported that PTL could sensitize cancer cells to the action of drugs that induce intrinsic apoptosis13. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Receptor-interacting protein 3 (RIP3) is involved in tumor necrosis factor receptor signaling, and results in NF-κB-mediated prosurvival signaling and programmed cell death. The aim of this study was to determine whether overexpression of the RIP3 gene could sensitize human breast cancer cells to parthenolide in vitro. Methods: The expression of RIP3 mRNA in human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-435 and T47D) was detected using RT-PCR. Both MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells were transfected with RIP3 expression or blank vectors via lentivirus. Cell viability was measured with MTT assay; intracellular ROS level and cell apoptosis were analyzed using flow cytometry. Results: RIP3 mRNA expression was not detected in the four human breast cancer cell lines tested. However, the transfection induced higher levels of RIP3 protein in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, overexpression of RIP3 decreased the IC50 values of parthenolide from 17.6 to 12.6 μmol/L in MCF-7 cells, and from 16.6 to 9.9 μmol/L in MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, overexpression of RIP3 significantly increased parthenolide-induced apoptosis and ROS accumulation in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Pretreatment with N-acetyl-cysteine abrogated the increased sensitivity of RIP3-transfected MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells to parthenolide. Conclusion: Overexpression of RIP3 sensitizes MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells to parthenolide in vitro via intracellular ROS accumulation.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
  • Source
    • "Much research supports a central role for NF-κB in inflammation and pancreatic tumorigenesis [8,9,11]. We have shown both in vitro and in vivo that pharmacological suppression of NF-κB by parthenolide or DMAPT has anti-cancer activity [15,16,33]. Gemcitabine, the current standard-of-care therapy for pancreatic cancer, has limited clinical benefit alone, and recent work has indicated that induction of NF-κB activity by gemcitabine may be involved in chemoresistance [9,17-20]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers due to lack of early detection and absence of effective treatments. Gemcitabine, the current standard-of-care chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, has limited clinical benefit. Treatment of pancreatic cancer cells with gemcitabine has been shown to induce the activity of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) which regulates the expression of genes involved in the inflammatory response and tumorigenesis. It has therefore been proposed that gemcitabine-induced NF-κB activation may result in chemoresistance. We hypothesize that NF-κB suppression by the novel inhibitor dimethylaminoparthenolide (DMAPT) may enhance the effect of gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer. Methods The efficacy of DMAPT and gemcitabine was evaluated in a chemoprevention trial using the mutant Kras and p53-expressing LSL-KrasG12D/+; LSL-Trp53R172H; Pdx-1-Cre mouse model of pancreatic cancer. Mice were randomized to treatment groups (placebo, DMAPT [40 mg/kg/day], gemcitabine [50 mg/kg twice weekly], and the combination DMAPT/gemcitabine). Treatment was continued until mice showed signs of ill health at which time they were sacrificed. Plasma cytokine levels were determined using a Bio-Plex immunoassay. Statistical tests used included log-rank test, ANOVA with Dunnett’s post-test, Student’s t-test, and Fisher exact test. Results Gemcitabine or the combination DMAPT/gemcitabine significantly increased median survival and decreased the incidence and multiplicity of pancreatic adenocarcinomas. The DMAPT/gemcitabine combination also significantly decreased tumor size and the incidence of metastasis to the liver. No significant differences in the percentages of normal pancreatic ducts or premalignant pancreatic lesions were observed between the treatment groups. Pancreata in which no tumors formed were analyzed to determine the extent of pre-neoplasia; mostly normal ducts or low grade pancreatic lesions were observed, suggesting prevention of higher grade lesions in these animals. While gemcitabine treatment increased the levels of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1α (IL-1α), IL-1β, and IL-17 in mouse plasma, DMAPT and DMAPT/gemcitabine reduced the levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-12p40, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta (MIP-1β), eotaxin, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), all of which are NF-κB target genes. Conclusion In summary, these findings provide preclinical evidence supporting further evaluation of agents such as DMAPT and gemcitabine for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · BMC Cancer
Show more