International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 795–804 | Cite as

Additive inhibition of colorectal cancer cell lines by aspirin and bortezomib

  • Ioannis A. Voutsadakis
  • Anna Patrikidou
  • Konstantinos Tsapakidis
  • Aristea Karagiannaki
  • Eleana Hatzidaki
  • Nikolaos E. Stathakis
  • Christos N. Papandreou
Original Article



To investigate the effect of cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) inhibitor aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA) and proteasome inhibitor bortezomib in the proliferation and apoptosis of colorectal cancer cell lines.


MTT assay, trypan blue exclusion and DNA fragmentation have been used to investigate cell proliferation and apoptosis in the presence of drugs. For the determination of Cox activity a colorimetric method was used. Western blotting was used for the measurement of the effect of the drugs in different proteins expression.


Bortezomib together with aspirin inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cell lines HCT116, HT-29, and CaCo2 more than each drug alone. In the first two cell lines ASA inhibitory effects are Cox-2 independent because HCT116 cells do not express the enzyme while in HT-29 cells, Cox-2 has no activity as shown by a Cox activity assay. In CaCo2 cells that express enzymatically active Cox-2 this activity is inhibited by ASA. ASA is also able to suppress the increase in Cox-2 activity induced by bortezomib in these cells. Cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27 are induced in the three cell lines by bortezomib and the combination treatment. Akt1 kinase is down-regulated in all three lines by the same treatments. Transcription factor NF-κB is retained in the cytoplasm by drug treatment in cell lines HCT116 and HT-29, a fact that may play a role in their pro-apoptotic activity. Pro-apoptotic bcl-2 family member, bad is down-regulated in cell lines HCT116 and CaCo2 by bortezomib treatment, a neoplasia-promoting event that is reversed by combination treatment.


The combination of bortezomib and ASA cooperates to decrease proliferation and induce apoptosis in three human colorectal cell lines with different genetic lesions. These effects are at least in some cases Cox-2 independent and involve common and diverse mechanisms in the three lines.


Colorectal cancer Cyclooxygenase-2 Proteasome Aspirin Bortezomib Cell lines HT-29 HCT116 CaCo2 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis A. Voutsadakis
    • 1
  • Anna Patrikidou
    • 1
  • Konstantinos Tsapakidis
    • 1
  • Aristea Karagiannaki
    • 1
  • Eleana Hatzidaki
    • 1
  • Nikolaos E. Stathakis
    • 1
  • Christos N. Papandreou
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Medical OncologyUniversity Hospital of LarissaLarissaGreece

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