Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 364, Issue 1–2, pp 11–18 | Cite as

Long-term cisplatin exposure impairs autophagy and causes cisplatin resistance in human lung cancer cells

  • Buntitabhon Sirichanchuen
  • Thitima PengsuparpEmail author
  • Pithi ChanvorachoteEmail author


Cisplatin-based chemotherapy frequently resulted in acquired resistance of cancer cells. The underlying mechanism of such resistance is not fully understood especially the involvement of autophagy and autophagic cell death. This study thus investigated whether an alteration in autophagy could be responsible for cisplatin resistance in the long-term exposure lung carcinoma cells. The cisplatin resistant clone (H460/cis) of H460 cells was established by exposing the cells with gradually increasing concentrations of cisplatin until chemoresistance acquisition was elucidated by MTT, Hoechst 33342 staining and comet assays. Degree of autophagosome formation and level of LC3 marker were evaluated by acridine orange and western blot analysis, respectively. H460/cis cells exhibited irregular shape with ~3-fold resistant to cisplatin-induced apoptosis compared with H460 cells. Proteins analysis for LC3 indicated that the levels of LC3 in resistant cells were significantly lower than those in H460 cells. Moreover, autophagosome formation detected by acridine orange staining was dramatically reduced in the resistant cells, suggesting the role of autophagy in attenuating of cisplatin-induced cell death. Further, co-treatment of cisplatin with autophagy inducer, trifluorperazine, could resensitize H460/cis cells to cisplatin-induced cell death. Our findings reveal the novel mechanisms causing cisplatin resistance in lung carcinoma cells after long-term drug exposure regarding autophagy.


Cisplatin Autophagy Lung cancer Cisplatin resistance Apoptosis 



This research was supported by grant fund under the program Strategic Scholarships for Frontier Research Network for the Join Ph.D. Program Thai Doctoral degree from the Office of the Higher Education Commission, Thailand, and the 90th Anniversary of Chulalongkorn University Fund (Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund) from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Further, the authors are grateful to Mr. Krich Rajprasit, a proofreader.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biopharmaceutical Sciences Program, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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