Imperatorin acts as a cisplatin sensitizer via downregulating Mcl-1 expression in HCC chemotherapy
Acquisition of cisplatin resistance is the common and critical limitation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) therapy. Our study was aimed to determine whether there were conditions under which the addition of imperatorin would reverse the resistance of HCC cells to cisplatin-based therapy. In this study, we found that addition of imperatorin significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity of cisplatin to HCC cells. Since the Mcl-1 was overexpressed in HCC cell lines (HepG2, HepG3B, PLC, Huh7) compared with normal liver cell line (L-O2), we found that the Mcl-1 expression was downregulated by imperatorin but not influenced by cisplatin in HCC cells. In addition, our results showed the combination of imperatorin and cisplatin induced apoptosis and ∆Ψm collapse more significantly compared with treatment of imperatorin or cisplatin alone. Furthermore, the imperatorin-induced sensitization for cisplatin-cytotoxicity to HCC cells was abolished by the transfection of Mcl-1 expression plasmid. Finally, we found that the addition of imperatorin significantly reversed the resistance to cisplatin in cisplatin-resistant HCC cells, which was Mcl-1 dependent. In summary, our study revealed that combination with imperatorin could enhance the antitumor activity of cisplatin via targeting Mcl-1 and reverse the resistance to cisplatin in HCC.
KeywordsHCC Imperatorin Cisplatin Mcl-1 Apoptosis
This work was supported by the Program of WenZhou Science and Technology Bureau (grant no. Y20140092)
Conflict of interest
CP designed the study. JH, CX, and BC wrote the manuscript. JH, LJ, and JL performed out the immunohistochemistry and the related statistical analysis. JH, YG, WL, and ZP carried out the cell culture and transfection, Western blot, RT-PCR, and flow cytometry. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
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