Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 11, pp 8585–8592 | Cite as

Interference with HMGB1 increases the sensitivity to chemotherapy drugs by inhibiting HMGB1-mediated cell autophagy and inducing cell apoptosis

  • Ruiguang Zhang
  • Yan Li
  • Zhongliang Wang
  • Lingjuan Chen
  • Xiaorong Dong
  • Xiu Nie
Research Article


Non-small cell lung cancer is commonly seen with higher morbidity and mortality. High-mobility group protein 1 (HMGB1) is a highly conserved nuclear protein, which is involved in multiple human diseases including cancers. However, the mechanisms of HMGB1 in non-small cell lung cancer remain unclear. The goal of the present study is to identify the relationship between HMGB1 and the progresssion of non-small cell lung cancer and investigate the molecular mechanism of HMGB1 in non-small lung cancer cell lines. Firstly, we detected the expression levels of HMGB1 by by real-time PCR and western blotting analysis, and the results demonstrated that HMGB1 was much higher expressed in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines, including A549, SPC-1-1, NCI-2170, SK-MES-1, and NCI-H1299, compared with that of WI-38. Next, 5 μM of adriamycin (AMD), 20 μM of cisplatin (DDP), and 50 μM of methotrexate (MTX) were used to treat A549 cells and SPC-A-1 cells for 48 h. The results showed that treatment with chemotherapy drugs significantly increased the levels of HMGB1 in A549 cells and SPC-A-1 cells. Moreover, the expression levels of HMGB1 increased in a time-dependent manner being treated with DDP. Then, the endogenous HMGB1 expression was successfully interferred with shRNA specific to HMGB1 in A549 and SPC-A-1 cells, which was detected by western blotting analysis. Then, the cisplatin-sensitive A549 cells and cisplatin-resistant A549/DDP cells were treated with increasing concentrations of cisplatin for 24, 48, and 72 h; cell viability were analyzed by MTT assay; and IC50 values were calculated. The results demonstrated that the expression level of HMGB1 in A549/DDP cells was much higher than that of A549 cells; moreover, transfection with HMGB1 shRNA in A549/DDP cells decreased the IC50 value of cisplatin in A549/DDP cells. The expression levels of autophagy-related proteins beclin-1 and LC3-II were significantly higher in A549/DDP cells or the A549 cells treated with chemotherapeutic drugs, compared with that in A549 cells. However, interference with endogenous HMGB1 obviously suppressed autophagy-related proteins and increased cell apoptosis rate and the expression of cleaved caspase-3 in A549/DDP cells. All of the data suggested that interference with the endogenous HMGB1 significantly inhibited cell autophagy and increased cell apoptosis of A549/DDP cells. Thus, the study on the resistance of chemotherapy drugs would provide a theoretical reference for clinical treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.


High-mobility group protein 1 Autophagy Apoptosis Chemotherapy drug Non-small cell lung cancer 



The work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 81200104 and 81302020).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruiguang Zhang
    • 1
  • Yan Li
    • 2
  • Zhongliang Wang
    • 1
  • Lingjuan Chen
    • 1
  • Xiaorong Dong
    • 1
  • Xiu Nie
    • 2
  1. 1.Cancer Center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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