Efficacy of celastrol combined with cisplatin in enhancing the apoptosis of U-2OS osteosarcoma cells via the mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum pathways of apoptosis.
Oncol Lett. 2019 Mar ;17(3):3305-3313. Epub 2019 Feb 1. PMID: 30867764
Osteosarcoma is a common primary malignant tumor of bone, and the poor prognosis and low 5-year survival rate have not improved for three decades. The present study aimed to study the effect a combination of celastrol and cisplatin on the human osteosarcoma cell line U-2OS, and to investigate the mechanism by which celastrol/cisplatin induces the apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells. MTT and Annexin V-FITC/PI assays were used to evaluate the effects of combined celastrol/cisplatin on growth and apoptosis, respectively, in U-2OS cells. Morphological changes accompanying cell growth inhibition were observed using a fluorescence microscope. Combination index (CI) analysis was used to evaluate the combinatorial effects of celastrol/cisplatin treatment. Western blotting was used to quantify the expression of apoptosis-associated proteins. It was identified that celastrol/cisplatin inhibited the growth of U-2OS cells in a dose-dependent manner. CI analysis revealed that combined celastrol/cisplatin demonstrated a synergistic effect in U-2OS cells, with CIs ranging from 0.80 to 0.97 at effect levels from ICto IC. In addition, it was observed that celastrol/cisplatin upregulated the expression of Bcl-associated X protein, cytochrome, caspase-3 and C/EBP homologous protein, and downregulated the expression of Bcl-2, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein and caspase-9, whereas the expression of caspase-8 remained unchanged. To conclude, celastrol/cisplatin induced apoptosis in U-2OS cells via the mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum pathways, particularly in the former. Celastrol/cisplatin therefore exhibits potential as a novel therapeutic combination for the treatment of osteosarcoma.