Gamma-tocotrienol enhances the chemosensitivity of human oral cancer cells to docetaxel. - GreenMedInfo Summary
γ-tocotrienol enhances the chemosensitivity of human oral cancer cells to docetaxel through the downregulation of the expression of NF-κB-regulated anti-apoptotic gene products.
Int J Oncol. 2013 Jan ;42(1):75-82. Epub 2012 Nov 8. PMID: 23138939
Taxanes, including docetaxel, are widely used for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. However, the gastrointestinal toxicity of docetaxel has limited its high-dose clinical use. In this study, we examined the synergistic anticancer effects of combined low-dose docetaxel andγ-tocotrienol treatment on human oral cancer (B88) cells. We treated B88 cells with docetaxel and γ-tocotrienol at concentrations of 0.5 nM and 50 µM, respectively. When cells were treated with either agent alone at a low dose, no significant cytotoxic effect was observed. However, the simultaneous treatment of cells with both agents almost completely suppressed cell growth. Whereas docetaxel stimulated the expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 protein in B88 cells, γ-tocotrienol slightly inhibited the expression of constitutive nuclear p65 protein. Of note, the combined treatmentwith both agents inhibited docetaxel-induced nuclear p65 protein expression. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) revealed that the simultaneous treatment with these agents suppressed the NF-κB DNA binding activity in B88 cells. In addition, γ-tocotrienol downregulated the docetaxel-inducedexpression of NF-κB-regulated gene products associated with the inhibition of apoptosis. Furthermore, the activation of initiator caspases, caspases-8 and -9, and the effector caspase, caspase-3, was detected following treatment with both agents. Finally, apoptosis was also clearly observed as demonstrated by the cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and nuclear fragmentation through the activation of caspase-3 by combined treatment with docetaxel and γ-tocotrienol. These findings suggest that the combination treatment with these agents may provide enhanced therapeutic response inoral cancer patients, while avoiding the toxicity associated with high-dose β-tubulin stabilization monotherapy.