Potentiation of the anticancer effect of doxorubicinin drug-resistant gastric cancer cells by tanshinone IIA.
Phytomedicine. 2018 Dec 1 ;51:58-67. Epub 2018 May 19. PMID: 30466628
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is the fifth commonest cancer and the third cause of cancer-related deaths all over the world. The effectiveness of chemotherapy is still limited by drug resistance in gastric cancer. Tanshinones, abietane diterpenes isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), have exhibited versatile anticancer activities in particular the ability to overcome drug resistance in different cancers.
PURPOSE: The current study aimed to explore the capacity of tanshinone IIA, the most abundant tanshinone found in the plant Danshen, to overcome drug resistance of gastric cancer cells to a commonly used anticancer drug doxorubicin.
STUDY DESIGN: Sensitivity of cell lines to doxorubicin was determined by MTT assay. Doxorubicin resistant gastric cancer cell lines was established by step selection with increasing concentrations of doxorubicin. Cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and doxorubicin efflux were analyzed by flow cytometry. The expression of MRP1 was determined by realtime PCR and western-blot.
RESULTS: Based on the ICvalues of doxorubicin, we identified the doxorubicin-sensitive gastric cancer cell lines SNU-719 and SNU-610 as well as the cell lines relatively resistant to doxorubicin including SNU-638, SNU-668, SNU-216 and SNU-620. We also established two drug-resistant cell lines SNU-719R and SNU-610R. Despite the fact that tanshinone IIA alone showed no cytotoxicity on these gastric cells, we found the potentiation of the anticancer effect of doxorubicin in drug-resistant gastric cancer cells by tanshinone IIA. Furthermore, using doxorubicin-sensitive cell line SNU-719 and doxorubicin-resistant cell lines SNU-719R and SNU-620, we revealed the pivotal roles of MRP1. Its overexpression impaired cell cycle arrest and suppressed apoptosis in the development of both intrinsic and acquired drug resistance in gastric cancer cells to doxorubicin. Importantly, inhibition of MRP1 function enhanced cell cycle arrest, increased apoptosis and induced autophagic cell death which contributed to the capability of tanshinone IIA to potentiate the anticancer effect of doxorubicin in drug-resistant gastric cancer cells.
CONCLUSION: Tanshinone IIA is an interesting agent with potential to treat drug-resistant gastric cancer in combination therapy.