NF-κB activation enhances cell death by antimitotic drugs in human prostate cancer cells

Ricardo Parrondo, Alicia D.L. Pozas, Teresita Reiner, Priyamvada Rai, Carlos Perez-Stable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: NF-κB is a transcription factor that promotes inhibition of apoptosis and resistance to chemotherapy. It is commonly believed that inhibition of NF-κB activity can increase sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy. However, there is evidence that NF-κB activation can sensitize cells to apoptosis and that inhibition of NF-κB results in resistance to chemotherapy. In prostate cancer, it is not clear in the different cell types (androgen-dependent and castration-resistant) if activation or inhibition of NF-κB is required for stimulation of apoptosis by chemotherapy.Results: Our data indicate that the response of prostate cancer (PC) cells to the antimitotic drugs docetaxel (Doc) and 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME2) is dependent on the levels of NF-κB activity. In androgen-dependent LNCaP cells, Doc and 2ME2 treatment increased the low basal NF-κB activity, as determined by Western blot analysis of phospho-IκBα/p65, NF-κB promoter reporter assays, and p65 localization. Treatment of LNCaP cells with parthenolide, a pharmacologic inhibitor of NF-κB, or introduction of dominant-negative IκBα, or an shRNA specific for p65, a component of the NF-κB heterodimer, blocked apoptosis induced by Doc and 2ME2. In castration-resistant DU145 and PC3 cells, Doc and 2ME2 had little effect on the high basal NF-κB activity and addition of parthenolide did not enhance cell death. However, the combination of Doc or 2ME2 with betulinic acid (BA), a triterpenoid that activates NF-κB, stimulated apoptosis in LNCaP and non-apoptotic cell death in DU145 and PC3 cells. Increased sensitivity to cell death mediated by the Doc or 2ME2 + BA combination is likely due to increased NF-κB activity.Conclusions: Our data suggest that the combination of antimitotic drugs with NF-κB inhibitors will have antagonistic effects in a common type of PC cell typical of LNCaP. However, combination strategies utilizing antimitotic drugs with BA, an activator of NF-κB, will universally enhance cell death in PC cells, notably in the aggressive, castration-resistant variety that does not respond to conventional therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number182
JournalMolecular Cancer
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 9 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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