Novel combination of Celecoxib and proteasome inhibitor MG132 provides synergistic antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in human liver tumor cells
Volume 9, Issue 7
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April 1, 2010
Pages 1399 - 1410http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.9.7.11254
Authors: Antonella Cusimano, Antonina Azzolina, Juan L. Iovanna, Dimcho Bachvarov, James A. McCubrey, Natale D’Alessandro, Giuseppe Montalto and Melchiorre Cervello View affiliations
Molecular targeted therapy has shown promise as a treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Celecoxib (Celebrex®) exhibits antitumor effects in human HCC cells, and its mechanism of action is mediated either by its ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) or by a number of various other COX-2 independent effects. Proteasome inhibitors (PIs) can exert cell growth inhibitory and apoptotic effects in different tumor cell types, including HCC cells. The present study examined the interaction between celecoxib and the PI MG132 in two human liver tumor cell lines HepG2 and HA22T/VGH. Our data showed that each inhibitor reduced proliferation and induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in both cell lines. Moreover, the combination of celecoxib with MG132 synergistically inhibited cell viability and increased apoptosis, as documented by caspase 3 and 7 activation, PARP cleavage, and down-regulation of Bcl-2. Celecoxib and MG132, both alone and synergistically in combination, induced expression of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress genes ATF4, CHOP, TRB3 and promoted the splicing of XBP1 mRNA. Knockdown of TRB3 mRNA expression by small interference RNA significantly decreased combination-induced cell death in HA22T/VGH cells, whereas it increased combination-induced cell death in HepG2 cells, suggesting that activation of the ER stress response might have either a detrimental or a protective role in liver tumor cell survival. In conclusion, our data indicate that combination treatment with celecoxib and MG132 resulted in synergistic antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects against liver cancer cells, providing a rational basis for the clinical use of this combination in the treatment of liver cancer.