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Sensitization of gastric cancer cells to alkylating agents by glaucocalyxin B via cell cycle arrest and enhanced cell death

Authors Ur Rahman MS, Zhang L, Wu LY, Xie YQ, Li CC, Cao J

Received 6 July 2017

Accepted for publication 5 August 2017

Published 22 August 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 2431—2441


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Lymperopoulos

Muhammad Saif Ur Rahman,1 Ling Zhang,2 Lingyan Wu,1 Yuqiong Xie,1 Chunchun Li,1 Jiang Cao1

1Clinical Research Center, 2Cardiovascular Key Laboratory of Zhejiang Province, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Severe side effects are major problems with chemotherapy of gastric cancer (GC). These side effects can be reduced by using sensitizing agents in combination with therapeutic drugs. In this study, the low/nontoxic dosage of glaucocalyxin B (GLB) was used with other DNA linker agents mitomycin C (MMC), cisplatin (DDP), or cyclophosphamide (CTX) to treat GC cells. Combined effectiveness of GLB with drugs was determined by proliferation assay. The molecular mechanisms associated with cell proliferation, migration, invasion, cell cycle, DNA repair/replication, apoptosis, and autophagy were investigated by immunoblotting for key proteins involved. Cell cycle and apoptosis analysis were performed by flow cytometry. Reactive oxygen species level was also examined for identification of its role in apoptosis. Proliferation assay revealed that the addition of 5 µM GLB significantly sensitizes gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells to MMC, DDP, and CTX by decreasing half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) by up to 75.40%±5%, 45.10%±5%, and 52.10%±5%, respectively. GLB + drugs decreased the expression level of proteins involved in proliferation and migration, suggesting the anticancer potential of GLB + drugs. GLB + MMC, GLB + CTX, and GLB + DDP arrest the cells in G0/G1 and G1/S phase, respectively, which may be the consequence of significant decrease in the level of enzymes responsible for DNA replication and telomerase shortening. Combined use of GLB with these drugs also induces DNA damage and apoptosis by activating caspase/PARP pathways and increased production of reactive oxygen species and increased autophagy in GC cells. GLB dosage sensitizes GC cells to the alkylating agents via arresting the cell cycle and enhancing cell death. This is of significant therapeutic importance in the reduction of side effects associated with these drugs.

Keywords: glaucocalyxin B, mitomycin C, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, DNA linkers, side effects, gastric cancer

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