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Epothilone B induces apoptosis and enhances apoptotic effects of ABT-737 on human cancer cells via PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway

PURPOSE:

Epothilone B and its derivatives are tested in multiple clinical trials. Epothilone B induces neurotoxic effect in clinical trials; however, low-dose epothilone B regimen can promote neuroprotection and neurogenesis. Thus, the study of new combination chemotherapy regimen incorporating low-dose epothilone B with other chemotherapeutic agents might help to develop epothilone B-based approaches to cancer treatment and avoid the neurotoxicity of epothilone B.

METHODS:

Cell proliferation was assessed by SRB cell viability assay. Apoptosis was analyzed by propidium iodide (PI) staining. Mitochondrial membrane depolarization was evaluated using JC-1 staining. The expression of proteins was detected by western blotting.

RESULTS:

In this study, we demonstrated that the combination of ABT-737 and low-dose epothilone B showed synergistic anti-proliferation effects on human cancer cells. In addition, epothilone B + ABT-737 synergy was through mitochondria-mediated apoptosis pathway. Furthermore, combination treatment markedly induced the activation of caspase-3 and the cleavage of PARP. The activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is associated with resistance to epothilone B. Our data showed that epothilone B plus ABT-737 resulted in a blockade of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data indicate that ABT-737 may be a pertinent sensitizer to epothilone B, and the strategy of combining epothilone B with ABT-737 appears to be an attractive option for overcoming the resistance and neurotoxicity of epothilone B.

 

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