Tao Ren 1 , 2 , Jinlu Shan 1 , Yi Qing 1 , Chengyuan Qian 1 , Qing Li 1 , Guoshou Lu 1 , Mengxia Li 1 , Chongyi Li 1 , Yu Peng 1 , Hao Luo 1 , Shiheng Zhang 1 , Weiwei Zhang 1 , Dong Wang 1 , Shu-Feng Zhou 3
12 December 2014
AT-101, known as R-(–)-gossypol, is a potent anticancer agent, but its chemosensitizing effects remain elusive. The present study aimed to examine whether AT-101 could increase the sensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells to cisplatin (CDDP) and the underlying mechanisms. We evaluated the efficacy of the sequential treatment with AT-101 and CDDP using both in vitro and in vivo models. Our results showed that as compared to AT-101 or CDDP monotherapy, or AT-101 plus CDDP concurrent treatment, the sequential treatment significantly inhibited cell proliferation and migration and induced tumor cell death. Moreover, the efficacy of the sequential treatment was also confirmed in a mouse A549 xenograft model. Our study revealed that AT-101 inhibited the reduced status of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) and attenuated APE1-mediated IL-6/STAT3 signaling activation by decreasing IL-6 protein expression; suppressing the STAT3–DNA binding; and reducing the expression of the downstream antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. In conclusion, AT-101 enhances the sensitivity of A549 cells to CDDP in vitro and in vivo through the inhibition of APE1-mediated IL-6/STAT3 signaling activation, providing a rationale for the combined use of AT-101 and CDDP in non-small cell lung cancer chemotherapy.