LY294002 may overcome 5-FU resistance via down-regulation of activated p-AKT in Epstein-Barr virus-positive gastric cancer cells

Jung-Young Shin, Jeong-Oh Kim, Suk Kyeong Lee, Hiun-Suk Chae, Jin-Hyoung Kang
BMC Cancer 2010 August 13, 10: 425

BACKGROUND: As EBV-associated gastric cancer has unique features that are different from EBV (-) gastric cancer, EBV is considered to have a key role in gastric carcinogenesis. It has been reported that viral latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) in EBV-transformed tumor cells activates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway, which provides a survival signal and chemo-resistance to cytotoxic anti-cancer drugs. This study was to evaluate anti-proliferative effect and cell cycle change when 5-FU and LY294002 (LY), a selective inhibitor of PI3K, were treated separately or combined with different schedules in EBV positive gastric cancer cell line, SNU-719.

METHODS: After single treatment and sequential combination of 5-FU and LY, cytotoxic activity was measured by MTS assay. When 5-FU and LY were treated in single and sequential combinations, the expression of p-AKT, p-NFkB, p-p53 and bcl-2 was observed on different concentrations by Western blot analysis. We also investigated the effect on apoptosis and cell cycle distribution using flow cytometry. The LMP2A siRNA inhibition was done to confirm the reversal of decreased 5-FU activity and p-AKT.

RESULTS: When 5-FU was sequentially combined with LY, the combination index (CI) value indicated synergistic anti-proliferative effect. The expression of p-AKT and p-NF kappaB was upregulated by 5-FU alone but sequential treatment of 5-FU and LY decreased the expression of both p-AKT and p-NF kappaB. When 5-FU was combined with LY, G0/G1 and sub G1 cell population (%) increased. When 5-FU was added to the cells transfected with LMP2A siRNA, its anti-proliferative effect increased and the expression of p-AKT decreased. In sequential combination of 5-FU and LY, the expression of p-p53 was increased and bcl-2 expression was diminished compared to 5-FU alone.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that sequential combination of 5-FU and LY induce synergistic cytotoxicity and overcome intrinsic and acquired resistance of 5-FU via downregulation of activated p-AKT and mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in EBV gastric cancer cell line, SNU-719.

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