Celecoxib induces apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell lines via inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation

Dong-bo Liu, Guang-yuan Hu, Guo-xian Long, Hong Qiu, Qi Mei, Guo-qing Hu
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 2012, 33 (5): 682-90

AIM: To investigate the mechanisms underlying the anticancer effect of celecoxib on nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

METHODS: NPC cell lines, HNE1 and CNE1-LMP1, were treated with various concentrations of celecoxib for 48 h. The antiproliferative effect of celecoxib was assessed using MTT assay. Both cell cycle profiles and apoptosis were analyzed using flow cytometry. Western blot was used to measure the levels of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), phosphorylated STAT3(Y705) (pSTAT3(Y705)), COX-2, Survivin, Mcl-1, Bcl-2 and Cyclin D1.

RESULTS: Celecoxib (10-75 μmol/L) inhibited the proliferation of the NPC cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. Celecoxib (25 and 50 μmol/L) induced apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest at the G(0)/G(1) checkpoint in the NPC cell lines, which was associated with significantly reduced STAT3 phosphorylation. The genes downstream of STAT3 (ie, Survivin, Mcl-1, Bcl-2 and Cyclin D1) were significantly down-regulated after exposure to celecoxib (25 and 50 μmol/L).

CONCLUSION: The anticancer effects of celecoxib on NPC cell lines results from inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, which may be partly mediated through the STAT3 pathway.

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