Reversing Multidrug Resistance in Chemo-resistant Human Lung Adenocarcinoma (A549/DOX) Cells by Algerian Propolis Through Direct Inhibiting the P-gp Efflux-pump, G0/G1 Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis Induction.
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2018 ;18(9):1330-1337. PMID: 30088453
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is one of the most common malignancies with the highest incidence and mortality rate worldwide. Multidrug Resistance (MDR) continues to pose a major challenge for the clinicians and pharmacologists to effectively treat this disease. A new approach using natural substances with moderate or low cytotoxic properties become a promising hope for reversing multidrug resistance due to pgp- overexpression.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to explore the efficacy of Algerian propolis in reversing multidrug resistance and sensitizing chemo-resistant lung cancer cells (A549/DOX) to chemotherapy with DOX.
METHODS: Resistant lung adenocarcinoma A549/DOX cell line was developed and used as in vitro model for MDR. Cell viability, Annexin V-PI apoptosis assay and cell cycle progression were tested to evaluate the reversal effect of propolis alone or in combination with DOX. Caspases 3, 8 and 9 assays were conducted to determine the type of apoptotic pathway. To investigate the mechanisms of MDR reversal agents, intracellular accumulation of DOX and P-gp-pump activity were investigated.
RESULTS: Our results showed that the obtained chemo-resistant cells were 13-fold more resistant to DOX than the parental A549 cells. Propolis showed dramatically cell growth inhibition on A549/DOX cells (The IC50 was 50.44± 0.07µg/ml). The killing effect of propolis was due to G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction. After 24hours treatment, propolis at 100 µg/ml caused cells accumulation in G0/G1 phase and increased with 50, 65-fold the percentage of apoptotic population sub-G. Annexin V-PI assay showed that propolis induces apoptosis with 53.57-fold at 100 µg/ml. It induced intrinsic apoptotic pathway by increasing caspase-3 (22.15-fold) and caspase-9 (16.73-fold) activities. The direct approach to investigate the mechanisms of reversal agents is to detect the accumulation of P-gp substrates in resistant cells. Our results indicated that resistant cells poorly accumulated Doxorubicin and rhodamine 123 (7-fold lower) when compared to parental A549 cells, suggesting that chemo-resistant cells overexpress P-gp which pump DOX out of cells. Propolis inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner,the pgp efflux-pump, enhancing thereby the intracellular level of DOX with 5.48- fold against 3.33 fold obtained with verapamil, the conventional P-gp inhibitor.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, Algerian propolis reverses multidrug resistance in resistant human lung adenocarcinoma cells through direct inhibiting the transport function of pgp-pump resulting in enhancing intracellular DOX-accumulation, G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction. Thus, propolis could be developed as a chemotherapeutic agent for reversing multidrug resistance.