Bisdemethoxycurcumin Enhances the Sensitivity of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Cells to Icotinib via Dual Induction of Autophagy and Apoptosis.
Int J Biol Sci. 2020 ;16(9):1536-1550. Epub 2020 Mar 5. PMID: 32226300
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) wild-type is intrinsic resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). In this study, we assessed whether the combination of bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) and icotinib could surmount primary EGFR-TKI resistance in NSCLC cells and investigated its molecular mechanism. Results showed that the combination of BDMC and icotinib produced potently synergistic growth inhibitory effect on primary EGFR-TKI-resistant NSCLC cell lines H460 (EGFR wild-type and K-ras mutation) and H1781 (EGFR wild-type and Her2 mutation). Compared with BDMC or icotinib alone, the two drug combination induced more significant apoptosis and autophagy via suppressing EGFR activity and interaction of Sp1 and HDCA1/HDCA2, which was accompanied by accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), induction of DNA damage, and inhibition of cell migration and invasion. ROS inhibitor (NAC) and autophagy inhibitors (CQ or 3-MA) partially reversed BDMC plus icotinib-induced growth inhibitory effect on the NSCLC cells. Meanwhile, co-treatment with NAC attenuated the two drug combination-induced autophagy, apoptosis, DNA damage and decrease of cell migration and invasion ability. Also, 3-MA or CQ can abate the combination treatment-induced apoptosis and DNA damage, suggesting that there is crosstalk between different signaling pathways in the effect produced by the combination treatment. Our data indicate that BMDC has the potential to improve the treatment of primary EGFR-TKI resistant NISCLC that cannot be controlled with single-target agent, such as icotinib.