Cetuximab enhances oridonin-induced apoptosis through mitochondrial pathway and endoplasmic reticulum stress in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma cells.
Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 Sep ;67:104885. Epub 2020 May 12. PMID: 32407876
Cetuximab plus oridonin showed a synergistic way to kill laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC), as been reported previously. The present work further mechanistically extended action of the synergistic effects of combination treatment. Firstly, two LSCC cells displayed higher sensitivity to oridonin, whereas both low EGFR expression tumor cells and EGFR knockdown LSCC cells were less sensitive to oridonin. Next, cetuximab/oridonin significantly enhanced the mitochondrial apoptosis through NF-κB. Meanwhile, PI3K/Akt and JAK2/STAT3 pathways are associated with the nucleus translocation of NF-κB by combination treatment. Additionally, cetuximab enhanced oridonin-promoted ER stress-related apoptosis. Interestingly, both ER stress and mitochondrial apoptosis by combination treatment are abrogated by ROS scavenger. Furthermore, oridonin/cetuximab induced ROS production after 1.5 h, followed by G2/M arrest and apoptosis, indicating that ROS generation might be an early and key event. Taken together, cetuximab enhances oridonin-induced ER stress and mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, which contributes to the synergistic antitumor effects of cetuximab/oridonin.