Effect of sinomenine hydrochloride on radiosensitivity of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018 Apr ;39(4):1601-1608. Epub 2018 Jan 22. PMID: 29393484
Radiation therapy is one of the most important treatments for unresectable and locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), however, the response to radiotherapy is sometimes limited by the development of radioresistance. Sinomenine hydrochloride (SH) has anticancer activity, but its effect on the radiosensitivity of ESCC is unclear. We determined the effect of SH on the radiosensitivity of ESCC cells and elucidated its potential radiosensitization mechanisms in vitro and in vivo. ESCC cells were subjected to SH and radiation, both separately and in combination. Untreated cells served as controls. The CCK‑8 assay was used to evaluate cell proliferation, and the clonogenic assay to estimate radiosensitization. Flow cytometry was used to investigate cellcycle phases and cell apoptosis. Bcl‑2, Bax, cyclin B1, CDK1, Ku86, Ku70, and Rad51 expression was evaluated using western blotting. In vivo, tumor xenografts were created using BALB/c nude mice. Tumor‑growth inhibition was recorded, and Ki‑67 and Bax expression in the tumor tissues was assessed using immunohistochemistry. SH inhibited ESCC cell growth and markedly increased their radiosensitivity by inducing G2/M phase arrest. SH combined with radiation therapy significantly increased ESCC cell apoptosis. The molecular mechanism by which SH enhanced radiosensitivity of ESCC cells wasrelated to Bcl‑2, cyclin B1, CDK1, Ku86, Ku70, and Rad51 downregulation and Bax protein expression upregulation. SH combined with radiation considerably delayed the growth of tumor xenografts in vivo. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that in the SH combined with radiation group, the expressionof Bax was significantly higher while that of Ki‑67 was lower than the expressions in the control groups. Taken together, our findings showed that SH could improve the sensitivity of radiation in ESCC cells by inducing G2/M phase arrest, promoting radiation‑induced apoptosis and inhibiting DSB‑repair pathways. SH appears to be a prospective radiosensitizer for improving the efficacy of radiotherapy for ESCC.