Lactoferricin B reverses cisplatin resistance in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells through targeting PD-L1.
Cancer Med. 2018 May 15. Epub 2018 May 15. PMID: 29761938
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) ranks among the top most common cancers with a poor prognosis. The mechanism of chemoresistance is still not well known. This study is to investigate the programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in HNSCC, and test the effect of lactoferricin B (LfcinB) on chemoresistance and its mechanism. We analyzed 510 HNSCC patients in TCGA database and investigated how CD274 expression was related to patient prognosis. PD-L1 was verified from HNSCC samples at local hospital with immunohistochemistry. PD-L1 expression in the acquired cisplatin-resistant HNSCC cells was examined by PCR and WB in order to test PD-L1-induced chemoresistance. LfcinB inoculation in cisplatin-resistant HNSCC cells and in the nude mice was introduced to test the effect of LfcinB on targeting cisplatin resistance and its mechanism. High CD274 mRNA (>125 FPKM) from TCGA database had a significantly reduced 5-year survival rate, and a lower 5-year survival rate in the chemotherapy and radiotherapy-treated patients (P < .05). PD-L1 overexpression was further supported from analysis of 40 HNSCC specimens. PD-L1 and IL-6 in the established cisplatin-resistant HNSCC cells were shown significantly higher (P < .05). IL-6 and PD-L1 expression were partially inhibited by the anti-IL-6/STAT3 antibody. LfcinB displayed a direct cytotoxic effect on cisplatin-resistant HNSCC cells and HNSCC xenografts of cisplatin-resistant cells in the nude mice displayed significant reduction in tumor volume after LfcinB injection (P < .05). Besides, the increase of IL-6 and PD-L1 in cisplatin-resistant HNSCC cells was abolished in vitro by LfcinB (P < .05). PD-L1 expression in HNSCC cells correlates with poor prognosis and chemoresistance, and LfcinB might provide therapeutic potential in HNSCC patients through modulating IL-6 and PD-L1.