Oridonin enhances the anticancer activity of NVP-BEZ235 against neuroblastoma cells in vitro and in vivo through autophagy.
Int J Oncol. 2016 Aug ;49(2):657-65. Epub 2016 Jun 3. PMID: 27278249
The aberrant activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway plays an important role in the oncogenesis, prognosis and chemotherapy resistance of neuroblastoma. However, NVP-BEZ235, a potent dual PI3K and mTOR inhibitor have not shown beneficial effects on neuroblastoma especially in terms of apoptosis induction as a single agent. We therefore attempted to explore an effective combination regimen to enhance the anticancer activity of NVP-BEZ235. Interestingly, we found that oridonin, a natural biologically active compound extracted from the Chinese medicinal herb Rabdosia rubescens, combined with NVP-BEZ235 markedly induced apoptosis of neuroblastoma cells. Notably, the synergistic activation of the apoptotic pathway was accompanied with enhanced autophagy as evidenced by significant decreased p62 expression as well as upregulated conversion of LC3-II. Suppression of the Beclin-1, a core component of the autophagy machinery, by means of shRNA resulted in diminished synergistic antitumor effect. Furthermore, the co-treatment with oridonin and NVP-BEZ235 was also much more effective than either agent alone in inhibiting the growth of neuroblastoma xenografts and in inducing tumor cells apoptosis. Taken together, our results suggest that the combination of NVP-BEZ235 and oridonin is a novel and potential strategy for neuroblastoma therapy.