Paclitaxel resistance in MCF-7/PTX cells is reversed by paeonol through suppression of the SET/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway.
Mol Med Rep. 2015 Jul ;12(1):1506-14. Epub 2015 Mar 11. PMID: 25760096
Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent types of malignant tumor. Paclitaxel is widely used in the treatment of breast cancer; however, the major problem contributing to the failure of chemotherapy in breast cancer is the development of drug resistance. Therefore, it is necessary to identify novel therapeutic targets and reversal agents for breast cancer. In the present study, the protein expression levels of SET, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway were determined in MCF-7/PTX human breast carcinoma paclitaxel-resistant cells using western blot analysis. Small interference RNAs (siRNAs) were used to knock down the gene expression of SET in MCF-7/PTX cells and the cell viability was assessed following treatment with paclitaxel, using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assays and flow cytometry. In addition, western blot analysis was used to determined PI3K/Akt pathway activity following SET knockdown. Furthermore, the reversal effects of paeonol on paclitaxel, and its underlying mechanisms of action, were investigated using western blot analysis and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results demonstrated that increased levels of SET and PI3K/Akt pathway proteins were present in the MCF-7/PTX cells, compared with normal MCF-7 cells. Knockdown of SET significantly sensitized MCF-7/PTX cells to paclitaxel and induced cell apoptosis. In addition, the expression levels of the adenosine triphosphate binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins were significantly reduced in the MCF-7/PTX cells compared with the normal MCF-7 cells. SET-induced paclitaxel resistance was found to be associated with the activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Paeonol significantly reduced the mRNA and protein expression levels of SET in the MCF-7/PTX cells. Furthermore, paeonol significantly sensitized the MCF-7/PTX to paclitaxel via regulation of ABC transporters, B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-2-associated X protein. In addition, paeonol inhibited SET-mediated paclitaxel resistance by attenuating PI3K/Akt pathway activity in the MCF-7/PTX cells. In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated that SET was associated with paclitaxel resistance in MCF-7/PTX cells, and that paeonol reversed paclitaxel resistance in MCF-7/PTX cells by downregulating the activity of the SET/PP2A/Akt pathway.