NDAT Targets PI3K-Mediated PD-L1 Upregulation to Reduce Proliferation in Gefitinib-Resistant Colorectal Cancer

Tung Yung Huang, Tung Cheng Chang, Yu Tang Chin, Yi Shin Pan, Wong Jin Chang, Feng Cheng Liu, Ema Dwi Hastuti, Shih Jiuan Chiu, Shwu Huey Wang, Chun A. Changou, Zi Lin Li, Yi Ru Chen, Hung Ru Chu, Ya Jung Shih, R. Holland Cheng, Alexander Wu, Hung Yun Lin, Kuan Wang, Jacqueline Whang-Peng, Shaker A. MousaPaul J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The property of drug-resistance may attenuate clinical therapy in cancer cells, such as chemoresistance to gefitinib in colon cancer cells. In previous studies, overexpression of PD-L1 causes proliferation and metastasis in cancer cells; therefore, the PD-L1 pathway allows tumor cells to exert an adaptive resistance mechanism in vivo. Nano-diamino-tetrac (NDAT) has been shown to enhance the anti-proliferative effect induced by first-line chemotherapy in various types of cancer, including colorectal cancer (CRC). In this work, we attempted to explore whether NDAT could enhance the anti-proliferative effect of gefitinib in CRC and clarified the mechanism of their interaction. The MTT assay was utilized to detect a reduction in cell proliferation in four primary culture tumor cells treated with gefitinib or NDAT. The gene expression of PD-L1 and other tumor growth-related molecules were quantified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Furthermore, the identification of PI3K and PD-L1 in treated CRC cells were detected by western blotting analysis. PD-L1 presentation in HCT116 xenograft tumors was characterized by specialized immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the hematoxylin and eosin stain (H&E stain). The correlations between the change in PD-L1 expression and tumorigenic characteristics were also analyzed. (3) The PD-L1 was highly expressed in Colo_160224 rather than in the other three primary CRC cells and HCT-116 cells. Moreover, the PD-L1 expression was decreased by gefitinib (1 µM and 10 µM) in two cells (Colo_150624 and 160426), but 10 µM gefitinib stimulated PD-L1 expression in gefitinib-resistant primary CRC Colo_160224 cells. Inactivated PI3K reduced PD-L1 expression and proliferation in CRC Colo_160224 cells. Gefitinib didn't inhibit PD-L1 expression and PI3K activation in gefitinib-resistant Colo_160224 cells. However, NDAT inhibited PI3K activation as well as PD-L1 accumulation in gefitinib-resistant Colo_160224 cells. The combined treatment of NDAT and gefitinib inhibited pPI3K and PD-L1 expression and cell proliferation. Additionally, NDAT reduced PD-L1 accumulation and tumor growth in the HCT116 (K-RAS mutant) xenograft experiment. (4) Gefitinib might suppress PD-L1 expression but did not inhibit proliferation through PI3K in gefitinib-resistant primary CRC cells. However, NDAT not only down-regulated PD-L1 expression via blocking PI3K activation but also inhibited cell proliferation in gefitinib-resistant CRCs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCells
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2020

Keywords

  • colorectal cancer (CRC)
  • gefitinib
  • NDAT
  • PD-L1
  • PI3K

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