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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Jan;1840(1):322-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.09.032. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug sulindac sulfide suppresses structural protein Nesprin-2 expression in colorectal cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.



Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are well known for treating inflammatory disease and have been reported to have anti-tumorigenic effects. Their mechanisms are not fully understood, but both cyclooxygenase (COX) dependent and independent pathways are involved. Our goal was to shed further light on COX-independent activity.


Human colorectal cancer cells were observed under differential interference contrast microscopy (DICM), fluorescent microscopy, and micro-impedance measurement. Microarray analysis was performed using HCT-116 cells treated with sulindac sulfide (SS). PCR and Western blots were performed to confirm the microarray data and immunohistochemistry was performed to screen for Nesprin-2 expression. Micro-impedance was repeating including Nesprin-2 knock-down by siRNA.


HCT-116 cells treated with SS showed dramatic morphological changes under DICM and fluorescent microscopy, as well as weakened cellular adhesion as measured by micro-impedance. Nesprin-2 was selected from two independent microarrays, based on its novelty in relation to cancer and its role in cell organization. SS diminished Nesprin-2 mRNA expression as assessed by reverse transcriptase and real time PCR. Various other NSAIDs were also tested and demonstrated that inhibition of Nesprin-2 mRNA was not unique to SS. Additionally, immunohistochemistry showed higher levels of Nesprin-2 in many tumors in comparison with normal tissues. Further micro-impedance experiments on cells with reduced Nesprin-2 expression showed a proportional loss of cellular adhesion.


Nesprin-2 is down-regulated by NSAIDs and highly expressed in many cancers.


Our data suggest that Nesprin-2 may be a potential novel oncogene in human cancer cells and NSAIDs could decrease its expression.

© 2013.


Colon cancer; Micro-impedance; NAG-1; NSAID; NSAID activated gene 1; NUANCE; Nesprin-2; SS; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; sulindac sulfide

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