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J Surg Res. 1999 May 1;83(1):56-61.

Salicylates inhibit NF-kappaB activation and enhance TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells.

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Department of Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655, USA.



Tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha)-induced apoptosis is limited by its coactivation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB)-dependent anti-apoptotic genes. Sodium salicylate (NaSal) inhibits NF-kappaB activation by limiting phosphorylation and degradation of its bound inhibitor protein, IkappaB-alpha. We examined whether NaSal enhances TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis in cultured human pancreatic cancer cell lines.


Two cultured human pancreatic cancer cell lines were studied. PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells were serum-starved for 12 h, pretreated or not for 1 h with NaSal (5-20 mM), and then stimulated with recombinant human TNF-alpha (400 units/ml). Western blots of cytoplasmic lysates were performed to demonstrate IkappaB-alpha phosphorylation and degradation. Western blots of nuclear extracts were performed to assess nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB. In separate cultures, apoptosis was measured 4.5 h after TNF-alpha stimulation by both ELISA detection of interhistone DNA fragments and flow cytometry with propidium iodide staining.


TNF-alpha induced IkappaB-alpha phosphorylation and degradation, which was inhibited by NaSal in both cell lines. TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis (DNA fragmentation) increased significantly when BxPC-3 cells were pretreated with NaSal. Flow cytometry confirmed this, demonstrating increases in apoptotic cell fractions: 8.5% (untreated), 9.3% (TNF-alpha alone), 14.9% (15 mM NaSal), and 22.9% (NaSal and TNF-alpha). In contrast, no increases in apoptosis were measured in the PANC-1 cell line among the various treatment groups.


NaSal enhances TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis while inhibiting IkappaB-alpha phosphorylation and degradation in BxPC-3 human pancreatic cancer cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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