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Br J Cancer. 2008 Jan 29;98(2):335-44. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604082. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Pharmacological targeting of NF-kappaB potentiates the effect of the topoisomerase inhibitor CPT-11 on colon cancer cells.

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INSERM U526, Nice F-06000, France.


NF-kappaB interferes with the effect of most anti-cancer drugs through induction of anti-apoptotic genes. Targeting NF-kappaB is therefore expected to potentiate conventional treatments in adjuvant strategies. Here we used a pharmacological inhibitor of the IKK2 kinase (AS602868) to block NF-kappaB activation. In human colon cancer cells, inhibition of NF-kappaB using 10 microM AS602868 induced a 30-50% growth inhibitory effect and strongly enhanced the action of SN-38, the topoisomerase I inhibitor and CPT-11 active metabolite. AS602868 also potentiated the cytotoxic effect of two other antineoplasic drugs: 5-fluorouracil and etoposide. In xenografts experiments, inhibition of NF-kappaB potentiated the antitumoural effect of CPT-11 in a dose-dependent manner. Eighty-five and 75% decreases in tumour size were observed when mice were treated with, respectively, 20 or 5 mg kg(-1) AS602868 associated with 30 mg kg(-1) CPT-11 compared to 47% with CPT-11 alone. Ex vivo tumour analyses as well as in vitro studies showed that AS602868 impaired CPT-11-induced NF-kappaB activation, and enhanced tumour cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. AS602868 also enhanced the apoptotic potential of TNFalpha on HT-29 cells. This study is the first demonstration that a pharmacological inhibitor of the IKK2 kinase can potentiate the therapeutic efficiency of antineoplasic drugs on solid tumours.

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