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J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Apr;130(4):1073-86. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.365. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

NF-kappaB inhibition through proteasome inhibition or IKKbeta blockade increases the susceptibility of melanoma cells to cytostatic treatment through distinct pathways.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany.


Metastasized melanoma is almost universally resistant to chemotherapy. Given that constitutive or drug-induced upregulation of NF-kappaB activity is associated with this chemoresistance, NF-kappaB inhibition may increase the susceptibility to antitumoral therapy. On the cellular level, two principles of NF-kappaB inhibition, proteasome inhibition by bortezomib and IkappaB kinase-beta (IKKbeta) inhibition by the kinase inhibitor of NF-kappaB-1 (KINK-1), significantly increased the antitumoral efficacy of camptothecin. When combined with camptothecin, either of the two NF-kappaB-inhibiting principles synergistically influenced progression-related in vitro functions, including cell growth, apoptosis, and invasion through an artificial basement membrane. In addition, when C57BL/6 mice were intravenously injected with B16F10 melanoma cells, the combination of cytostatic treatment with either of the NF-kappaB-inhibiting compounds revealed significantly reduced pulmonary metastasis compared to either treatment alone. However, on the molecular level, nuclear translocation of p65, cell cycle analysis, and expression of NF-kappaB-dependent gene products disclosed distinctly different molecular mechanisms, resulting in the same functional effect. That proteasome inhibition and IKKbeta inhibition affect distinct molecular pathways downstream of NF-kappaB, both leading to increased chemosensitivity, is previously unreported. Thus, it is conceivable that switching the two principles of NF-kappaB inhibition, once resistance to one of the agents occurs, will improve future treatment regimens.

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