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Int J Mol Med. 2019 Apr;43(4):1866-1878. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2019.4089. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

Beclin1 inhibition enhances paclitaxel‑mediated cytotoxicity in breast cancer in vitro and in vivo.

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Central Laboratory, Navy General Hospital, Beijing 100048, P.R. China.


Beclin1, a key regulator of autophagy, has been demonstrated to be associated with cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy. Paclitaxel is a conventional chemotherapeutic drug used in the clinical treatment of breast cancer. However, the function and mechanism of Beclin1 in paclitaxel‑mediated cytotoxicity in breast cancer are not well defined. The present study demonstrated that paclitaxel suppressed cell viability and Beclin1 expression levels in BT‑474 breast cancer cells in a dose‑ and time‑dependent fashion. Compared with the control, the knockdown of Beclin1 significantly enhanced breast cancer cell death via the induction of caspase‑dependent apoptosis following paclitaxel treatment in vitro (P<0.05). In a BT‑474 xenograft model, paclitaxel achieved substantial inhibition of tumor growth in the Beclin1 knockdown group compared with the control group. Furthermore, analysis of the publicly available Gene Expression Omnibus datasets revealed a clinical correlation between Beclin1 levels and the response to paclitaxel therapy in patients with breast cancer. Collectively, the present results suggest that Beclin1 protects breast cancer cells from apoptotic death. Thus, the inhibition of Beclin1 may be a novel way to improve the effect of paclitaxel. Additionally, Beclin1 may function as a favorable prognostic biomarker for paclitaxel treatment in patients with breast cancer.


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