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Cancer Commun (Lond). 2019 Dec 3;39(1):81. doi: 10.1186/s40880-019-0424-2.

Bortezomib inhibits growth and sensitizes glioma to temozolomide (TMZ) via down-regulating the FOXM1-Survivin axis.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400037, P. R. China.
2
Department of Neurosurgery, Changzheng Hospital and Shanghai Institute of Neurosurgery, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200003, P. R. China.
3
Institute of Pathology and Southwest Cancer Center, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, P. R. China.
4
Department of Ultrasound, Children Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400010, P. R. China.
5
Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410008, Hunan, P. R. China.
6
Department of Neurosurgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400037, P. R. China. m13808337911_1@163.com.
7
Department of Neurosurgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400037, P. R. China. lvsq0518@hotmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High-grade glioma (HGG) is a fatal human cancer. Bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, has been approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma but its use in glioma awaits further investigation. This study aimed to explore the chemotherapeutic effect and the underlying mechanism of bortezomib on gliomas.

METHODS:

U251 and U87 cell viability and proliferation were detected by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, tumor cell spheroid growth, and colony formation assay. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle were detected by flow cytometry. Temozolomide (TMZ)-insensitive cell lines were induced by long-term TMZ treatment, and cells with stem cell characteristics were enriched with stem cell culture medium. The mRNA levels of interested genes were measured via reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and protein levels were determined via Western blotting/immunofluorescent staining in cell lines and immunohistochemical staining in paraffin-embedded sections. Via inoculating U87 cells subcutaneously, glioma xenograft models in nude mice were established for drug experiments. Patient survival data were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS:

Bortezomib inhibited the viability and proliferation of U251 and U87 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Bortezomib also significantly inhibited the spheroid growth, colony formation, and stem-like cell proliferation of U251 and U87 cells. When administrated in combination, bortezomib showed synergistic effect with TMZ in vitro and sensitized glioma to TMZ treatment both in vitro and in vivo. Bortezomib reduced both the mRNA and protein levels of Forkhead Box M1 (FOXM1) and its target gene Survivin. The FOXM1-Survivin axis was markedly up-regulated in established TMZ-insensitive glioma cell lines and HGG patients. Expression levels of FOXM1 and Survivin were positively correlated with each other and both related to poor prognosis in glioma patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bortezomib was found to inhibit glioma growth and improved TMZ chemotherapy efficacy, probably via down-regulating the FOXM1-Survivin axis. Bortezomib might be a promising agent for treating malignant glioma, alone or in combination with TMZ.

KEYWORDS:

Bortezomib; Chemotherapy; FOXM1; Glioma; Survivin; Temozolomide (TMZ)

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