Emodin sensitizes paclitaxel-resistant human ovarian cancer cells to paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in vitro
- Juan Li
- Peishu Liu
- Hongluan Mao
- Ancong Wanga
- Xiaolei Zhang
Published online on: June 1, 2009
Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among gynecologic malignancies in the world, and the development of drug resistance is a major impediment toward successful treatment of the desease. Emodin has been reported to sensitize human tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents. The present study investigated whether emodin could overcome chemoresistance of A2780/taxol cells. Cells were treated with different concentration of emodin alone or combined with paclitaxel, then the cell viability was measured by MTT and the apoptosis was determined by flow cytometric analysis. The changes of mRNA and protein were examined by QRT-PCR and Western blotting. The function of P-glycoprotein was also determined by flow cytometry. The results showed that emodin induced apoptosis alone at a high concentration and increased paclitaxel-induced apoptosis at a low concentration. It enhanced the sensitivity of A2780/taxol cells to paclitaxel with down-regulation of P-glycoprotein, XIAP and survivin. Taken together, the results demonstrated a dual role for emodin in the inhibition of drug resistant ovarian tumor growth by increasing paclitaxel cellular concentration and re-sensitizing the resistant cells to paclitaxel. Our results suggest the possibility of an innovative chemotherapeutic strategy that uses emodin in combination with paclitaxel to increase the sensitivity of tumor cells.