Enhanced cisplatin cytotoxicity by disturbing the nucleotide excision repair pathway in ovarian cancer cell lines.

Cancer Res 2003 Mar;63(6):1311-6

Ovarian Cancer Program, Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among women from gynecological malignancies inthe United States. Resistance to the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin isa major limitation for the successful treatment of ovarian cancer. In an effort to overcome the cisplatin resistance problem in ovarian cancer treatment, we have sought to enhance cisplatin cytotoxicity by perturbing the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. The NER pathway is responsible for repairing cisplatin bound to DNA. Expression of one of the NER components, ERCC1, is correlated with cisplatin drug resistance. Hence, we targeted ERCC1 by antisense RNA methodologies, and we show that we could sensitize a relatively sensitive A2780 cell line and also the highly resistant OVCAR10 cell line to cisplatin by expressing antisense ERCC1 RNA in them as measured with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assays. The A2780 cell lines expressing antisense ERCC1 had 1.9-8.1-fold enhancements in cisplatin sensitivity. The OVCAR10 antisense ERCC1 cell lines had IC(50) values ranging from 2.28 microM to 2.7 microM cisplatin as compared with 9.52 micro M for control OVCAR10 cells. The OVCAR10 antisense ERCC1 cells also show reduced DNA-damage repair capacity as assessed by host cell reactivation. Furthermore, immunocompromised mice transplanted with the antisense cell lines survived longer than the mice bearing control cells after response to cisplatin treatment. These data suggest that it is possible to substantially enhance the cisplatin cytotoxicity by disturbing the NER pathway in cisplatin-resistant cell lines and to enhance the survival capacity of mice in an ovarian cancer xenograft model.

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March 2003
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