Astaxanthin inhibits gemcitabine-resistant human pancreatic cancer progression - GreenMedInfo Summary
Astaxanthin inhibits gemcitabine-resistant human pancreatic cancer progression through EMT inhibition and gemcitabine resensitization.
Oncol Lett. 2017 Nov ;14(5):5400-5408. Epub 2017 Aug 28. PMID: 29098031
Pancreatic cancer rapidly acquires resistance to chemotherapy resulting in its being difficult to treat. Gemcitabine is the current clinical chemotherapy strategy; however, owing to gemcitabine resistance, it is only able to prolong the life of patients with pancreatic cancer for a limited number of months. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of gemcitabine resistance and selecting a suitable combination of agents for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is required. Astaxanthin (ASX) is able to resensitize gemcitabine-resistant human pancreatic cancer cells (GR-HPCCs) to gemcitabine. ASX was identified to upregulate human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT1) and downregulate ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase (RRM) 1 and 2 to enhance gemcitabine-induced cell death in GR-HPCCs treated with gemcitabine, and also downregulates TWIST1 and ZEB1 to inhibit the gemcitabine-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype in GR-HPCCs and to mediate hENT1, RRM1 and RRM2. Furthermore, ASX acts through the hypoxia-inducible factor 1α/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling pathway to mediate TWIST1, ZEB1, hENT1, RRM1 and RRM2, regulating the gemcitabine-induced EMT phenotype and gemcitabine-induced cell death. Co-treatment with ASX and gemcitabine in a tumor xenograft model induced by GR-HPCCs supported the in vitro results. The results of the present study provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer.