• Authors: Li, J. R., Cheng, C. L., Yang, C. R., Ou, Y. C., Wu, M. J., Ko, J. L.
  • Year: 2013
  • Journal: Toxicol Lett 220 267-76
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / jetPEI
  • Cell type: NTUB1/p
    Description: Human urothelial carcinoma cell line


PURPOSE: Therapeutically induced autophagic cell death has been proven to be effective in cases of solid tumors. The dual phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 possesses antitumor activity against solid tumors. Inhibition of mTOR has been shown to elicit autophagy. In this study, we examined the antiproliferation and autophagic activities of NVP-BEZ235 in parental and cisplatin-resistant urothelial carcinoma (UC) cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two UC cell lines, NTUB1 and a cisplatin-resistant subline N/P(14), were applied to examine the cytotoxic effect of NVP-BEZ-235. The cell death mechanism was also evaluated. RESULTS: NVP-BEZ235 was effective in inhibiting the growth of UC cells including parental and cisplatin-resistant cells on flow cytometry assay and Western blot. Although NVP-BEZ235 did not induce LC3-II conversion, it did elicit acidic vesicular organelle (AVO) development on flow cytometry. On Western blot, NVP-BEZ235 decreased p62 and phospho-Rb expressions in a concentration-dependent manner. GFP-LC3 conversion and the appearance of cleaved-GFP following NVP-BEZ235 treatment were demonstrated on Western blot. In addition, lysosomotropic inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine (CQ), an agent that is currently in clinical use and a known antagonist of autophagy, resulted in proliferation of UC cells. Thus, inhibition of autophagic flux by CQ appears to be a survival mechanism that counteracts the anticancer effects of NVP-BEZ235. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that NVP-BEZ235 inhibits UC cell proliferation by activating autophagic flux and cell cycle arrest, but does not induce apoptotic cell death. Our findings suggest that the anticancer efficacy of NVP-BEZ235 is due to autophagic flux and co-treatment with CQ counteracts the cytotoxic effect.