Norcantharidin reverses cisplatin resistance and inhibits the epithelial mesenchymal transition of human non‑small lung cancer cells by regulating the YAP pathway
- Dan Jin
- Yan Wu
- Cuijie Shao
- Yong Gao
- Deqiang Wang
- Jiwei Guo
Published online on: June 12, 2018
Copyright: © Jin et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Non‑small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for >80% of all lung cancer cases, which are the leading cause of cancer‑related mortality worldwide. The clinical efficacy of available therapies for NSCLC is often limited due to the development of resistance to anticancer drugs, particularly to cisplatin (DDP). Norcantharidin (NCTD) is a traditional Chinese medicine used in the treatment of many types of cancer, to which patients do not develop resistance. The aim of the present study was to examine the potential synergistic effects of NCTD and DPP on the viability of the the DDP‑resistant NSCLC cell line, A549/DDP. We further explored the potential underlying mechanisms by examining the expression of the oncogene, Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP), whose activation was recently found to be associated with drug resistance. We further examined a series of human lung cancer cell lines and tissues from patients with lung cancer, which revealed that YAP activation contributed to lung cancer initiation, progression and metastasis, and was associated with a poor prognosis, and confering resistance against targeted therapies. Moreover, YAP expression was evaluated in the A549/DDP cells treated with NCTD, DDP, or both drugs. The combined treatment significantly sensitized the A549/DDP cells to DDP‑induced growth inhibition by reducing YAP promoter activity (based on transcriptional expression) and the expression of its target genes, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and cysteine rich angiogenic inducer 61 (CYR61). Furthermore, compared to the individual treatments, combined treatment increased cell apoptosis and senescence, and decreased epithelial‑to‑mesenchymal transition and the cell migratory and invasive ability. On the whole, our data indicate that the application of NCTD with reverses DDP resistance and thus, this combined treatment may have promising prospects for use in improving the outcome of patients with NSCLC.