J Cancer 2019; 10(2):293-304. doi:10.7150/jca.25163

Research Paper

Chinese Herbal Medicine Wenxia Changfu Formula Reverses Cell Adhesion-Mediated Drug Resistance via the Integrin β1-PI3K-AKT Pathway in Lung Cancer

YaNan Zhang2,3*, ZhiChun Wu2,3*, HuaYun Yu2,3, HuaXin Wang2,3, Guowei Liu3, ShiJun Wang2,3✉, XuMing Ji1,3✉

1. College of Basic Medicine,Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province 310053, China.
2. College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, Shangdong Province 250355, China.
3. Shandong Provincial Chinese Medicine Classical Prescription Demonstration Engineering Technology Research Center, Jinan, Shangdong Province 250355, China.
*YaNan Zhang and ZhiChun Wu contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

In the treatment of lung cancer, the multidrug resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs is one of the reasons of low rates for cure and treatment failure, the combination of chemotherapeutic drugs and traditional Chinese medicine can increase the sensitivity of chemotherapy and reduce its adverse effects. Our previous study has proved that Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) Wenxia Changfu Formula (WCF for short) effectively enhances chemotherapeutic efficacy in lung cancer treatment and reverses multidrug resistance in lung cancer cells in vitro. The present study aims to investigate the effect and mechanism of WCF in reversing cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance of lung cancer by using A549 three-dimensional cell culture and nude mouse model of the A549 cell line with Integrin β1 overexpression. We show that the combination of WCF with DDP can decrease proliferation of lung cancer cells by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Moreover, we find that the combination of WCF with DDP suppresses the expression of certain molecules which regulate cell cycle and apoptosis. Mechanistically, we show that the Integrin β1, FAK, PI3K, and AKT protein expressions are suppressed by DDP and even more responses are observed when DDP and WCF are combined, showing WCF treatment enhances the effect of commonly used anticancer drugs. In line with the above findings, our results confirm that WCF reverses cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance of lung cancer via inactivating Integrin β1/PI3K/AKT and apoptosis induction.

Keywords: lung cancer, traditional Chinese medicine, combination therapy, integrin β1

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How to cite this article:
Zhang Y, Wu Z, Yu H, Wang H, Liu G, Wang S, Ji X. Chinese Herbal Medicine Wenxia Changfu Formula Reverses Cell Adhesion-Mediated Drug Resistance via the Integrin β1-PI3K-AKT Pathway in Lung Cancer. J Cancer 2019; 10(2):293-304. doi:10.7150/jca.25163. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v10p0293.htm