J Cancer 2021; 12(20):6081-6093. doi:10.7150/jca.62285 This issue

Research Paper

Bioactive Hexapeptide Reduced the Resistance of Ovarian Cancer Cells to DDP by Affecting HSF1/HSP70 Signaling Pathway

Ruowen Guo1#, Qia Xu1#, Liwei Liu1,2, Hui Liu1, Yun Liu1, Wenmei Wei1✉, Yide Qin1✉

1. School of Basic Medical Sciences, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui 230032, P.R. China.
2. Medical Laboratory Centre, PLA Clinical College (901 Hospital) of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui 230031, P.R. China.
#These authors have contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Guo R, Xu Q, Liu L, Liu H, Liu Y, Wei W, Qin Y. Bioactive Hexapeptide Reduced the Resistance of Ovarian Cancer Cells to DDP by Affecting HSF1/HSP70 Signaling Pathway. J Cancer 2021; 12(20):6081-6093. doi:10.7150/jca.62285. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p6081.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death in gynecologic malignancies. Ovarian cancer as a metastatic malignant tumor is highly recurrent and prone to drug resistance. Bioactive peptides are an emerging area of biomedical research in reducing resistance of tumor cell to drugs. In this paper, we investigated the effects and mechanisms of bioactive hexapeptide (PGPIPN) derived in milk protein on the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to cis-dichlorodiammine platinum (DDP). Human ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV3 and COC1), their DDP-resistant sublines (SKOV3/DDP and COC1/DDP) and human primary ovarian cancer cells were cultured in vitro under the combined treatment of DDP (close to IC50) and different concentrations of PGPIPN. The viabilities, apoptosis and cell cycle changes were respectively measured by WST-8 and flow cytometry. The mRNA and protein expression levels of HSF1, HSP70, MDR1, ERCC1 and β-actin gene were respectively assayed by RT-qPCR and western blotting. The results showed that PGPIPN significantly increased the sensitivity of human ovarian cancer cells to DDP in inhibiting viability and inducing apoptosis in vitro. But the effects in sensitive cells were lower than DDP-resistant cells. PGPIPN significantly changed the cell cycles in all human ovarian cancer cells, which leaded to a significant increase in the percentage of cells blocked at G2/M phase and decrease the percentage of cells at G1 phases in a dose-dependent manner. PGPIPN affected the expression levels of HSF1, HSP70, MDR1 and ERCC1 genes. Compared with cells in DDP treatment alone, the expression levels of HSF1 and HSP70 in human ovarian cancer cells treated with DDP and PGPIPN together significantly decreased in dose-dependent manner. PGPIPN significantly decreased MDR1 and ERCC1 of drug-resistant ovarian cancer cell lines and human primary ovarian cancer cell in a dose-dependent manner. Pifithrin-μ (PFTμ, HSP70 inhibitor) decreased or removed the effects of peptide in increasing the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to DDP. This suggests that PGPIPN enhanced the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to DDP partially via reducing the activity of HSF1/HSP70 signaling pathway, thus inducing cell apoptosis and decreasing repairment of DNA damage.

Keywords: human ovarian cancer, drug resistance, bioactive hexapeptide, apoptosis, cell cycle, signaling pathway