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Scientific reports

Regulation of Multi-drug Resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma cells is TRPC6/Calcium Dependent.


PMID 27011063

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is notoriously refractory to chemotherapy because of its tendency to develop multi-drug resistance (MDR), whose various underlying mechanisms make it difficult to target. The calcium signalling pathway is associated with many cellular biological activities, and is also a critical player in cancer. However, its role in modulating tumour MDR remains unclear. In this study, stimulation by doxorubicin, hypoxia and ionizing radiation was used to induce MDR in HCC cells. A sustained aggregation of intracellular calcium was observed upon these stimuli, while inhibition of calcium signalling enhanced the cells' sensitivity to various drugs by attenuating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), Hif1-α signalling and DNA damage repair. The effect of calcium signalling is mediated via transient receptor potential canonical 6 (TRPC6), a subtype of calcium-permeable channel. An in vivo xenograft model of HCC further confirmed that inhibiting TRPC6 enhanced the efficacy of doxorubicin. In addition, we deduced that STAT3 activation is a downstream signalling pathway in MDR. Collectively, this study demonstrated that the various mechanisms regulating MDR in HCC cells are calcium dependent through the TRPC6/calcium/STAT3 pathway. We propose that targeting TRPC6 in HCC may be a novel antineoplastic strategy, especially combined with chemotherapy.

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