Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany)

Sequential treatment with aurora B inhibitors enhances cisplatin-mediated apoptosis via c-Myc.

PMID 25411027


Platinum compound such as cisplatin is the first-line chemotherapy of choice in most patients with ovarian carcinoma. However, patients with inherent or acquired cisplatin resistance often experience relapse. Therefore, novel therapies are urgently required to treat drug-resistant ovarian carcinoma. Here, we showed that compared to the non-functional traditional simultaneous treatment, sequential combination of Aurora B inhibitors followed by cisplatin synergistically enhanced apoptotic response in cisplatin-resistant OVCAR-8 cells. This effect was accompanied by the induction of polyploidy in a c-Myc-dependent manner, as c-Myc knockdown reduced the efficacy of the combination by suppressing the expression of Aurora B and impairing cellular response to Aurora B inhibitor, as indicated by the decreased polyploidy and hyperphosphorylation of histone H1. In c-Myc-deficient SKOV3 cells, c-Myc overexpression restored Aurora B expression, induced polyploidy after inhibition of Aurora B, and sensitized cells to this combination therapy. Thus, our report reveals for the first time that sequential treatment of Aurora B inhibitors and cisplatin is essential to inhibit ovarian carcinoma by inducing polyploidy and downregulating c-Myc and that c-Myc is identified as a predictive biomarker to select cells responsive to chemotherapeutical combinations targeting Aurora B. Collectively, these studies provide novel approaches to overcoming cisplatin chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer. Pretreatment of Aurora B inhibitors augment apoptotic effects of cisplatin. The synergy of Aurora B inhibitor with cisplatin is dependent on c-Myc expression. c-Myc-dependent induction of polyploidy sensitizes cells to cisplatin.