International journal of molecular medicine

The Cdc2/Cdk1 inhibitor, purvalanol A, enhances the cytotoxic effects of taxol through Op18/stathmin in non-small cell lung cancer cells in vitro.

PMID 28534969


Purvalanol A is a highly selective inhibitor of Cdc2 [also known as cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1)]. Taxol is an anti-tumor chemotherapeutic drug which is widely used clinically. In this study, the CDK1 inhibitor, purvalanol A was applied to explore the relevance of Cdc2 signaling and taxol sensitivity through analyses, such as cellular proliferation and apoptosis assays, ELISA, western blot analysis and immunoprecipitation. We demonstrated that purvalanol A effectively enhanced the taxol-induced apoptosis of NCI-H1299 cells, as well as its inhibitory effects on cellular proliferation and colony formation. In combination, purvalanol A and taxol mainly decreased the expression of oncoprotein 18 (Op18)/stathmin and phosphorylation at Ser16 and Ser38, while purvalanol A alone inhibited the phosphorylation of Op18/stathmin at all 4 serine sites. Co-treatment with purvalanol A and taxol weakened the expression of Bcl-2 and activated the extrinsic cell death pathway through the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-8. Further experiments indicated that Cdc2 kinase activities, including the expression of Cdc2 and the level of phospho-Cdc2 (Thr161) were significantly higher in taxol-resistant NCI-H1299 cells compared with the relatively sensitive CNE1 cells before and following treatment with taxol. These findings suggest that Cdc2 is positively associatd with the development of taxol resistance. The Cdc2 inhibitor, purvalanol A, enhanced the cytotoxic effects of taxol through Op18/stathmin. Our findings may prove to be useful in clinical practice, as they may provide a treatment strategy with which to to reduce the doses of taxol applied clinically, thus alleviating the side-effects.