Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation is a well-known mechanism by which chemoresistance to anticancer agents is reported. It is well-known that irinotecan as a chemotherapeutic drug against non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) has limited anticancer effect due to NF-κB activation. In this study, we propose the novel role of GRA16, a dense granule protein of Toxoplasma gondii, as an anticancer agent to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy via the inhibition of NF-κB activation. To demonstrate this, H1299 cells were stably transfected with GRA16. The anticancer effects of GRA16 were demonstrated as a reduction in tumor size in a mouse xenograft model. GRA16 directly elevated B55 regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2AB55) expression in tumor cells, thereby decreasing GWL protein levels and ENSA phosphorylation. This cascade, in turn, induced PP2A-B55 activation and suppressed AKT/ERK phosphorylation and cyclin B1 levels, suggesting reduced cell survival and arrested cell cycle. Moreover, PP2A-B55 activation and AKT phosphorylation inhibition led to NF-κB inactivation via the reduction in inhibitory kappa B kinase beta (IKKβ) levels, de-phosphorylation of inhibitor of kappa B alpha (IκBα), and reduction in the nuclear transit of NF-κB p65. Furthermore, this molecular mechanism was examined under irinotecan treatment. The PP2A-B55/AKT/NF-κB p65 pathway-mediated anticancer effects were only induced in the presence of GRA16, but not in the presence of irinotecan. Moreover, GRA16 synergistically promoted the anticancer effects of irinotecan via the induction of the sub-G1 phase and reduction of cell proliferation. Collectively, irinotecan and GRA16 cotreatment promotes the anticancer effects of irinotecan via NF-κB inhibition and cell cycle arrest induced by GRA16, subsequently increasing the chemotherapeutic effect of irinotecan to NSCLC cells via NF-κB inhibition.
- Cell cycle arrest
- GRA16-stable cell line
- Non-small-cell lung carcinoma cells
- Toxoplasma GRA16