Cisplatin-resistance and cell death in malignant pleural mesothelioma cells

University dissertation from Umeå : Medicinsk biovetenskap

Abstract: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive, treatment-resistant tumour. Cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II)) is the best single-agent chemotherapy for MPM, but platinum-based combination therapies give the best overall response rates. However, cisplatin use is limited by resistance and severe side effects. This thesis has increased the knowledge concerning cisplatin-induced cell death in MPM by describing a novel potential therapeutic target, and three novel phenotypes of cisplatin-resistance in a human MPM cell line (P31) and its cisplatin-resistant sub-line (P31res1.2).The novel potential therapeutic target, and one of the novel phenotypes, was cisplatin-resistant pro-apoptotic BH3-only proteins. In the P31 cells, cisplatin transiently increased pro-apoptotic BH3-only proteins during 6 h of exposure. This response was almost completely abrogated in the P31res1.2 cells. De-regulated caspase activity and activation was the second novel phenotype identified. The P31res1.2 cells had earlier, possibly mitochondria-independent, caspase-3 activation, increased basal caspase-3 activity and increased basal cleavage of caspase-8 and -9. Despite these differences, 6-h equitoxic cisplatin exposures rendered 50-60% of the cells apoptotic in both cell lines. The third novel phenotype was abrogated Na+K+2Cl--cotransporter (NKCC1) activity. Although NKCC1 activity was dispensable for cisplatin-induced apoptosis, balanced potassium transport activity was essential for P31 cell survival. Finally, the survival signalling protein Protein Kinase B (PKB or Akt) isoforms ? and ? were constitutively activated in a PI3K-independent manner in P31 cells. In the P31res1.2 cells, PKB? and ? activities were increased, and there was PI3K-dependent activation of PKB?. However, this increase in PKB isoform activity was not strongly associated to the cisplatin-resistance of the P31res1.2 cells.