This study aims to investigate the effect of ethoxysanguinarine(Eth) on cisplatin(DDP)-resistant human gastric cancer cells and decipher the underlying mechanism. The human gastric cancer cell line SGC7901 and the DDP-resistant cell line SGC7901/DDP were used as the cell models. Western blot was employed to determine the expression levels of multidrug resistance-related proteins, and methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium(MTT) assay to detect the proliferation of SGC7901 and SGC7901/DDP cells exposed to DDP. After treatment with different concentrations of Eth, the proliferation of SGC7901 and SGC7901/DDP cells was detected by MTT assay, trypan blue exclusion assay, colony formation assay, and high-content imaging and analysis system. The apoptosis of SGC7901/DDP cells was detected by flow cytometry with Annexin V-FITC/PI staining. GFP-LC3 transfection was carried out to detect the effect of Eth on the autophagy of SGC7901/DDP cells. The expression levels of the multidrug resistance-related protein P-glycoprotein(P-gp), the apoptosis-related proteins [caspase-9, caspase-3, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase(PARP)], the autophagy-related protein light chain 3-Ⅱ(LC3-Ⅱ), the key effectors [mammalian target of rapamycin(mTOR), 70 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase(P70 S6 K), and 4 E binding protein 1(4 E-BP1)] of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1(mTORC1) signaling pathway, cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A(CIP2A), and protein kinase B(Akt) were measured by Western blot. The mRNA level of CIP2A in the SGC7901/DDP cells exposed to Eth for 24 h was analyzed by RT-qPCR. After SGC7901/DDP cells were transfected with CIP2A expression vector pcDNA3.1-HA-CIP2A and treated with different concentrations of Eth, MTT assay was used to determine the prolife-ration of SGC7901/DDP cells and Western blot to detect the expression levels of related proteins. The interaction sites of Eth and CIP2A were predicted by molecular docking. The affinity between Eth and CIP2A was determined by drug affinity responsive target stability(DARTS) assay. The pharmacokinetic properties and drug-like activity of Eth were predicted by SwissADME. The results indicated that SGC7901/DDP cells were more sensitive to Eth than SGC7901 cells. Eth significantly inhibited proliferation and colony formation and changed the morphology, roundness, and area of SGC7901/DDP cells. Eth treatment caused the nucleus shrinking and significantly increased the apoptosis rate of the cells. Furthermore, Eth down-regulated the expression of caspase-9 and caspase-3 precursors and promoted the cleavage of PARP, which suggested that Eth induced the apoptosis of SGC7901/DDP cells. The GFP-LC3 in Eth-treated cells showed speckled aggregation. The up-regulated expression of LC3-Ⅱ by Eth indicated that Eth activated the autophagy of SGC7901/DDP cells. Eth down-regulated the expression of P-gp, the phosphorylation of mTOR, P70 S6K, and 4E-BP1, the expression of CIP2A, and the phosphorylation of Akt. Additionally, it increased the activity of PP2A, and had no significant effect on the expression of CIP2A in SGC7901/DDP cells. CIP2A overexpression antagonized the inhibition of cell proliferation and the activation of autophagy by Eth. Molecular docking suggested that Eth bound to CIP2A. The results of DARTS assay further proved the above binding effect. Eth has potential drug-like activity. The above results demonstrated that Eth inhibited the proliferation, induced the apoptosis, and activated the autophagy of SGC7901/DDP cells by targeting CIP2A and then down-regulating PP2A/mTORC1 signaling pathway. This study provided a new target for the treatment of cisplatin-resistant gastric cancer.
CIP2A; apoptosis; autophagy; ethoxysanguinarine; gastric cancer; mTORC1.