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eISSN: 1643-3750

Krüppel-Like Factor 4 Enhances Sensitivity of Cisplatin to Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC) Cells

Chuangui Chen, Zhao Ma, Hongdian Zhang, Xiaoqiong Liu, Zhentao Yu

Department of Esophageal Cancer, Key Laboratory of Prevention and Therapy, National Clinical Research Center of Cancer, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:3353-3359

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.902583

Available online:

Published: 2017-07-11

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of Krüppel-Like factor 4 (KLF4) in cisplatin resistance in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cells, which may eventually help to improve the treatment efficacy.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cell line CaEs-17, TE-1, EC109, KYSE510, KYSE140, KYSE70, and KYSE30 were selected to detect their sensitivity to cisplatin. 5-Azacytidine-2’-deoxycytidine (5’-Aza-CdR) treatment and methylation-specific PCR (MS-PCR) were used to detect the methylation status for KLF4. Cell viability, apoptosis, and cell cycle were measured using methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay, Annexin V affinity assay, and flow cytometry, respectively.
RESULTS: The sensitivity to cisplatin was different in the seven ESCC cell lines, with TE-1 having the lowest sensitivity and KYSE140 having the highest sensitivity. Interestingly, the level of KLF4 was relatively low in TE-1 cells; while it was high in KYSE140 cells. These results suggested that KLF4 may be involved in cisplatin resistance. The promoter region was mostly unmethylated in KYSE140 cells; while it was hypermethylated in TE-1 cells. After treatment with demethylation reagent 5-Aza-CdR, cisplatin sensitivities were significantly increased after upregulation of KLF4, as the IC50 values were significantly decreased in the TE-1 cell treated with 5-Aza-CdR. Furthermore, upregulation of KLF4 induced cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at S phase.
CONCLUSIONS: KLF4 enhances the sensitivity of cisplatin to ESCC cells through apoptosis induction and cell cycle arrest. Our data provided a novel insight to the mechanism of cisplatin resistance; overexpression of KLF4 may be a potential therapeutic strategy for cisplatin resistance in human ESCC.

Keywords: Antineoplastic Agents, Cisplatin, Esophageal Neoplasms