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Obatoclax, a BH3 Mimetic, Enhances Cisplatin-Induced Apoptosis and Decreases the Clonogenicity of Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Cells via Mechanisms That Involve the Inhibition of Pro-Survival Molecules as Well as Cell Cycle Regulators.

  • Author(s): Steele, Thomas M
  • Talbott, George C
  • Sam, Anhao
  • Tepper, Clifford G
  • Ghosh, Paramita M
  • Vinall, Ruth L
  • et al.
Abstract

Several studies by our group and others have determined that expression levels of Bcl-2 and/or Bcl-xL, pro-survival molecules which are associated with chemoresistance, are elevated in patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer (MI-BC). The goal of this study was to determine whether combining Obatoclax, a BH3 mimetic which inhibits pro-survival Bcl-2 family members, can improve responses to cisplatin chemotherapy, the standard of care treatment for MI-BC. Three MI-BC cell lines (T24, TCCSuP, 5637) were treated with Obatoclax alone or in combination with cisplatin and/or pre-miR-34a, a molecule which we have previously shown to inhibit MI-BC cell proliferation via decreasing Cdk6 expression. Proliferation, clonogenic, and apoptosis assays confirmed that Obatoclax can decrease cell proliferation and promote apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. Combination treatment experiments identified Obatoclax + cisplatin as the most effective treatment. Immunoprecipitation and Western analyses indicate that, in addition to being able to inhibit Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, Obatoclax can also decrease cyclin D1 and Cdk4/6 expression levels. This has not previously been reported. The combined data demonstrate that Obatoclax can inhibit cell proliferation, promote apoptosis, and significantly enhance the effectiveness of cisplatin in MI-BC cells via mechanisms that likely involve the inhibition of both pro-survival molecules and cell cycle regulators.

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