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Licochalcone B inhibits growth and induces apoptosis of human non-small-cell lung cancer cells by dual targeting of EGFR and MET

Oh, Ha-Na, Lee, Mee-Hyun, Kim, Eunae, Yoon, Goo, Chae, Jung-Il, Shim, Jung-Hyun
Phytomedicine 2019 v.63 pp. 153014
Glycyrrhiza inflata, Western blotting, antineoplastic activity, apoptosis, caspases, cell cycle checkpoints, cell proliferation, computer simulation, cytotoxicity, enzyme activity, enzyme inhibitors, epidermal growth factor receptors, flow cytometry, genes, humans, lung neoplasms, mechanism of action, medicine, membrane potential, mitochondrial membrane, molecular dynamics, neoplasm cells, patients, reactive oxygen species, simulation models, staining, therapeutics, tyrosine, viability
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene alterations are associated with sensitization to tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as gefitinib in lung cancer. Some patients suffering from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have difficulty in treating the cancer due to resistance acquired to gefitinib with MET amplification. Therefore EGFR and MET may be attractive targets for lung cancer therapy.This study aimed to investigate the anti-cancer activity of Licochalcone (LC)B extracted from Glycyrrhiza inflata, in gefitinib-sensitive or gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cells, and to define its mechanisms.We investigated the mechanism of action of LCB by targeting EGFR and MET in human NSCLC cells.We used the HCC827 and HCC827GR lines as gefitinib-sensitive and –resistant cells respectively, and determined the effects of LCB on both, by performing cell proliferation assay, flow cytometry analysis and Western blotting. Targets of LCB were identified by pull-down/kinase assay and molecular docking simulation.LCB inhibited both EGFR and MET kinase activity by directly binding to their ATP-binding pockets. The ability of this interaction was verified by computational docking and molecular dynamics simulations. LCB suppressed viability and colony formation of both HCC827 and HCC827GR cells while exhibiting no cytotoxicity to normal cells. The induction of G2/M cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis by LCB was confirmed by Annexin V/7-AAD double staining, ER stress and reactive oxygen species induction, mitochondrial membrane potential loss and caspase activation as well as related-proteins regulation. Inhibition of EGFR and MET by LCB decreased ERBB3 and AKT axis activation.We provide insights into the LCB-mediated mechanisms involved in reducing cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis in NSCLC cells. This occurs through dual inhibition of EGFR and MET in NSCLC cells regardless of their sensitivity or resistance to gefitinib. LCB may be a promising novel therapeutic medicine for gefitinib-sensitive or resistant NSCLC treatment.