In preclinical tumor models, inhibition of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) has been associated with increased sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents such as irinotecan (CPT-11). This is based on the fact that a variety of chemotherapy agents such as CPT-11 activate NF-κB to result in the expression of genes such as c-IAP1 and c-IAP2 that might be responsible for the inhibition of chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. In this study, RNA interference [small interfering RNA (siRNA)] was used to down-regulate the NF-κB p65 subunit in the HCT116 colon cancer cell line, and its role, in the presence and absence of CPT-11, was assessed on cell growth and apoptosis. Reduction of endogenous p65 by siRNA treatment significantly impaired CPT-11-mediated NF-κB activation, enhanced apoptosis, and reduced colony formation in soft agar. Furthermore, the in vivo administration of p65 siRNA reduced HCT116 tumor formation in xenograft models in the presence but not the absence of CPT-11 administration. These data indicate that the administration of siRNA directed against the p65 subunit of NF-κB can effectively enhance in vitro and in vivo sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research