Increase of the resistance of human cervical carcinoma cells to cisplatin by inhibition of the MEK to ERK signaling pathway partly via enhancement of anticancer drug-induced NFκB activation

Pei Yen Yeh, Shuang En Chuang, Kun Huei Yeh, Ying Chyi Song, Chee Kwee Ea, Ann Lii Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Scopus citations


In this study, we showed that suppression of the MEK-ERK transduction pathway by a selective inhibitor, 2′-amino-3′-methoxyflavone (PD98059), increased drug resistance of SiHa cells to cisplatin, but not to another common anticancer drug, doxorubicin. The downstream mechanism of this discrepant cellular response was investigated. Both cisplatin and doxorubicin activated nuclear ERK2 and nuclear transcription factor κB (NFκB) of SiHa cells. However, suppression of the MEK-ERK2 pathway by PD98059 resulted in a further enhancement of cisplatin-induced NFκB activation, while no further regulation of NFκB was noted in doxorubicin-treated cells. The activation of NFκB by cisplatin or doxorubicin was not due to the degradation of cytoplasmic IκBα, as demonstrated by western blotting. Transfection of a dominant negative IκBα resulted in a markedly diminished PD98059-induced cisplatin resistance in SiHa cells. Our results suggest that the MEK-ERK signaling pathway plays a role in the chemosensitivity of SiHa cells, and suppression of this pathway increases cisplatin resistance partly via an increase of NFκB activation. The mechanism responsible for the discrepant effect of PD98059 on NFκB activation and hence the chemosensitivity of SiHa cells towards cisplatin and doxorubicin remains to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1430
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2002



  • Cervical cancer
  • Drug resistance
  • ERK
  • NFκB
  • PD98059

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology

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