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Low-dose Diosbulbin-B (DB) activates tumor-intrinsic PD-L1/NLRP3 signaling pathway mediated pyroptotic cell death to increase cisplatin-sensitivity in gastric cancer (GC)

  • Li, Chunfeng1
  • Qiu, Junqiang2
  • Xue, Yingwei1
  • 1 Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital,
  • 2 Hainan Medical University,
Published Article
Cell & Bioscience
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 12, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s13578-021-00548-x
PMID: 33579380
PMCID: PMC7881658
PubMed Central


Background Emerging evidences suggests that Diosbulbin-B (DB) is effective to improve cisplatin (DDP)-sensitivity in gastric cancer (GC), but its molecular mechanisms were not fully delineated, and this study managed to investigate this issue. Methods Genes expressions were determined by Real-Time qPCR and Western Blot at transcriptional and translational levels. Cell proliferation and viability were evaluated by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) and trypan blue staining assay. Annexin V-FITC/PI double staining assay was used to examine cell apoptosis. The Spheroid formation assay was used to evaluated cell stemness. The xenograft tumor-bearing mice models were established, and the tumors were monitored and the immunohistochemistry (IHC) was employed to examine the expressions and localization of Ki67 protein in mice tumor tissues. Results Low-dose DB (12.5 μM) downregulated PD-L1 to activate NLRP3-mediated pyroptosis, and inhibited cancer stem cells (CSCs) properties, to sensitize cisplatin-resistant GC (CR-GC) cells to cisplatin. Mechanistically, the CR-GC cells were obtained, and either low-dose DB or cisplatin alone had little effects on cell viability in CR-GC cells, while low-dose DB significantly induced apoptotic cell death in cisplatin treated CR-GC cells. In addition, low-dose DB triggered cell pyroptosis in CR-GC cells co-treated with cisplatin, which were abrogated by silencing NLRP3. Next, CSCs tended to be enriched in CR-GC cells, instead of their parental cisplatin-sensitive GC (CS-GC) cells, and low-dose DB inhibited spheroid formation and stemness biomarkers (SOX2, OCT4 and Nanog) expressions to eliminate CSCs in CR-GC cells, which were reversed by upregulating programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1). Furthermore, we proved that PD-L1 negatively regulated NLRP3 in CR-GC cells, and low-dose DB activated NLRP3-mediated pyroptotic cell death in cisplatin treated CR-GC cells by downregulating PD-L1. Also, low-dose DB aggravated the inhibiting effects of cisplatin on tumorigenesis of CR-GC cells in vivo. Conclusions Collectively, low-dose DB regulated intrinsic PD-L1/NLRP3 pathway to improve cisplatin-sensitivity in CR-GC cells, and this study provided alternative therapy treatments for GC.

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