Calcein-acetoxymethy ester enhances the antitumor effects of doxorubicin in nonsmall cell lung cancer by regulating the TopBP1/p53RR pathway

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Calcein acetoxymethyl ester (calcein-AM) treatment has been reported to exert antitumor effects in certain cancer cells; however, the detailed mechanism of action of calcein-AM in cancers remains unclear, especially in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study focused on the function and mechanism of action of calcein-AM in NSCLC. We used cell viability assays, western blotting, and EdU proliferation assay combined with calcein-AM treatment or siRNA interference to investigate the role of topoisomerase IIβ binding protein 1 (TopBP1) and p53 in NSCLC chemotherapy. We found that calcein-AM has antitumor effects in lung cancer and enhances the antitumor effects of doxorubicin in NSCLC. Furthermore, we found that TopBP1, which we previously showed was involved in doxorubicin resistance through upregulation of aberrant p53, was involved in calcein-AM-mediated increased doxorubicin sensitivity. Doxorubicin upregulated the expression of aberrant p53. Calcein-AM repressed the expression of TopBP1, which resulted in reduced expression of aberrant p53 and disrupted the antiapoptotic activity mediated by the TopBP1/mutp53 pathway in NSCLC. Together, our findings show that calcein-AM, the cell-permeable derivative of calcein, exerts significant antitumor effects in NSCLC, and can enhance the antitumor effect of doxorubicin by regulating the TopBP1/mutp53 pathway. These findings provide novel insight into lung cancer treatment.

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