Enhancement of NK cell-mediated lysis of non-small lung cancer cells by nPKC activator, ingenol 3,20 dibenzoate

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The IFN-γ production is crucial for NK cell-mediated lysis of cancer cells. Thus increasing the IFN-γ production by NK cells may be an ideal strategy to improve their tumoricidal effect. Since the focus on new drug development has shifted towards natural products, limited information is out there about natural products that enhance the IFN-γ production by NK cells. In this study, through a high-throughput screening, we have identified a natural product ingenol 3,20 dibenzoate (IDB), an activator of tumor suppressor protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes, could increase the IFN-γ production and degranulation by NK cells, especially when NK cells were stimulated by non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. IDB also significantly enhanced the NK cell-mediated lysis of NSCLC cells. Furthermore, PKC inhibitor, sotrastaurin abrogated IDB-induced IFN-γ production, degranulation and cytotoxicity, but did not affect IFN-γ production by NK cells without IDB treatment and NSCLC cell stimulation. The IFN-γ neutralization reversed the IDB-induced enhancement of NK cell mediated killing. In conclusion, our study indicated that IDB enhanced NK cell-mediated lysis of NSCLC cells is dependent on specific PKC mediated IFN-γ production and degranulation. Thus, IDB may have a promising application in clinic for NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

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