Polyphyllin I modulates MALAT1/STAT3 signaling to induce apoptosis in gefitinib-resistant non-small cell lung cancer

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Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring EGFR mutation who initially respond to EGFR-TKI will gradually develop acquired resistance. There is still a challenge to treat EGFR-TKI resistant NSCLC patients. Polyphyllin I (PP I), a steroidal saponin isolated from Paris polyphylla., has been exhibited antitumor activities against various carcinomas. However, its mechanism in treating EGFR-TKI resistant NSCLC has not been well elucidated. In this study, we found that PP I suppressed the cell viability and induced apoptosis of gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cells and xenograft models. These therapeutic efficacies were associated with down-regulated level of MALAT1, leading to inactivation of STAT3 signaling pathway. The cell viability inhibition and apoptosis inducing in gefitinib-resistant NSCLC triggered by PP I were abolished by MALAT1 overexpression, while the cell viability inhibition and apoptosis inducing triggered by PP I were potentiated by MALAT1 knockdown. These findings suggest that, in vitro and in vivo, PP I inhibits the viability and induces apoptosis of gefitinib-resistant NSCLC by down-regulating MALAT1 and inactivating STAT3 signaling pathway. Thus, PPI could serve a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of gefitinib-resistant NSCLC.

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