Research Papers:

FXR agonists enhance the sensitivity of biliary tract cancer cells to cisplatin via SHP dependent inhibition of Bcl-xL expression

Wei Wang _, Ming Zhan, Qi Li, Wei Chen, Huiling Chu, Qihong Huang, Zhaoyuan Hou, Mohan Man and Jian Wang

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:34617-34629. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8964

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Wei Wang1, Ming Zhan1, Qi Li2, Wei Chen1, Huiling Chu2, Qihong Huang3, Zhaoyuan Hou2, Mohan Man2, Jian Wang1

1Department of Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200127, China

2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Tumor Microenvironment and Inflammation, Institutes of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200025, China

3The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Correspondence to:

Jian Wang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: farnesoid X receptor, cisplatin, small heterodimer partner, signal transducer and activators of transcription 3, biliary tract cancer

Received: December 06, 2015    Accepted: April 11, 2016    Published: April 25, 2016


Chemoresistance is common in patients with biliary tract cancer (BTC) including gallbladder cancer (GBC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CC). Therefore, it is necessary to identify effective chemotherapeutic agents for BTC. In the present study, we for the first time tested the effect of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists GW4064 and CDCA (chenodeoxycholic acid) in combination with cisplatin (CDDP) on increasing the chemosensitivity in BTC. Our results show that co-treatment of CDDP with FXR agonists remarkably enhance chemosensitivity of BTC cells. Mechanistically, we found that activation of FXR induced expression of small heterodimer partner (SHP), which in turn inhibited signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation and resulted in down-regulation of Bcl-xL expression in BTC cells, leading to increased susceptibility to CDDP. Moreover, the experiments on tumor-bearing mice showed that GW4064/CDDP co-treatment inhibited the tumor growth in vivo by up-regulating SHP expression and down-regulating STAT3 phosphorylation. These results suggest CDDP in combination with FXR agonists could be a potential new therapeutic strategy for BTC.

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