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01.12.2017 | Primary Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Cancer Cell International 1/2017

The synthetic peptide CIGB-300 modulates CK2-dependent signaling pathways affecting the survival and chemoresistance of non-small cell lung cancer cell lines

Cancer Cell International > Ausgabe 1/2017
Stéfano M. Cirigliano, María I. Díaz Bessone, Damián E. Berardi, Carolina Flumian, Elisa D. Bal de Kier Joffé, Silvio E. Perea, Hernán G. Farina, Laura B. Todaro, Alejandro J. Urtreger



Lung cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Up to 80% of cancer patients are classified as non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and cisplatin remains as the gold standard chemotherapy treatment, despite its limited efficacy due to both intrinsic and acquired resistance. The CK2 is a Ser/Thr kinase overexpressed in various types of cancer, including lung cancer. CIGB-300 is an antitumor peptide with a novel mechanism of action, since it binds to CK2 substrates thus preventing the enzyme activity. The aim of this work was to analyze the effects of CIGB-300 treatment targeting CK2-dependent signaling pathways in NSCLC cell lines and whether it may help improve current chemotherapy treatment.


The human NSCLC cell lines NCI-H125 and NIH-A549 were used. Tumor spheroids were obtained through the hanging-drop method. A cisplatin resistant A549 cell line was obtained by chronic administration of cisplatin. Cell viability, apoptosis, immunoblotting, immunofluorescence and luciferase reporter assays were used to assess CIGB-300 effects. A luminescent assay was used to monitor proteasome activity.


We demonstrated that CIGB-300 induces an anti-proliferative response both in monolayer- and three-dimensional NSCLC models, presenting rapid and complete peptide uptake. This effect was accompanied by the inhibition of the CK2-dependent canonical NF-κB pathway, evidenced by reduced RelA/p65 nuclear levels and NF-κB protein targets modulation in both lung cancer cell lines, as well as conditionally reduced NF-κB transcriptional activity. In addition, NF-κB modulation was associated with enhanced proteasome activity, possibly through its α7/C8 subunit. Neither the peptide nor a classical CK2 inhibitor affected cytoplasmic β-CATENIN basal levels. Given that NF-κB activation has been linked to cisplatin-induced resistance, we explored whether CIGB-300 could bring additional therapeutic benefits to the standard cisplatin treatment. We established a resistant cell line that showed higher p65 nuclear levels after cisplatin treatment as compared with the parental cell line. Remarkably, the cisplatin-resistant cell line became more sensitive to CIGB-300 treatment.


Our data provide new insights into CIGB-300 mechanism of action and suggest clinical potential on current NSCLC therapy.
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