Life Sci. 2020 Aug 26 ;261:118348. Epub 2020 Aug 26. PMID: 32860803
Inhibition of endogenous hydrogen sulfide biosynthesis enhances the anti-cancer effect of 3,3′-diindolylmethane in human gastric cancer cells.
AIMS: 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) has limited anti-cancer effects in gastric cancer. Hydrogen sulfide (HS) plays an important role in the tumor development and therapy, cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE), two key endogenous HS biosynthesis enzymes, can affect endogenous HS levels and alter cancer treatment. Our main objective was to investigate whether the aminooxyacetic acid (AOAA) and DL-Propargylglycine (PAG), two specific inhibitors of CBS and CSE, could assist DIM to exert a stronger anti-cancer effects in gastric cancer BGC-823 and SGC-7901 cells.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cell proliferation was assayed by MTT and cell colony-forming assay. Apoptosis and migration were detected by Hoechst staining and scratch test respectively. Western blot was used to evaluate the expression of proteins related to proliferation, apoptosis and migration.KEY FINDINGS: Combination of AOAA or PAG with DIM synergistically inhibited proliferation and migration, increased apoptosis in gastric cancer cells. The p38-p53 axis was also further activated by the combination of AOAA or PAG with DIM. Exogenous HS from sodium hydrosulfide, attenuated the efficacy of DIM in cancer cells by reducing the activation level of p38-p53 axis. Taken together, AOAA or PAG inhibited the expression of endogenous HS biosynthesis enzymes and effectively enhanced susceptibility of gastric cancer to DIM through activating p38-p53 axis.SIGNIFICANCE: The current study highlight more precise requirements for the clinical application of sulfur-containing anti-cancer drugs, and open a new way to enhance the sensitivity of DIM in chemotherapy of gastric cancer.