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Artemether Regulates Chemosensitivity to Doxorubicin via Regulation of B7-H3 in Human Neuroblastoma Cells

Wei-Qiang Tan, Gang Chen, Ming Ye, Bing Jia

Department of Pediatric Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4252-4259

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.902068

Available online:

Published: 2017-09-03

BACKGROUND: Artemether, originally used for malaria, exhibits potential therapeutic efficacy against several types of cancer, including gastric cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and gliomas. In this study, we investigated the role and mechanism of artemether on drug resistance of neuroblastoma cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cell viability and proliferation were determined by CCK-8 and EdU incorporation assay, respectively. Gene expression was measured by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis.
RESULTS: Our results revealed that artemether treatment remarkably inhibited the proliferation of neuroblastoma cell lines SH-SY5Y, SK-N-SH, and SK-N-BE2. In addition, co-treatment of tumor cells with artemether and doxorubicin significantly reduced cell viability and DNA synthesis compared with doxorubicin-treated cells. On the molecular level, we found that combined treatment with artemether and doxorubicin suppressed the expression of B7-H3 both at the mRNA and protein levels. In addition, artemether failed to sensitize tumor cells to doxorubicin in SH-SY5Y cells overexpressing B7-H3.
CONCLUSIONS: Artemether-mediated inhibition of B7-H3 may contribute to doxorubicin sensitivity in neuroblastoma cells, suggesting that artemether could serve as a potential therapeutic option for neuroblastoma.

Keywords: B7 Antigens, Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins, Neuroblastoma