Purpose: A series of six lung cancer cell lines of different cell origin (including small cell and mesothelioma) were characterized immunohistochemically and the role of a series of protein candidates previously implicated in drug resistance were investigated.
Methods: These include colony-forming and cell growth assays, immunohistochemistry, siRNA knockouts, real-time PCR and western blots.
Results: No correlation was found with AKT, HO-1, HO-2, GRP78, 14-3-3zeta and ERCC1 levels and cisplatin nor oxaliplatin cytotoxicity, but an association was observed with levels of the enzyme, dihydrodiol dehydrogenase (DDH); an enzyme previously implicated in the development of platinum resistance. The relationship appeared to hold true for those cell lines derived from lung epithelial primary tumors but not for the neuroendocrine/small-cell and mesothelioma cell lines. siRNA knockouts to DDH-1 and DDH-2 were prepared with the cell line exhibiting the greatest resistance to cisplatin (A549) resulting in marked decreases in the DDH isoforms as assessed by real-time PCR, western blot and enzymatic activity. The DDH-1 knockout was far more sensitive to cisplatin than the DDH-2 knockout.
Conclusion: Thus, sensitivity to cisplatin appeared to be associated with DDH levels in epithelial lung cancer cell lines with the DDH-1 isoform producing the greatest effect. Results in keeping with transfection experiments with ovarian and other cell lines.