Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with a five-year overall survival rate of only 15%. Cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) is a human oncoprotein inhibiting PP2A in many human malignancies. However, whether CIP2A can be a new drug target for lung cancer is largely unclear.
Methodology/principal findings: Normal and malignant lung tissues were derived from 60 lung cancer patients from southern China. RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to evaluate the expression of CIP2A. We found that among the 60 patients, CIP2A was undetectable or very low in paratumor normal tissues, but was dramatically elevated in tumor samples in 38 (63.3%) patients. CIP2A overexpression was associated with cigarette smoking. Silencing CIP2A by siRNA inhibited the proliferation and clonogenic activity of lung cancer cells. Intriguingly, we found a natural compound, rabdocoetsin B which is extracted from a Traditional Chinese Medicinal herb Rabdosia coetsa, could induce down-regulation of CIP2A and inactivation of Akt pathway, and inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in a variety of lung cancer cells.
Conclusions/significance: Our findings strongly indicate that CIP2A could be an effective target for lung cancer drug development, and the therapeutic potentials of CIP2A-targeting agents warrant further investigation.