DT-13 synergistically enhanced vinorelbine-mediated mitotic arrest through inhibition of FOXM1-BICD2 axis in non-small-cell lung cancer cells

Cell Death Dis. 2017 May 25;8(5):e2810. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2017.218.


Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most commonly diagnosed malignant disease with the leading cause of cancer-related death. Combination treatment remains the major strategy in the clinical therapy of NSCLC. Vinorelbine (NVB), a semi-synthetic vinca alkaloid, is used for advanced and metastatic NSCLC by destabilizing microtubule formation to induce mitotic arrest and cell death. However, the side effect of NVB heavily affected its effectiveness in clinical therapy. Hence, it is of great significance to develop new agents to synergize with NVB and decrease the adverse effect. In our study, we found that the saponin monomer 13 of the dwarf lilyturf tuber, DT-13, exhibiting anti-angiogenesis and anti-metastasis effect, synergized with NVB to inhibit cell proliferation in NSCLC cells. The synergistic interaction of DT-13 and NVB was confirmed by combination Index values. Also, DT-13 and NVB act in concert to inhibit the long-term colony formation. Furthermore, DT-13/NVB co-treatment cooperated to induce mitotic arrest and subsequent apoptosis. Mechanistically, we found that nuclear expression of transcription factors forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) and levels of motor adaptor bicaudal D2 (BICD2) were dramatically reduced by combination treatment. Importantly, oncogene FOXM1 was identified as the crucial regulator of BICD2, which played critical roles in NVB-induced mitotic spindle defects. Moreover, overexpression of FOXM1 and BICD2 significantly reversed mitotic arrest induced by DT-13/NVB co-treatment, and siRNAs against both genes greatly increased the combinational effects. In addition, in vivo study revealed that DT-13 combined with NVB significantly suppressed tumor growth in nude mice xenograft model, and downregulated the expression of FOXM1 and BICD2 in tumor tissues, which was consistent with in vitro study. In conclusion, DT-13 might provide a novel strategy for the chemosensitization of NVB in NSCLC therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • Forkhead Box Protein M1 / metabolism
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitosis / drug effects*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Saponins / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Spindle Apparatus / drug effects
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism
  • Vinblastine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vinblastine / pharmacology
  • Vinorelbine


  • BICD2 protein, human
  • FOXM1 protein, human
  • Forkhead Box Protein M1
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Saponins
  • ruscogenin-1-O-(glucopyranosyl-(1-2))(xylopyranosyl-(1-3))fucopyranoside
  • Vinblastine
  • Caspases
  • Vinorelbine