Expression of angiotensin II (Ang II), a key biological peptide in the renin-angiotensin system, is closely associated with the occurrence and development of cancer. Ang II binds two receptor subtypes, the Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R) and the AT2R, to mediate a series of biological effects. Telmisartan, a specific AT1R blocker, has been reported to have potential as an anticancer drug for treating renal cancer. In the present study, whether telmisartan had an effect on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell proliferation and migration was investigated. The Cell Counting kit-8 assay revealed that telmisartan significantly inhibited the growth of the NSCLC A549 cell line in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In a transwell assay, telmisartan significantly inhibited cellular invasion and migration. Furthermore, it was determined that the expression of the anti-apoptotic protein B-cell lymphoma was decreased, and that of the pro-apoptotic proteins caspase-3 and Bcl-associated X increased in the A549 cells treated with telmisartan. Additionally, levels of phosphorylated RAC serine/threonine-protein kinase (p-AKT), p-mechanistic target of rapamycin, p70-S6 kinase and cyclin D1 was decreased in the telmisartan-treated group. Therefore, the current study reveals that telmisartan-induced NSCLC apoptosis may be regulated via the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT signaling pathway, which indicates that it may be a potential novel drug for clinical NSCLC treatment.
Keywords: angiotensin II; angiotensin II receptor blockers; angiotensin II type 1 receptor; non-small cell lung cancer; phosphoinositide 3-kinase/RAC serine/threonine protein kinase; telmisartan.