The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs has proved of great interest in the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer, although their precise mechanisms of action remain unclear. Overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and subsequent prostaglandin production promote metastasis and have been shown to increase cell motility in vitro. Objective: We have aimed to elucidate whether specific inhibition of COX-2 with NS-398 (NS-398 is a selective inhibitor of COX-2) would be able to inhibit motility of colorectal cancer cells and whether this was modulated through epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) transactivation. Materials and Methods: A transwell filter assay was used to study cell motility. Expression of COX-2, EGFR phosphorylation and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) receptors were assessed by Western blot analysis and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. PGE2 concentrations after NS-398 treatment were estimated by enzyme immunoassay. Results: Treatment with NS-398 significantly reduced PGE2 levels and reduced cell migration in the HT29 and HCA7 colorectal carcinoma cell lines and this effect was rescued by addition of PGE2. Furthermore, specific inhibition of COX-2 with NS-398 reduced EGFR phosphorylation in colorectal cancer cells. Direct inhibition of EGFR activity with AG1478 reduced PGE 2-stimulated motility, clearly demonstrating that PGE2 acts via the EGFR-signalling pathway. The novel combination of NS-398 and AG1478 dramatically reduced migration of colorectal cancer cells. Conclusion: The data presented indicate that the use of NS-398 in chemoprevention and adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer may work in part, through the inhibition of cell motility. Furthermore, our data suggest that the combined use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with EGFR antagonists could be explored further for future use in the clinic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology