Bcl-2/Bcl-XL inhibitor ABT-737 sensitizes pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to paclitaxel-induced cell death

Shuya Kasai, Takuya Sasaki, Ayano Watanabe, Masao Nishiya, Shinji Yasuhira, Masahiko Shibazaki, Chihaya Maesawa

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is an aggressive malignant disease that is resistant to various chemotherapeutic agents and commonly relapses. Efficient elimination of metastasized PDA is critical for a positive post-surgical treatment outcome. The present study analyzed the effect of the B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2)/B-cell lymphoma extra-large (Bcl-xL) inhibitor, ABT-737, on paclitaxel-induced PDA cell death. A total of 8 PDA cell lines were subjected to immunoblotting to compare the expression of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and other factors associated with taxane resistance, including myeloid cell leukemia 1 and βIII-tubulin (TUBB3). The viability of PDA cells was analyzed following treatment with paclitaxel alone or a combination treatment with ABT-737 and paclitaxel. Treatment with the ABT-737/paclitaxel combina-tion induced PDA cell death at a lower concentration of paclitaxel compared with paclitaxel alone. In addition, the viable cell population at the saturation point of paclitaxel was also decreased by co-treatment with ABT-737. ABT-737 lowered the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) by >2-fold in PDA cells with high Bcl-2/Bcl-xL expression, but not in PDA cells with low Bcl-2/Bcl-xL expression and high TUBB3 expression. Knockdown of Bcl-xL lowered the IC50 of paclitaxel, but knockdown of TUBB3 did not. ABT-737 sensitized PDA to paclitaxel-induced cell death, and Bcl-xL expression was a key determinant of its sensitivity. ABT-737 is potential candidate for combination chemotherapy of PDA with high Bcl-xL expression levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)903-908
    Number of pages6
    JournalOncology Letters
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • ABT-737
    • B-cell extra-large
    • B-cell lymphoma-2
    • Paclitaxel
    • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research


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