Apoptosis is responsible for the cytotoxic effects of anti-GD2 ganglioside antibodies and aurora A kinase inhibitors on human neuroblastoma cells
In recent years, immunotherapy has been identified as an effective treatment method for high-risk neuroblastoma. A previous study demonstrated that an anti-GD2 ganglioside (GD2) mouse 14G2a monoclonal antibody (mAb) combined with a small molecule, i.e., an aurora A kinase inhibitor (MK-5108), significantly increased cytotoxicity against human neuroblastoma cells, as compared to monotherapy. This study aimed to demonstrate the mechanism of neuroblastoma cell death in vitro following the addition of an anti-GD2 human-mouse chimeric ch14.18/CHO mAb (presently used in clinics) and two aurora A inhibitors (MK-5108 and MK-8745). The effects of the aforementioned agents on neuroblastoma cells were determined by measuring the level of ATP, the level of apoptotic and necroptotic markers, and the activity of caspase 3/7. The results revealed that the ch14.18/CHO mAb decreased cellular ATP levels in the IMR-32 and CHP-134 neuroblastoma cell lines, similarly to the 14G2a mAb. Regarding ch14.18/CHO mAb treated IMR-32 cells, the observed cytotoxic effect was concomitant with induced caspase 3 cleavage, which indicated the induction of apoptosis in IMR-32 cells, but not in CHP-134 cells. Furthermore, the MK-5108 inhibitor induced apoptosis, as indicated by the increased cleavage of caspase 3 and increased activity of caspase 3/7. However, the presence of necroptosis was ruled out in MK-5108-treated IMR-32 and CHP-134 cells. In summary, the effects of the combination of ch14.18/CHO mAb and aurora A kinase inhibitors (MK-5108 and MK-8745) were shown to enhance apoptosis in IMR-32 cells compared to when used individually.
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