Exosome-Mediated Transfer of ALDH2 in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells Confers Increased Resistance to Paclitaxel Treatment


Discov Med. 2024 Jun;36(185):1210-1220. doi: 10.24976/Discov.Med.202436185.111.


BACKGROUND: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an aggressive and highly metastatic malignant tumor. Despite recent therapeutic advances, resistance to Taxol (the generic name of paclitaxel) therapy remains a major challenge in clinical management. Therefore, it is imperative to explore the potential mechanisms of paclitaxel resistance in NPC. This study aimed to investigate the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) in NPC cells and its critical role in paclitaxel resistance.

METHODS: Paclitaxel-resistant cell line CNE1/Taxol (CNE1-TR), a drug-resistant cell line, was established by exposing the CNE1 nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line to progressively increasing concentrations of paclitaxel. Furthermore, we investigated the role of ALDH2 in paclitaxel resistance and the function of exosomes using cell culture, Western blotting, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), and nanoparticle tracking analysis.

RESULTS: The results showed that in the presence of paclitaxel, the CNE1-TR cells manifested higher survival rate and half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value compared to the parental cell line, indicating strong resistance to paclitaxel. CNE1-TR cells had significantly upregulated mRNA and protein levels of ALDH2. In addition, exosome analysis showed that CNE1-TR cells were able to deliver ALDH2 via exosomes, increasing paclitaxel resistance in the recipient cells. We observed that the ALDH2 expression levels and paclitaxel resistance in CNE1-TR cells were effectively reduced by blocking the release of exosomes.

CONCLUSION: ALDH2 is not only a key molecular marker indicative of therapeutic efficacy, but also a potential therapeutic target for developing novel anticancer strategies. By blocking the exosomal transport of ALDH2 or directly inhibiting its activity, it may be possible to overcome paclitaxel resistance, thus improving the success rate of clinical treatment.

PMID:38926107 | DOI:10.24976/Discov.Med.202436185.111