We and others have previously shown that the canonical nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) pathway is essential to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) tumor development and angiogenesis, suggesting that the NF-κB pathway, including its upstream modulators and downstream effectors, are potential therapeutic targets for NPC. The inhibitor of upstream IκB kinase (IKK), PS1145, is a small molecule which can specifically inhibit the IκB phosphorylation and degradation and the subsequent nuclear translocation of NF-κB. The present study aims to determine the anti-tumor activity of PS1145 on NPC. Our results showed that PS1145 significantly inhibited the growth of tumorigenic NPC cell lines, but not in the normal nasopharyngeal epithelial cell line. Results in the in vivo study showed that low concentration of PS1145 (3 mg/kg) could significantly suppress the subcutaneous tumor formation in the nude mice bearing NPC xenografts. Apparent adverse effects were not observed in the animal study. Drug resistance against PS1145 seems to be associated with the increased levels of active NF-kB p65 and change of expression levels of kruppel-like factor 4. As can be seen, PS1145 appears to be a safe agent for animal experiments and its effects are tumor-specific, and the proteins associated with the drug resistance of PS1145 are implied.
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