Purpose: Platinum-containing therapy is standard treatment for relapsed Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL). However, the efficacy of treatment is limited by drug resistance leading to relapse. Cisplatin resistance has been linked to impairments of the DNA damage response, and several DNA repair proteins have been identified as clients of the molecular chaperone Hsp90. Here, we investigated the combinatory treatment of cisplatin and the Hsp90 inhibitor, 17AAG, in DLBCL cells to evaluate if inhibition of Hsp90 could sensitize DLBCL cells to cisplatin treatment. Methods: Cell viability was assessed for cisplatin and 17AAG as monotherapies and for 25 different combinations in 7 DLBCL cell lines, where the Bliss Independence Model and the Combination Index were applied to assess their interaction. Induction of apoptosis and DNA damage response were evaluated by measuring Annexin V and γH2AX levels after 48 h of exposure. Results: 17AAG synergized with cisplatin in DLBCL cells as detected in both interaction assessment models, resulting in a lower viability after 48 h for the combination-treated cells compared to both vehicle and single drug-treated cells. The combination also induced a stronger apoptotic response and an increase in DNA damage in 17AAG, cisplatin- and combination-treated cells compared to vehicle-treated cells, with the effect of the combination generally being higher than compared to both single drugs. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that 17AAG sensitizes DLBCL cells to cisplatin treatment. This effect is correlated with increased apoptotic and DNA damage response, potentially mediated by downregulation of Hsp90 clients in DNA repair pathways. Thus, cisplatin resistance could plausibly be overcome by combining the treatment with an Hsp90 inhibiting drug.
Bibliographical note© 2022. The Author(s).
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
- DNA repair
- Drug combination