Profilin potentiates chemotherapeutic agents mediated cell death via suppression of NF-κB and upregulation of p53

Adeel H. Zaidi, Nune Raviprakash, Raveendra B. Mokhamatam, Pankaj Gupta, Sunil K. Manna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The molecular mechanism by which Profilin acts as a tumor suppressor is still unclear. Several chemotherapeutic agents, used till date either have unfavorable side effects or acquired resistance in tumor cells. Our findings show that Profilin enhances cell death mediated by several chemotherapeutic-agents. The activation of NF-κB and its dependent genes, mediated by paclitaxel and vinblastine, was completely inhibited in Profilin overexpressing cells. This inhibition was due to the Profilin mediated attenuation of IκBα degradation, thereby preventing p65 nuclear translocation and low NF-κB DNA binding activity.Moreover, Profilin increases level of p53 in the presence of known inducers, such as doxorubicin, vinblastine, and benzofuran. This increased p53 level leads to enhanced cell death as indicated by activation of caspases 3, 8, 9, which results in cleavage of PARP.Furthermore, knocking down of p53 in Profilin overexpressing cells leads to decreased cell death. Ectopic expression of Profilin in HCT116 p53 knock out cells showed lesser cell death as compared to the HCT116 p53 wild type cells. For the first time, we provide evidences, which suggest that Profilin synergizes with chemotherapeutic drugs to induce tumor cell death by regulating NF-κB and p53. Thus, modulation of Profilin may be a useful strategy for effective combination therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-513
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Caspases
  • Cell death
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs
  • NF-κB
  • p53
  • Profilin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research


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