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Parkin enhances sensitivity of paclitaxel to nasopharyngeal carcinoma by activating BNIP3/NIX-mediated mitochondrial autophagy

1 Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Affiliated Hangzhou First People's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
2 Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Jiange People's Hospital, Jiange, Sichuan, China

Correspondence Address:
Haifeng Ni,
Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Affiliated Hangzhou First People's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, No. 261 Huan Sha Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjop.CJOP-D-23-00076

As a malignant head and neck cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has high morbidity. Parkin expression has been reported to be reduced in NPC tissues and its upregulation could enhance paclitaxel-resistant cell cycle arrest. This study was performed to explore the possible mechanism of Parkin related to B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2)/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa interacting protein 3 (BNIP3)/BNIP3-like (NIX)-mediated mitochondrial autophagy in NPC cells. Initially, after Parkin overexpression or silencing, cell viability and proliferation were evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase and colony formation assays. JC-1 staining was used to assess the mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, the levels of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial ROS were detected using DCFH-DA staining and mitochondrial ROS (MitoSOX) red staining. The expression of proteins was measured using Western blot. Results showed that Parkin overexpression inhibited, whereas Parkin knockdown promoted the proliferation of paclitaxel-treated NPC cells. Besides, Parkin overexpression induced, whereas Parkin knockdown inhibited mitochondrial apoptosis in paclitaxel-treated NPC cells, as evidenced by the changes of Cytochrome C (mitochondria), Cytochrome C (cytoplasm), BAK, and Bcl-2 expression. Moreover, the levels of ROS, mitochondrial membrane potential, and LC3II/LC3I in paclitaxel-treated C666-1 cells were hugely elevated by Parkin overexpression and were all declined by Parkin knockdown in CNE-3 cells. Furthermore, Parkin upregulation activated, whereas Parkin downregulation inactivated BNIP3/NIX signaling. Further, BNIP3 silencing or overexpression reversed the impacts of Parkin upregulation or downregulation on the proliferation and mitochondrial apoptosis of paclitaxel-treated NPC cells. Particularly, Mdivi-1 (mitophagy inhibitor) or rapamycin (an activator of autophagy) exerted the same effects on NPC cells as BNIP3 silencing or overexpression, respectively. Collectively, Parkin overexpression activated BNIP3/NIX-mediated mitochondrial autophagy to enhance sensitivity to paclitaxel in NPC.

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