Dendrimer-Based Selective Proteostasis-Inhibition Strategy to Control NSCLC Growth and Progression

Ajit Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elevated valosin containing protein (VCP/p97) levels promote the progression of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Although many VCP inhibitors are available, most of these therapeutic compounds have low specificity for targeted tumor cell delivery. Hence, the primary aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro efficacy of dendrimer-encapsulated potent VCP-inhibitor drug in controlling non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) progression. The VCP inhibitor(s) (either in their pure form or encapsulated in generation-4 PAMAM-dendrimer with hydroxyl surface) were tested for their in vitro efficacy in modulating H1299 (NSCLC cells) proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis and cell cycle progression. Our results show that VCP inhibition by DBeQ was significantly more potent than NMS-873 as evident by decreased cell proliferation (p<0.0001, MTT-assay) and migration (p<0.05; scratch-assay), and increased apoptosis (p<0.05; caspase-3/7-assay) as compared to untreated control cells. Next, we found that dendrimer-encapsulated DBeQ (DDNDBeQ) treatment increased ubiquitinated-protein accumulation in soluble protein-fraction (immunoblotting) of H1299 cells as compared to DDN-control, implying the effectiveness of DBeQ in proteostasis-inhibition. We verified by immunostaining that DDNDBeQ treatment increases accumulation of ubiquitinated-proteins that co-localizes with an ER-marker, KDEL. We observed that proteostasis-inhibition with DDNDBeQ, significantly decreased cell migration rate (scratch-assay and transwell-invasion) as compared to the control-DDN treatment (p<0.05). Moreover, DDNDBeQ treatment showed a significant decrease in cell proliferation (p<0.01, MTT-assay) and increased caspase-3/7 mediated apoptotic cell death (p<0.05) as compared to DDN-control. This was further verified by cell cycle analysis (propidium-iodide-staining) that demonstrated significant cell cycle arrest in the G2/M-phase (p<0.001) by DDNDBeQ treatment as compared to control-DDN. Moreover, we confirmed by clonogenic-assay that DDNDBeQ treatment significantly (p<0.001) inhibits H1299 colony-formation as compared to control/DDN. Overall, encapsulation of potent VCP-inhibitor DBeQ into a dendrimer allows selective VCP-mediated proteostasis-inhibition for controlling NSCLC-tumor growth and progression to allow tumor-targeted sustained drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
StatePublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Dendrimer-Based Selective Proteostasis-Inhibition Strategy to Control NSCLC Growth and Progression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this