Synergistic effect of COX-2 inhibitor on paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in the human ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR-3

Hee Jung Kim, Ga Won Yim, Eun Ji Nam, Young Tae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Celecoxib, a highly selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, regulates apoptosis of several types of human cancer cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether celecoxib in combination with paclitaxel modulates apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells, and to identify the signal pathway by which celecoxib mediates apoptosis. Materials and Methods OVCAR-3 cells were exposed to paclitaxel (20 μM) in the absence or presence of celecoxib (10 μM). Cell viability was evaluated using a Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Apoptosis was evaluated using Annexin-V/7-aminoactinomycin D staining and a cellular DNA fragmentation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Caspase-3, -9, and cleavage of poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) were determined by western blotting. Expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Akt activation were assessed using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. Results Celecoxib enhanced paclitaxel-induced growth inhibition of OVCAR-3 cells. Celecoxib significantly increased paclitaxel-induced apoptosis of OVCAR-3 cells. Pretreatment with celecoxib also increased activation of caspase-9, -3 and cleaved PARP following paclitaxel-treatment. Exposure of OVCAR-3 cells to celecoxib in combination with paclitaxel resulted in downregulation of NF-κB activation and VEGF expression. Furthermore, combining celecoxib and paclitaxel inhibited phosphorylation of Akt. Conclusion OVCAR-3 cells were sensitized to paclitaxel-induced apoptosis by celecoxib through downregulation of NF-κB and Akt activation, suggesting that celecoxib may work synergistically with paclitaxel to inhibit different targets and ultimately produce anticancer effects. Combining celecoxib with paclitaxel may prove beneficial in the clinical treatment of ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Synergistic effect of COX-2 inhibitor on paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in the human ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR-3'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this