A Smac mimetic augments the response of urothelial cancer cells to gemcitabine and cisplatin

Eugene K. Lee, G. Goodwin Jinesh, Naomi M. Laing, Woonyoung Choi, David J. McConkey, Ashish M. Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cisplatin-based chemotherapy is considered the gold standard for patients with advanced bladder cancer. However, despite initial response, many patients will relapse; therefore, novel salvage treatment strategies are desperately needed. Herein, we studied a mechanism based treatment combination using a Smac mimetic with standard chemotherapy. Using a panel of 10 urothelial cancer cell lines, we exposed them to a combination of gemcitabine, cisplatin and a Smac mimetic. Sensitivity was determined using a DNA fragmentation assay. We determined that three cell lines (UMUC-3, UMUC-13 and RT4v6) were considered sensitive to the combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin and an additional three cell lines were sensitized to gemcitabine and cisplatin with the addition of the Smac mimetic (UMUC-6, UMUC-12 and UMUC-18). We next explored the constitutive expression of selected members of the IAP family (XIAP, cIAP-1, cIAP-2, Survivin), the BCL family (BCL-2, BCLXL and BAX) and Smac using gene expression profiling and western blotting. We determined that RNA and protein expression of SMAC , selected members of the IAP family and members of the BCL family did not correlate to drug sensitivity. Lastly, using an in vivo mouse model, we determined that treatment with the Smac mimetic in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin resulted in increased apoptosis, decreased microvessel density and decreased cellular proliferation. This novel treatment strategy may be effective in patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma and warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-822
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cisplatin
  • Gemcitabine
  • SMAC mimetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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