Simultaneous silencing of VEGF and KSP by siRNA cocktail inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells
BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is involved in the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors and kinesin spindle protein (KSP) plays a critical role in mitosis involving in cell proliferation. Simultaneous silencing of VEGF and KSP, an attractive and viable approach in cancer, leads on restricting cancer progression. The purpose of this study is to examine the therapeutic potential of dual gene targeted siRNA cocktail on human hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells. RESULTS: The predesigned siRNAs could inhibit VEGF and KSP at mRNA level. siRNA cocktail showed a further downregulation on KSP mRNA and protein levels compared to KSP-siRNA or VEGF-siRNA, but not on VEGF expression. It also exhibited greater suppression on cell proliferation as well as cell migration or invasion capabilities and induction of apoptosis in Hep3B cells than single siRNA simultaneously. This could be explained by the significant downregulation of Cyclin D1, Bcl-2 and Survivin. However, no sigificant difference in the mRNA and protein levels of ANG2, involving inhibition of angiogenesis was found in HUVECs cultured with supernatant of Hep3B cells treated with siRNA cocktail, compared to that of VEGF-siRNA. CONCLUSION: Silencing of VEGF and KSP plays a key role in inhibiting cell proliferation, migration, invasion and inducing apoptosis of Hep3B cells. Simultaneous silencing of VEGF and KSP using siRNA cocktail yields promising results for eradicating hepatocellular carcinoma cells, a new direction for liver cancer treatment.