Background: Radiation therapy is one of the main treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. This study explored the influence of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 6 (MAP2K6) on nasopharyngeal carcinoma radiotherapy sensitivity and its possible mechanism.
Methods: Human NPC sensitivity and resistant cell line CNE multicellular spheroids (MCS) were constructed with three dimensional cell culture methods. Cell counting using blood cell counter was employed to detect the radio-sensitivity of CNE MCS before and after blocking MAP2K6 function; the MAP2K6 expression of CNE MCS and cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry.
Results: The expression of MAP2K6 increased by elevation of irradiation dose. 0Gy: 12.8 ± 1.40.20, 0.5Gy: 17.6 ± 2.5; 1.0Gy: 22.9 ± 2.3; 1.5Gy: 28.3 ± 2.8; 2.0Gy: 33.2 ± 2.9. There was significantly difference in between blocking group and unblocking group (2Gy: 81% vs. 65.8%; 4Gy: 69.2% vs. 48.3%; 6Gy: 35.6% vs. 20.4%; 8Gy: 10.3% vs. 6.8 %.). The apoptosis rate did not significantly increase after 2 Gy irradiation (P>0.05) before being blocked. The CNE cell significantly upregulated under the 2 Gy irradiation when the expression MAP2K6 was blocked (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The high expression of MAP2K6 was associated with radio resistance in human NPC CNE cells. MAP2K6 may a potential biomarker of NPC radio sensitivity. Further research was required.