• pyruvate kinase M2;
  • chemoresistance;
  • cisplatin;
  • gastric cancer


Resistance to anticancer drugs is a major obstacle preventing effective treatment of disseminated cancers. Understanding the molecular basis to chemoresistance is likely to provide better treatment. Cell lines resistant to cisplatin or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) were established from human gastric carcinoma cell lines SNU-638 and SNU-620. Comparative proteomics involving 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and matrix-associated laser desorption ionization-mass spectroscopy (MALDI-MS) was performed on protein extracts from these parental and drug-resistant derivative lines to screen drug resistance-related proteins. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PK-M2) was identified as a protein showing lower expression in cisplatin-resistant cells compared to parental cells. Consistent with this finding, PK-M2 activity was also lower in cisplatin-resistant cells. Suppression of PK-M2 expression by antisense oligonucleotide resulted in acquired cisplatin resistance in SNU-638 cells. Furthermore, PK-M2 activity in 11 individual human gastric carcinoma cell lines positively correlated with cisplatin sensitivity. Taken together, PK-M2 protein and activity levels were lower in cisplatin-resistant human gastric carcinoma cell lines compared to their parental cell lines. Furthermore, suppression of PK-M2 expression using antisense oligonucleotides increased cisplatin resistance. These data clearly link PK-M2 and cisplatin resistance mechanisms. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.