Our previous studies have shown that benzyl isothiocyante (BITC) suppresses pancreatic cancer growth by inducing apoptosis but the molecular mechanism was unclear. In the present study we hypothesized the involvement of PI3K/AKT/FOXO pathway in BITC induced apoptosis.
Mice were implanted BxPC-3 tumor xenografts and orally gavaged with 12μmol BITC. Plasma and tumor BITC concentration was estimated by LC/MS/MS. BxPC-3 and PanC-1 cells were used to elucidate PI3K/AKT/FOXO pathway. EMSA, DNA binding activity, immunofluorescence and gene transfection were used to delineate the mechanism.
BITC-treated mice showed 43% less tumor growth as compared to control mice and correlated well with the therapeutic concentrations of 6.5μM BITC achieved in plasma and 7.5μmol/g BITC in tumor tissue. Western blot analyses and immunohistochemistry revealed that tumors from BITC-treated mice demonstrated reduced phosphorylation of PI3K, AKT, PDK1, mTOR, FOXO1, FOXO3a and increased apoptosis. Complementing our in vivo results, we made similar observations in a dose and time-dependent manner in BITC-treated BxPC-3 and Panc-1 cells. Binding of FOXO1 with 14-3-3 proteins was also reduced drastically by BITC treatment indicating nuclear retention of FOXO1 and this observation was further confirmed with EMSA, immunofluorescence, DNA binding and up regulation of FOXO-responsive proteins Bim, p27 and p21 in BxPC-3 cells. Overexpression of AKT by transient transfection significantly blocked the modulation of FOXO proteins and protected the cells from BITC mediated apoptosis and growth suppression.
Our results provide convincing evidence on the involvement of PI3K/AKT/FOXO pathway in BITC mediated pancreatic tumor growth suppression.
Benzyl isothiocyanate; AKT; FOXO; Pancreatic cancer; chemoprevention
In this study we show that diindolylmethane (DIM) induces autophagy in ovarian cancer cells by regulating endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and AMPK. Treatment of SKOV-3, OVCAR-3 and TOV-21G ovarian cancer cells with varying concentrations of DIM for 24 hours resulted in a concentration dependent induction of autophagy as measured by flowcytometry. Electron microscopy confirmed the presence of autophagosomes in DIM treated cells. Western blot analysis showed that DIM treatment increased the expression of LC3B, a hall mark of autophagy as well as p62 and Atg 12 proteins that are accumulated during autophagy. Autophagy inhibitors bafilomycin or chloroquine inhibited DIM induced autophagy. Furthermore, DIM treatment significantly increased the expression of ER stress regulators such as Grp78, IRE1 and GADD153. Cycloheximide or ER stress inhibitor mithramycin not only blocked ER stress proteins that were activated by DIM but also autophagy. Silencing Grp78 or GADD 153 significantly blocked the expression of LC3B and p62 indicating that autophagy in our model is mediated by ER stress. Knocking out LC3B inhibited DIM induced autophagy. DIM treatment increased the cytosolic calcium levels which lead to the activation of AMPK in our model. Chelating cytosolic calcium with BAPT-AM abrogated not only the phosphorylation of AMPK but also prevented DIM induced autophagy. Inhibiting AMPK by a chemical inhibitor or siRNA blocked the induction of LC3B or p62, indicating that DIM mediated autophagy requires activation of AMPK. Oral administration of DIM significantly suppressed SKOV-3 tumor xenografts in nude mice. Activation of ER stress and autophagy were observed in the tumors of DIM treated mice. Taken together, these results suggest that induction of autophagy by DIM in ovarian cancer cells was associated with ER stress and AMPK activation.
Diindolylmethane; ER stress; autophagy; apoptosis
NF-κB/p65 is constitutively activated in pancreatic cancers where it plays critical role in the transcriptional activation of multiple cell survival genes. We have previously demonstrated the apoptosis-inducing effects of BITC in pancreatic cancer cells. We hypothesized that inhibition of NF-κB/p65 could be the mechanism of BITC-induced apoptosis. Therefore, the effect of BITC on NF-κB/p65 was evaluated in BxPC-3, Capan-2 and normal HPDE-6 cells by western blotting, transcriptional and DNA-binding activity and by immunohistochemistry in the xenografted tumors. Our results reveal a remarkable decrease in the phosphorylation of NF-κB/p65 at Ser536 in both BxPC-3 and Capan-2 cells by BITC treatment. The expression of NF-kB/p65 was down-regulated significantly in BxPC-3 cells whereas it remained unchanged in Capan-2 cells. BITC treatment caused significant decrease in NF-κB transcriptional and DNA-binding activity in both BxPC-3 and Capan-2 cells. A drastic decrease was observed in the expression and reporter activity of cyclin D1 in both the cell lines. Moreover, BITC also caused significant decrease in the expression and activity of HDAC1 and HDAC3 in BxPC-3 and HDAC3 in Capan-2 cells. Overexpression of HDAC1 or HDAC3 abrogated the effects of BITC. BITC treatment did not caused any change in HDAC expression in normal HPDE-6 cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of tumors from BITC-treated mice showed significantly reduced staining for NF-kB, cyclin D1, HDAC-1/3, compared to control. Our results suggest that inhibition of HDAC1/3 by BITC as a plausible mechanism of NF-κB inactivation resulting in the in vitro and in vivo growth suppression of pancreatic cancer cells.
Benzyl isothiocyanate; NF-kB; HDAC-3; HDAC-1; Cyclin D1; pancreatic cancer chemoprevention
Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), a compound found in cruciferous vegetables, has been reported to have anticancer properties, but the mechanism whereby it inhibits growth of human pancreatic cancer cells is incompletely understood.
Human pancreatic cancer cells (BxPC-3, AsPC-1, Capan-2, MiaPaCa-2, and Panc-1) and immortalized human pancreatic cells (HPDE-6) were treated with vehicle or with BITC at 5–40 μM, cell survival was evaluated by sulforhodamine B assay, and apoptosis by caspase-3 and poly-ADP ribose polymerase cleavage or by a commercial assay for cell death. Total and activated signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) protein expression in the cells were examined by western blotting, STAT-3 mRNA levels by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction, and STAT-3 DNA-binding and transcriptional activity by commercially available binding and reporter assays. The effects of BITC treatment on tumor growth, apoptosis, and STAT-3 protein expression in vivo were studied in xenografts of BxPC-3 pancreatic tumor cells in athymic nude mice. All statistical tests were two-sided.
BITC treatment reduced cell survival and induced apoptosis in BxPC-3, AsPC-1, Capan-2, and MiaPaCa-2 cells, and to a much lesser extent in Panc-1 cells, but not in HPDE-6 cells. It also reduced levels of activated and total STAT-3 protein, and as a result, STAT-3 DNA-binding and transcriptional activities. Overexpression of STAT-3 in BxPC-3 cells inhibited BITC-induced apoptosis and restored STAT-3 activity. In mice that were fed BITC (60 μmol/wk, five mice, 10 tumors per group), growth of BxPC-3 pancreatic tumor xenografts was suppressed compared with control mice (at 6 weeks, mean tumor volume of control vs BITC-treated mice = 334 vs 172 mm3, difference =162 mm3, 95% confidence interval = 118 to 204 mm3; P = .008) and tumors had increased apoptosis and reduced STAT-3 protein expression.
BITC induces apoptosis in some types of pancreatic cancer cells by inhibiting the STAT-3 signaling pathway.
Breast tumor metastasis is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Breast tumor cells frequently metastasize to brain and initiate severe therapeutic complications. The chances of brain metastasis are further elevated in patients with HER2 overexpression. In the current study, we evaluated the anti-metastatic effects of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in a novel murine model of breast tumor metastasis. The MDA-MB-231-BR (BR-brain seeking) breast tumor cells stably transfected with luciferase were injected into the left ventricle of mouse heart and the migration of cells to brain was monitored using a non-invasive IVIS bio-luminescent imaging system. In order to study the efficacy of PEITC in preventing the number of tumor cells migrating to brain, mice were given 10 µmol PEITC by oral gavage for ten days prior to intra-cardiac injection of tumor cells labeled with quantum dots. To evaluate the tumor growth suppressive effects, 10 µmol PEITC was given to mice every day starting 14th day after intra-cardiac cell injection. Based on the presence of quantum dots in the brain section of control and treated mice, our results reveal that PEITC significantly prevented the metastasis of breast cancer cells to brain. Our results demonstrate that the growth of metastatic brain tumors in PEITC treated mice was about 50% less than that of control. According to Kaplan Meir’s curve, median survival of tumor bearing mice treated with PEITC was prolonged by 20.5%. Furthermore as compared to controls, we observed reduced HER2, EGFR and VEGF expression in the brain sections of PEITC treated mice. To the best of our knowledge, our study for the first time demonstrates the anti-metastatic effects of PEITC in vivo in a novel breast tumor metastasis model and provides the rationale for further clinical investigation.
Capsaicin is a major biologically active ingredient of chili peppers. Extensive studies indicate that capsaicin is a cancer-suppressing agent via blocking the activities of several signal transduction pathways including nuclear factor-kappaB, activator protein-1 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. However, there is little study on the effect of capsaicin on pancreatic carcinogenesis. In the present study, the effect of capsaicin on pancreatitis and pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) was determined in a mutant Kras-driven and caerulein-induced pancreatitis-associated carcinogenesis in LSL-KrasG12D/Pdx1-Cre mice. Forty-five LSL-KrasG12D/Pdx1-Cre mice and 10 wild-type mice were subjected to one dose of caerulein (250 μg/kg body wt, intraperitoneally) at age 4 weeks to induce and synchronize the development of chronic pancreatitis and PanIN lesions. One week after caerulein induction, animals were randomly distributed into three groups and fed with either AIN-76A diet, AIN-76A diet containing 10 p.p.m. capsaicin or 20 p.p.m. capsaicin for a total of 8 weeks. The results showed that capsaicin significantly reduced the severity of chronic pancreatitis, as determined by evaluating the loss of acini, inflammatory cell infiltration and stromal fibrosis. PanIN formation was frequently observed in the LSL-KrasG12D/Pdx1-Cre mice. The progression of PanIN-1 to high-grade PanIN-2 and -3 were significantly inhibited by capsaicin. Further immunochemical studies revealed that treatment with 10 and 20 p.p.m. capsaicin significantly reduced proliferating cell nuclear antigen-labeled cell proliferation and suppressed phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun as well blocked Hedgehog/GLI pathway activation. These results indicate that capsaicin could be a promising agent for the chemoprevention of pancreatic carcinogenesis, possibly via inhibiting pancreatitis and mutant Kras-led ERK activation.
The title compound, C8H17O2PS2, displays a distorted tetrahedral geometry around the P atom. The P atom is part of a six-membered ring with an isopropyl group in the equatorial position. The molecules are linked by S—H⋯S hydrogen bonds in the crystal packing.
CpG-ODNs activate various immune cell subsets and induce the production of numerous cytokines. To determine whether a CpG-ODN-activated innate immune system, without the adaptive immune system, was capable of protecting against cancer cell growth, NOD/SCID mice, which do not have T or B cell function but have a functional innate immune system, were used as a model system. NOD/SCID mice were injected subcutaneously with human prostate cancer cells followed by subcutaneous injection of incremental doses of CpG-ODNs. CpG-ODNs displayed a dose-related antitumoral effect leading to the prevention of tumor growth. These results indicate that ODNs are capable of activating the innate immune system and destroying human cancer cells in the absence of the adaptive immune system.
CpG-ODNs; innate immune system; cancer; NOD-SCID mice
HER2 is an oncogene, expression of which leads to poor prognosis in 30% of breast cancer patients. Although trastuzumab is apparently an effective therapy against HER2-positive tumors, its systemic toxicity and resistance in the majority of patients restricts its applicability. In this study we evaluated the effects of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in HER2-positive breast cancer cells.
MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells stably transfected with HER2 (high HER2 (HH)) were used in this study. The effect of PEITC was evaluated using cytotoxicity and apoptosis assay in these syngeneic cells. Western blotting was used to delineate HER2 signaling. SCID/NOD mice were implanted with MDA-MB-231 (HH) xenografts.
Our results show that treatment of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells with varying concentrations of PEITC for 24 h extensively reduced the survival of the cells with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 8 μM in MDA-MB-231 and 14 μM in MCF-7 cells. PEITC treatment substantially decreased the expression of HER2, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) at Tyr-705. The expression of BCL-2-associated × (BAX) and BIM proteins were increased, whereas the levels of B cell lymphoma-extra large (BCL-XL) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) were significantly decreased in both the cell lines in response to PEITC treatment. Substantial cleavage of caspase 3 and poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) were associated with PEITC-mediated apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. Notably, transient silencing of HER2 decreased and overexpressing HER2 increased the effects of PEITC. Furthermore, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial depolarization and apoptosis by PEITC treatment were much higher in breast cancer cells expressing higher levels of HER2 (HH) as compared to parent cell lines. The IC50 of PEITC following 24 h of treatment was reduced remarkably to 5 μM in MDA-MB-231 (HH) and 4 μM in MCF-7 (HH) cells, stably overexpressing HER2. Oral administration of 12 μM PEITC significantly suppressed the growth of breast tumor xenografts in SCID/NOD mice. In agreement with our in vitro results, tumors from PEITC-treated mice demonstrated reduced HER2, EGFR and STAT3 expression and increased apoptosis as revealed by cleavage of caspase 3 and PARP. In addition our results show that PEITC can enhance the efficacy of doxorubicin.
Our results show a unique specificity of PEITC in inducing apoptosis in HER2-expressing tumor cells in vitro and in vivo and enhancing the effects of doxorubicin. This unique specificity of PEITC offers promise to a subset of breast cancer patients overexpressing HER2.
apoptosis; doxorubicin; EGFR; ERBB2/HER2; in vivo; mitochondria; STAT3
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is activated in majority of ovarian tumors and confers resistance to cisplatin treatment in patients with ovarian cancer. We have reported previously that diindolylmethane (DIM) inhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells. However, to date the exact mechanism by which DIM induces growth suppressive effects has not been clear. In this report the mode of action of DIM is investigated.
Six human ovarian cancer cell lines and an ovarian tumor xenograft animal model were used to study the effect of diindolylmethane alone or in combination with cisplatin.
Diindolylmethane treatment induced apoptosis in all six ovarian cancer cell lines. Phosphorylation of STAT3 at Tyr-705 and Ser-727 was reduced by DIM in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, diindolylmethane treatment inhibited nuclear translocation, DNA binding, and transcriptional activity of STAT3. Interleukin (IL)-6-induced phosphorylation of STAT3 at Tyr-705 was significantly blocked by DIM. Overexpression of STAT3 by gene transfection blocked DIM-induced apoptosis. In addition, DIM treatment reduced the levels of IL-6 in ovarian cancer cells and in the tumors. DIM treatment also inhibited cell invasion and angiogenesis by suppressing hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF). Importantly, diindolylmethane treatment potentiated the effects of cisplatin in SKOV-3 cells by targeting STAT3. Oral administration of 3 mg diindolylmethane per day and subsequent administration of cisplatin substantially inhibited in vivo tumor growth. Western blotting analysis of tumor lysates indicated increased apoptosis and reduced STAT3 activation.
These findings provide a rationale for further clinical investigation of DIM alone or in combination for chemoprevention and/or chemotherapy of ovarian cancer.
apoptosis; angiogenesis; cisplatin; diindolylmethane; STAT3
We evaluated the mechanism of capsaicin-mediated ROS generation in pancreatic cancer cells. The generation of ROS was about 4–6 fold more as compared to control and as early as 1 h after capsaicin treatment in BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 cells but not in normal HPDE-6 cells. The generation of ROS was inhibited by catalase and EUK-134. To delineate the mechanism of ROS generation, enzymatic activities of mitochondrial complex-I and complex-III were determined in the pure mitochondria. Our results shows that capsaicin inhibits about 2.5–9% and 5–20% of complex-I activity and 8–75% of complex-III activity in BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 cells respectively, which was attenuable by SOD, catalase and EUK-134. On the other hand, capsaicin treatment failed to inhibit complex-I or complex-III activities in normal HPDE-6 cells. The ATP levels were drastically suppressed by capsaicin treatment in both BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 cells and attenuated by catalase or EUK-134. Oxidation of mitochondria-specific cardiolipin was substantially higher in capsaicin treated cells. BxPC-3 derived ρ0 cells, which lack mitochondrial DNA, were completely resistant to capsaicin mediated ROS generation and apoptosis. Our results reveal that the release of cytochrome c and cleavage of both caspase-9 and caspase-3 due to disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential were significantly blocked by catalase and EUK-134 in BxPC-3 cells. Our results further demonstrate that capsaicin treatment not only inhibit the enzymatic activity and expression of SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase but also reduce glutathione level. Over-expression of catalase by transient transfection protected the cells from capsaicin-mediated ROS generation and apoptosis. Furthermore, tumors from mice orally fed with 2.5 mg/kg capsaicin show decreased SOD activity and an increase in GSSG/GSH levels as compared to controls. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of mitochondrial complex-I and III in capsaicin-mediated ROS generation and decrease in antioxidant levels resulting in severe mitochondrial damage leading to apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells.
The aim of this study was to identify a phenolic prodrug compound that is minimally metabolized by rat liver microsomes, but yet could form quinone reactive intermediates in melanoma cells as a result of its bioactivation by tyrosinase. In current work, we investigated 24 phenolic compounds for their metabolism by tyrosinase, rat liver microsomes and their toxicity towards murine B16-F0 and human SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells. A linear correlation was found between toxicities of phenolic analogs towards SK-MEL-28 and B16-F0 melanoma cells, suggesting similar mechanisms of toxicity in both cell lines. 4-HEB was identified as the lead compound. 4-HEB (IC50 48h, 75 μM) showed selective toxicity towards five melanocytic melanoma cell lines SK-MEL-28, SK-MEL-5, MeWo, B16-F0 and B16-F10, which express functional tyrosinase, compared to four non-melanoma cells lines SW-620, Saos-2, PC3 and BJ cells and two amelanotic SK-MEL-24, C32 cells, which do not express functional tyrosinase. 4-HEB caused significant intracellular GSH depletion, ROS formation, and showed significantly less toxicity to tyrosinase specific shRNA transfected SK-MEL-28 cells. Our findings suggest that presence of a phenolic group in 4-HEB is critical for its selective toxicity towards melanoma cells.
4-hydroxyanisole; tyrosinase; melanoma; B16-F0; SK-MEL-28; ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
In our previous studies, we have shown that benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) inhibits the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. In the present study, we demonstrate the activation of all the three (MAPK) family members [extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and P38] in response to BITC treatment. Exposure of Capan-2 cells with varying concentrations of BITC for 24 h resulted in the phosphorylation (activation) of ERK at Thr202/Tyr204, JNK at Thr183/Tyr185 and P38 at Thr180/Tyr182, leading to the induction of apoptosis. Similar MAPK activation was also observed in MiaPaCa-2 cells in response to BITC treatment. However, normal human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells did not show the activation of MAPK's and remained unaffected by BITC treatment. To confirm the role of ERK, JNK and P38 in BITC-induced G2/M arrest and apoptosis, Capan-2 cells were pre-treated with MAPK-specific inhibitors or MAPK8-short hairpin RNA (shRNA) prior to BITC treatment. Significant protection from BITC-induced G2/M arrest was observed in the cells pre-treated with MAPK kinase (MEK-1) but not JNK or P38 inhibitors. On the other hand, BITC-induced apoptosis was almost completely abrogated in the cells pre-treated with MEK-1, JNK or P38 inhibitors. Similarly, MAPK8-shRNA also offered almost complete protection against BITC-induced G2/M arrest and apoptosis. Furthermore, we observed that BITC treatment leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Capan-2 and MiaPaCa-2 cells, which in part was orchestrated by depletion of reduced glutathione (GSH) level. Blocking ROS generation with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) significantly prevented GSH depletion and activation of ERK and JNK but not P38. Further, NAC or tiron prevented G2/M arrest by blocking G2/M regulatory proteins and completely protected the cells from BITC-induced apoptosis. Taken together, our results suggest that BITC-mediated G2/M arrest is mediated through ERK activation, whereas apoptosis is via ERK, JNK and P38.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is an aggressive cancer with a greater than 95% mortality rate and short survival after diagnosis. Chemotherapeutic resistance hinders successful treatment. This resistance is often associated with mutations in codon 12 of the K-Ras gene (K-Ras 12), which is present in over 90% of all pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Codon 12 mutations maintain Ras in a constitutively active state leading to continuous cellular proliferation. Our study determined if TRAIL resistance in pancreatic adenocarcinomas with K-Ras 12 mutations could be overcome by first sensitizing the cells with Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC). BITC is a component of cruciferous vegetables and a cell cycle inhibitor. BxPC3, MiaPaCa2 and Panc-1 human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines were examined for TRAIL resistance. Our studies show BITC induced TRAIL sensitization by dual activation of both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways.
TRAIL resistance; K-RAS; BITC; pancreatic adenocarcinoma; chemotherapeutic resistance
Triphala is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat variety of diseases; however its mechanism of action remains unexplored. This study elucidates the molecular mechanism of Triphala against human pancreatic cancer in the cellular and in vivo model.
Growth-inhibitory effects of Triphala were evaluated in Capan-2, BxPC-3 and HPDE-6 cells by Sulphoradamine-B assay. Apoptosis was determined by cell death assay and western blotting. Triphala was administered orally to nude mice implanted with Capan-2 xenograft. Tumors were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and western blotting.
Exposure of Capan-2 cells to the aqueous extract of Triphala for 24 h resulted in the significant decrease in the survival of cells in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 of about 50 μg/ml. Triphala-mediated reduced cell survival correlated with induction of apoptosis, which was associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Triphala-induced apoptosis was linked with phosphorylation of p53 at Ser-15 and ERK at Thr-202/Tyr-204 in Capan-2 cells. Above mentioned effects were significantly blocked when the cells were pretreated with an antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC), suggesting the involvement of ROS generation. Pretreatment of cells with pifithrin-α or U0126, specific inhibitors of p53 or MEK-1/2, significantly attenuated Triphala-induced apoptosis. Moreover, NAC or U0126 pretreatment significantly attenuated Triphala-induced p53 transcriptional activity. Similarly, Triphala induced apoptosis in another pancreatic cancer cell line BxPC-3 by activating ERK. On the other hand, Triphala failed to induce apoptosis or activate ERK or p53 in normal human pancreatic ductal epithelial (HPDE-6) cells. Further, oral administration of 50 mg/kg or 100 mg/kg Triphala in PBS, 5 days/week significantly suppressed the growth of Capan-2 pancreatic tumor-xenograft. Reduced tumor-growth in Triphala fed mice was due to increased apoptosis in the tumors cells, which was associated with increased activation of p53 and ERK.
Our preclinical studies demonstrate that Triphala is effective in inhibiting the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells in both cellular and in vivo model. Our data also suggests that the growth inhibitory effects of Triphala is mediated by the activation of ERK and p53 and shows potential for the treatment and/or prevention of human pancreatic cancer.
Carbon nanotube (CNT) films were grown by microwave plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition process on four types of Si substrates: (i) mirror polished, (ii) catalyst patterned, (iii) mechanically polished having pits of varying size and shape, and (iv) electrochemically etched. Iron thin film was used as catalytic material and acetylene and ammonia as the precursors. Morphological and structural characteristics of the films were investigated by scanning and transmission electron microscopes, respectively. CNT films of different morphology such as vertically aligned, randomly oriented flowers, or honey-comb like, depending on the morphology of the Si substrates, were obtained. CNTs had sharp tip and bamboo-like internal structure irrespective of growth morphology of the films. Comparative field emission measurements showed that patterned CNT films and that with randomly oriented morphology had superior emission characteristics with threshold field as low as ~2.0 V/μm. The defective (bamboo-structure) structures of CNTs have been suggested for the enhanced emission performance of randomly oriented nanotube samples.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs); Bamboo-structured CNTs (BS-CNTs); Chemical vapor deposition (CVD); Transmission electron microscopy (TEM); Field emission
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in women. Genetic alterations including overexpression of EGFR play a crucial role in ovarian carcinogenesis. Here we evaluated the effect of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in ovarian tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Oral administration of 12 µmol PEITC resulted in drastically suppressing ovarian tumor growth in a preclinical mouse model. Our in vitro studies demonstrated that PEITC suppress the growth of SKOV-3, OVCAR-3 and TOV-21G human ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Growth inhibitory effects of PEITC were mediated by inhibition of EGFR and AKT, which are known to be overexpressed in ovarian tumors. PEITC treatment caused significant down regulation of constitutive protein levels as well as phosphorylation of EGFR at Tyr1068 in various ovarian cancer cells. In addition, PEITC treatment drastically reduced the phosphorylation of AKT which is downstream to EGFR and disrupted mTOR signaling. PEITC treatment also inhibited the kinase activity of AKT as observed by the down regulation of p-GSK in OVCAR-3 and TOV-21G cells. AKT overexpression or TGF treatment blocked PEITC induced apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. These results suggest that PEITC targets EGFR/AKT pathway in our model. In conclusion, our study suggests that PEITC could be used alone or in combination with other therapeutic agents to treat ovarian cancer.
Our previous studies have shown that benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) suppresses pancreatic tumor growth by inhibiting STAT-3; however, the exact mechanism of tumor growth suppression was not clear. Here we evaluated the effects and mechanism of BITC on pancreatic tumor angiogenesis. Our results reveal that BITC significantly inhibits neovasularization on rat aorta and Chicken-Chorioallantoic membrane. Furthermore, BITC blocks the migration and invasion of BxPC-3 and PanC-1 pancreatic cancer cells in a dose dependant manner. Moreover, secretion of VEGF and MMP-2 in normoxic and hypoxic BxPC-3 and PanC-1 cells was significantly suppressed by BITC. Both VEGF and MMP-2 play a critical role in angiogenesis and metastasis. Our results reveal that BITC significantly suppresses the phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 (Tyr-1175), and expression of HIF-α. Rho-GTPases, which are regulated by VEGF play a crucial role in pancreatic cancer progression. BITC treatment reduced the expression of RhoC whereas up-regulated the expression of tumor suppressor RhoB. STAT-3 over-expression or IL-6 treatment significantly induced HIF-1α and VEGF expression; however, BITC substantially suppressed STAT-3 as well as STAT-3-induced HIF-1α and VEGF expression. Finally, in vivo tumor growth and matrigel-plug assay show reduced tumor growth and substantial reduction of hemoglobin content in the matrigel plugs and tumors of mice treated orally with 12 µmol BITC, indicating reduced tumor angiogenesis. Immunoblotting of BITC treated tumors show reduced expression of STAT-3 phosphorylation (Tyr-705), HIF-α, VEGFR-2, VEGF, MMP-2, CD31 and RhoC. Taken together, our results suggest that BITC suppresses pancreatic tumor growth by inhibiting tumor angiogenesis through STAT-3-dependant pathway.