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1.  Morusin induces cell death through inactivating STAT3 signaling in prostate cancer cells 
STAT3 has been recognized as an efficacious drug target for prostate cancer because of its constitutive activation in this fatal disease. We recently identified the root bark of Morus alba Linn. as a potential STAT3 inhibitor among 33 phytomedicines traditionally used in Korea. Morusin, an active compound isolated from the root bark of Morus alba, has shown anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In the present study, we examined whether morusin has a potential as an anti-cancer agent in prostate cancer. We found that morusin suppressed viability of prostate cancer cells, but little effect in normal human prostate epithelial cells. Morusin also reduced STAT3 activity by inhibiting its phosphorylation, nuclear accumulation, and DNA binding activity. In addition, morusin down-regulated expression of STAT3 target genes encoding Bcl-xL, Bcl-2, Survivin, c-Myc and Cyclin D1, which are involved in regulation of apoptosis and cell cycle. Furthermore, morusin induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells by reducing STAT3 activity. Taken together, these results suggest that morusin could be a potentially therapeutic agent for prostate cancer by reducing STAT3 activity and inducing apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC4300697  PMID: 25628938
Morusin; prostate cancer; apoptosis; STAT3; SHP1; traditional phytomedicine
2.  Expression patterns of MDA-9/syntenin during development of the mouse embryo 
Journal of molecular histology  2012;44(2):159-166.
MDA-9 (melanoma differentiation associated gene-9)/Syntenin is a PDZ domain-containing adaptor protein involved in multiple diverse cellular processes including organization of protein complexes in the plasma membrane, intracellular trafficking and cell surface targeting, synaptic transmission, and cancer metastasis. In the present study, we analyzed the expression pattern of MDA-9/syntenin during mouse development. MDA-9/syntenin was robustly expressed with tight regulation of its temporal and spatial expression during fetal development in the developing skin, spinal cord, heart, lung and liver, which are regulated by multiple signaling pathways in the process of organogenesis. Recent studies also indicate that MDA-9/syntenin is involved in the signaling pathways crucial during development such as Wnt, Notch and FGF. Taken together, these results suggest that MDA-9/syntenin may play a prominent role during normal mouse development in the context of cell proliferation as well as differentiation through modulating multiple signaling pathways as a crucial adaptor protein. Additionally, temporal regulation of MDA-9/syntenin expression may be required during specific stages and in specific tissues during development.
PMCID: PMC3605205  PMID: 23180153
MDA-9/syntenin; development; mouse embryo; adaptor protein
3.  Oncogene AEG-1 promotes glioma-induced neurodegeneration by increasing glutamate excitotoxicity 
Cancer research  2011;71(20):6514-6523.
Aggressive tumor growth, diffuse tissue invasion and neurodegeneration are hallmarks of malignant glioma. Although glutamate excitotoxicity is considered to play a key role in glioma-induced neurodegeneration, the mechanism(s) controlling this process is poorly understood. AEG-1 is an oncogene overexpressed in multiple types of human cancers including >90% of brain tumors. AEG-1 also promotes gliomagenesis particularly in the context of tumor growth and invasion, two primary characteristics of glioma. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of AEG-1 to glioma-induced neurodegeneration. Pearson correlation coefficient analysis in normal brain tissues and glioma patient samples indicated a strong negative correlation between expression of AEG-1 and a primary glutamate transporter of astrocytes EAAT2. Gain and loss of function studies in normal primary human fetal astrocytes and T98G glioblastoma multiforme cells revealed that AEG-1 repressed EAAT2 expression at a transcriptional level by inducing YY1 activity to inhibit CBP function as a coactivator on the EAAT2 promoter. In addition, AEG-1-mediated EAAT2 repression caused a reduction of glutamate uptake by glial cells, resulting in induction of neuronal cell death. These findings were also confirmed in glioma patient samples demonstrating that AEG-1 expression negatively correlated with NeuN expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that AEG-1 contributes to glioma-induced neurodegeneration, a hallmark of this fatal tumor, through regulation of EAAT2 expression.
PMCID: PMC3193553  PMID: 21852380
AEG-1; glioma; EAAT2; glutamate; glioma-induced neurodegeneration
5.  A Hexane Fraction of Guava Leaves (Psidium guajava L.) Induces Anticancer Activity by Suppressing AKT/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin/Ribosomal p70 S6 Kinase in Human Prostate Cancer Cells 
Journal of Medicinal Food  2012;15(3):231-241.
This study was carried out to evaluate the anticancer effects of guava leaf extracts and its fractions. The chemical compositions of the active extracts were also determined. In the present study, we set out to determine whether the anticancer effects of guava leaves are linked with their ability to suppress constitutive AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/ribosomal p70 S6 kinase (S6K1) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation pathways in human prostate cancer cells. We found that guava leaf hexane fraction (GHF) was the most potent inducer of cytotoxic and apoptotic effects in PC-3 cells. The molecular mechanism or mechanisms of GHF apoptotic potential were correlated with the suppression of AKT/mTOR/S6K1 and MAPK signaling pathways. This effect of GHF correlated with down-regulation of various proteins that mediate cell proliferation, cell survival, metastasis, and angiogenesis. Analysis of GHF by gas chromatography and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry tentatively identified 60 compounds, including β-eudesmol (11.98%), α-copaene (7.97%), phytol (7.95%), α-patchoulene (3.76%), β-caryophyllene oxide (CPO) (3.63%), caryophylla-3(15),7(14)-dien-6-ol (2.68%), (E)-methyl isoeugenol (1.90%), α-terpineol (1.76%), and octadecane (1.23%). Besides GHF, CPO, but not phytol, also inhibited the AKT/mTOR/S6K1 signaling pathway and induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Overall, these findings suggest that guava leaves can interfere with multiple signaling cascades linked with tumorigenesis and provide a source of potential therapeutic compounds for both the prevention and treatment of cancer.
PMCID: PMC3282482  PMID: 22280146
AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin/ribosomal p70 S6 kinase; apoptosis; guava leaves; prostate cancer
6.  Inhibition of Hypoxia Inducible Factor Alpha and Astrocyte-Elevated Gene-1 Mediates Cryptotanshinone Exerted Antitumor Activity in Hypoxic PC-3 Cells 
Although cryptotanshinone (CT) was known to exert antitumor activity in several cancers, its molecular mechanism under hypoxia still remains unclear. Here, the roles of AEG-1 and HIF-1α in CT-induced antitumor activity were investigated in hypoxic PC-3 cells. CT exerted cytotoxicity against prostate cancer cells and suppressed HIF-1α accumulation and AEG-1 expression in hypoxic PC-3 cells. Also, AEG-1 was overexpressed in prostate cancer cells. Interestingly, HIF-1α siRNA transfection enhanced the cleavages of caspase-9,3, and PAPR and decreased expression of Bcl-2 and AEG1 induced by CT in hypoxic PC-3 cells. Of note, DMOG enhanced the stability of AEG-1 and HIF-1α during hypoxia. Additionally, CT significantly reduced cellular level of VEGF in PC-3 cells and disturbed tube formation of HUVECs. Consistently, ChIP assay revealed that CT inhibited the binding of HIF-1α to VEGF promoter. Furthermore, CT at 10 mg/kg suppressed the growth of PC-3 cells in BALB/c athymic nude mice by 46.4% compared to untreated control. Consistently, immunohistochemistry revealed decreased expression of Ki-67, CD34, VEGF, carbonic anhydrase IX, and AEG-1 indices in CT-treated group compared to untreated control. Overall, our findings suggest that CT exerts antitumor activity via inhibition of HIF-1α, AEG1, and VEGF as a potent chemotherapeutic agent.
PMCID: PMC3519236  PMID: 23243443
7.  Suppression of STAT3 and HIF-1 Alpha Mediates Anti-Angiogenic Activity of Betulinic Acid in Hypoxic PC-3 Prostate Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21492.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor that regulates various cellular processes such as cell survival, angiogenesis and proliferation. In the present study, we examined that betulinic acid (BA), a triterpene from the bark of white birch, had the inhibitory effects on hypoxia-mediated activation of STAT3 in androgen independent human prostate cancer PC-3 cells.
Methodology/Principal Findings
BA inhibited the protein expression and the transcriptional activities of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) under hypoxic condition. Consistently, BA blocked hypoxia-induced phosphorylation, DNA binding activity and nuclear accumulation of STAT3. In addition, BA significantly reduced cellular and secreted levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a critical angiogenic factor and a target gene of STAT3 induced under hypoxia. Furthermore, BA prevented in vitro capillary tube formation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) maintained in conditioned medium of hypoxic PC-3 cells, implying anti-angiogenic activity of BA under hypoxic condition. Of note, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChiP) assay revealed that BA inhibited binding of HIF-1α and STAT3 to VEGF promoter. Furthermore, silencing STAT3 using siRNA transfection effectively enhanced the reduced VEGF production induced by BA treatment under hypoxia.
Taken together, our results suggest that BA has anti-angiogenic activity by disturbing the binding of HIF-1α and STAT3 to the VEGF promoter in hypoxic PC-3 cells.
PMCID: PMC3123343  PMID: 21731766

Results 1-7 (7)