Bufalin enhances the anti-proliferative effect of sorafenib on human hepatocellular carcinoma cells through downregulation of ERK.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of bufalin on the anti-proliferative activity of sorafenib in the human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines PLC/PRF/5 and Hep G-2 and to determine the relevant molecular mechanism. Concurrent treatment with sorafenib and bufalin at a fixed ratio (25:1) for 48 h resulted in synergistic growth inhibition in HCC cell lines as determined by CCK-8 cell viability assays. Exposure of both PLC/PRF/5 and Hep G-2 cells to this combination of sorafenib (6.25 μM) and bufalin (50 nM) resulted in noticeable increases in apoptotic cell death, as evidenced by the disruption of mitochondria, compared to treatment with either agent alone. Although both sorafenib (6.25 μM) and bufalin (250 nM) alone inhibited the phosphorylation of ERK, the reduction in pERK was more pronounced in the cells treated with a combination of bufalin (50 nM) and sorafenib (250 nM). Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of bufalin on pERK was blocked by the PI3kinase inhibitor LY294002, suggesting that the reduction in pERK induced by bufalin might be mediated by AKT in these two HCC cell lines. Taken together, the results of our study suggest that bufalin enhances the anti-cancer effects of sorafenib on PLC/PRF/5 and Hep G-2 by contributing to the downregulation of ERK.
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ABSTRACT: Cardiac glycosides are Na/K-ATPase inhibitors, clinically used for congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias. Epidemiological studies have reported that patients on cardiac glycosides treatment are protected from some types of cancers. This evidence together with the demonstration that cardiac glycosides show selective cytotoxicity against cancer cells has raised new interest on the anticancer properties of these drugs. This study examines the mechanism involved in the anticancer effect of ouabain in non-small cell lung cancer cells lines (A549 and H1975). Ouabain inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell death in a concentration-dependent manner. Cell death was caspase-independent and showed classical patterns of autophagic cell death: conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II, increase of LC3 puncta and increase of autophagic flux. Moreover, cell death was completely blocked by the class III phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase inhibitor 3-methyladenine. Here we show that ouabain caused the reduction of Bcl-2 protein levels, with no change in the expression of the autophagic protein Beclin 1. Early signalling events of ouabain exposure were ERK1/2 and JNK activation, however only JNK inhibition with SP600125 or JNK knockdown by shRNA were able to prevent Bcl-2 decrease, conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and cell death. We propose that JNK activation by ouabain leads to a decrease of Bcl-2 levels, resulting in disruption of the inhibitory interaction of Bcl-2 with Beclin 1, that promotes autophagy. These findings indicate that pharmacological modulation of autophagy by cardiac glycosides could be exploited for anticancer therapy.Biochemical pharmacology 03/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The study aims to investigate the effect of microRNA-497 (miR-497) expression and bufalin treatment in regulating colorectal cancer invasion and metastasis. The expression of miR-497 in colorectal cancer cells with prior treatment with bufalin was determined using real-time quantitative PCR. The nude mouse abdominal aortic ring assay and the human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) migration assays were used to measure the angiogenic effect of bufalin. The effect of both bufalin treatment and miR-497 overexpression on colorectal cancer metastasis was measured using an animal tumor model together with in vivo imaging. These results suggested: (1) In the HCT116 cells and HUVECs, proliferation was inhibited in a time-dependent and/or concentration-dependent manner following the administration of bufalin; (2) Bufalin inhibited cell migration in a concentration-dependent manner by cell motility assays; (3) In the aortic ring assay, administration bufalin to the aortic ring significantly promoted micro-angiogenesis of nude mouse abdominal aorta in a concentration-dependent and time-dependent manner; (4) miR-497 was upregulated in human colorectal cancer HCT116 cells treated with different concentrations of bufalin in a concentration-dependent manner; and (5) Combined application of bufalin and miR-497 significantly reduced metastatic lesions and reduced weight loss compared with bufalin alone and control groups in vivo. This study revealed that bufalin inhibited angiogenesis and regulated miR-497 expression and that bufalin and miR-497 acted in synergy to inhibit colorectal cancer metastasis, resulting in improved quality of life in a nude mouse model.Tumor Biology 12/2013; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sorafenib, an antiangiogenic agent, can promote tumor invasion and metastasis. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/Snail-dependent pathway plays an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis. Yet, little is known concerning the role of the PI3K/Akt/Snail-dependent pathway in sorafenib‑induced invasion and metastasis of hepatic carcinoma (HCC). A human HCC orthotopic xenograft model was established, and sorafenib (30 mg/kg/day) was administered orally. Tumor growth and intrahepatic metastasis were assessed, and immunohistochemistry was applied to analyze the activation of the PI3K/Akt/Snail-dependent pathway. HCC cell lines were treated with sorafenib (1, 5 and 10 µM), and proliferation, migration and invasion were assessed. Western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to examine the related gene expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and the PI3K/Akt/Snail-dependent pathway. Sorafenib inhibited tumor growth and promoted intrahepatic invasion and metastasis of the orthotopic tumors grown from SMMC7721-GFP cells in vivo. Additionally, sorafenib promoted EMT and invasion and metastasis of HCC cells in vitro. Importantly, sorafenib enhanced PI3K and Akt activation and upregulation of the expression of transcription factor Snail, a critical EMT mediator. The upregulation of transcription factor Snail expression by sorafenib may be related to activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. The PI3K/Akt/Snail-dependent pathway may mediate the pro-invasive and pro-metastatic effects of sorafenib on HCC by inducing EMT.Oncology Reports 07/2014; · 2.19 Impact Factor