[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lichens are symbiotic organisms that produce various unique chemicals that can be used for pharmaceutical purposes. With the aim of screening new anti-cancer agents that inhibit cancer cell motility, we tested the inhibitory activity of seven lichen species collected from the Romanian Carpathian Mountains against migration and invasion of human lung cancer cells and further investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying their anti-metastatic activity. Among them, Alectoria samentosa, Flavocetraria nivalis, Alectoria ochroleuca, and Usnea florida showed significant inhibitory activity against motility of human lung cancer cells. HPLC results showed that usnic acid is the main compound in these lichens, and (+)-usnic acid showed similar inhibitory activity that crude extract have. Mechanistically, β-catenin-mediated TOPFLASH activity and KITENIN-mediated AP-1 activity were decreased by (+)-usnic acid treatment in a dose-dependent manner. The quantitative real-time PCR data showed that (+)-usnic acid decreased the mRNA level of CD44, Cyclin D1 and c-myc, which are the downstream target genes of both β-catenin/LEF and c-jun/AP-1. Also, Rac1 and RhoA activities were decreased by treatment with (+)-usnic acid. Interestingly, higher inhibitory activity for cell invasion was observed when cells were treated with (+)-usnic acid and cetuximab. These results implied that (+)-usnic acid might have potential activity in inhibition of cancer cell metastasis, and (+)-usnic acid could be used for anti-cancer therapy with a distinct mechanisms of action.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Betulinic acid (BA) is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpene that attenuates vascular diseases and atherosclerosis, but the mechanism by which it stimulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is unclear. eNOS is the key regulatory enzyme in the vascular endothelium. This study examined the intracellular pathways underlying the effects of BA on eNOS activity and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) production in endothelial cells. BA treatment induced both eNOS phosphorylation at Ser1177 and NO production. It also increased the level of intracellular Ca2+ and phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ). Inhibition of the L-type Ca2+ channel (LTCC) and the ryanodine receptor (RyR) abolished BA-induced intracellular levels of Ca2+ and eNOS phosphorylation. Treatment with W7 (a CaM antagonist), KN-93 (a selective inhibitor of CaMKII), and STO 609 (a selective inhibitor of CaMKK) suppressed eNOS phosphorylation and NO production. Moreover, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was induced by BA, and BA-induced eNOS phosphorylation was inhibited by compound C, an AMPK inhibitor. Taken together, these results indicate that BA activates eNOS phosphorylation and NO synthesis via the Ca2+/CaMKII and Ca2+/CaMKK/AMPK pathways. These findings provide further insight into the eNOS signaling pathways involved in the anti-atherosclerosis effects of BA.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selective inhibitors of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) have considerable potential as a treatment for metabolic syndrome including type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. To identify 11β-HSD1 inhibitors, we conducted high-throughput screening (HTS) of active natural product extracts from the Korea Chemical Bank, including Tanshinone I, Tanshinone II, and flavanone derivatives, and 2- and 3-phenyl-4H-chromen-4-one. Then Tanshinone II and its derivatives were targeted for the development of a lead compound according to the HTS results. However, the mechanism for anti-adipogenic effect through 11β-HSD1 enzyme inhibition by Tanshinone IIA is not clear. Tanshinone IIA (2a) concentration-dependently inhibited 11β-HSD1 activity in human and mouse 11β-HSD1 overexpressed cells and 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Tanshinone IIA (2a) also inhibited 11β-HSD1 enzyme activities in murine liver and fats. Furthermore, Tanshinone IIA (2a)-suppressed adipocyte differentiation of cortisone-induced adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells was associated with the suppression of the cortisone-induced adipogenesis-specific markers mRNA and protein expression. In 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, Tanshinone IIA (2a)-inhibited cortisone induced reactive oxygen species formation in a concentration-dependent manner. Thus, these results support the therapeutic potential of Tanshinone IIA (2a) as a 11β-HSD1 inhibitor in metabolic syndrome patients.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Pharmacological Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Scutellaria baicalensis is one of the most widely used herbal medicines in East Asia. Because baicalein and baicalin are major components of this herb, it is important to understand the effects of these compounds on drug metabolizing enzymes, such as cytochrome P450 (CYP), for evaluating herb-drug interaction. The effects of baicalin and baicalein on activities of ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD), methoxyresorufin O-demethylase (MROD), benzyloxyresorufin O-debenzylase (BROD), p-nitrophenol hydroxylase and erythromycin N-demethylase were assessed in rat liver microsomes in the present study. In addition, the pharmacokinetics of caffeine and its three metabolites (i.e., paraxanthine, theobromine and theophylline) in baicalin-treated rats were compared with untreated control. As results, EROD, MROD and BROD activities were inhibited by both baicalin and baicalein. However, there were no significant differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters of oral caffeine and its three metabolites between control and baicalin-treated rats. When the plasma concentration of baicalin was determined, the maximum concentration of baicalin was below the estimated IC50 values observed in vitro. In conclusion, baicalin had no effects on the pharmacokinetics of caffeine and its metabolites in vivo, following single oral administration in rats.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Biomolecules and Therapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the inhibitory effects of Platycodon grandiflorum root-derived saponins (Changkil saponins: CKS) on ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation in mice. CKS suppressed leukocytes number, IgE, Th1/Th2 cytokines, and MCP-1 chemokine secretion in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Also ovalbumin-increased MUC5AC, MMP-2/9, and TIMP-1/-2 mRNA expression, NF-κB activation, leukocytes recruitment, and mucus secretion was inhibited by CKS treatment. Moreover, the active component of CKS, platyconic acid A (PA), suppressed PMA-induced MUC5AC mRNA expression (from 2.1 ± 0.2 to 1.1 ± 0.1) by inhibiting NF-κB activation (from 2.3 ± 0.2 to 1.2 ± 0.1) via Akt (from 3.7 ± 0.3 to 2.1 ± 0.2) (respectively; p < 0.01) in A549 cells. Therefore, we demonstrate that CKS or PA suppressed the development of respiratory inflammation, hyperresponsiveness, and remodeling by reducing allergic responses, and they may be potential herbal drugs for allergen-induced respiratory disease prevention.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite efforts to develop efficient chemotherapeutic drug strategies to treat cancer, acquired drug resistance is a commonly encountered problem. In the present study, to investigate this phenomenon, human A549 lung cancer cells resistant to the topoisomerase inhibitor etoposide (A549RT‑eto) were used and compared with A549 parental cells. A549RT‑eto cells demonstrated increased resistance to etoposide‑induced apoptosis when compared with A549 parental cells. Notably, A549RT‑eto cells were observed to exhibit greater levels of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4), phospho‑Stat1 and P‑glycoprotein [P‑gp; encoded by the multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) gene], compared with A549 cells. To address whether HDAC4 protein is involved in etoposide resistance in A549 cells, A549RT‑eto cells were treated with trichostatin A (TSA; an HDAC inhibitor) during etoposide treatment. The combined treatment was demonstrated to enhance etoposide‑induced apoptosis and reduce expression levels of HDAC4, P‑gp and phospho‑Stat1. In addition, the suppression of Stat1 with siRNA enhanced etoposide‑induced apoptosis and reduced the expression levels of HDAC4 and P‑gp, suggesting that Stat1 is essential in the regulation of resistance to etoposide, and in the upregulation of P‑gp. Notably, TSA treatment reduced P‑gp transcript levels but Stat1 siRNA treatment did not, suggesting that P‑gp is regulated by HDAC at the transcriptional level and by Stat1 at the post‑transcriptional level. These results suggest that the upregulation of Stat1 and HDAC4 determines etoposide resistance through P‑gp expression in human A549 lung cancer cells.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Molecular Medicine Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the nephrotoxic potential of melamine (MEL) and cyanuric acid (CA) in male Sprague-Dawley rats, 7-d repeated-dose studies were performed. The experimental groups of MEL100 and CA100 were orally administered with MEL and CA at 100 mg/kg/d for 7 d, respectively. In groups dosed with MEL-CA mixtures, melamine and cyanuric acid (1:1) were simultaneously administered at 4, 20, or 100 mg/kg/d for 7 d (i.e., MEL-CA4, MEL-CA20, or MEL-CA100, respectively). Body weights were not markedly affected in MEL100, CA100, and MEL-CA4 groups, but significantly reduced in MEL-CA 20 and 100 rats. Most parameters determined in sera and tissues were not markedly altered in MEL100, CA100, and MEL-CA4-treated rodents. However, BUN, creatinine, total protein, and kidney weights were significantly increased in MEL-CA20- and MEL-CA100-treated animals. Renal histopathologic findings also revealed signs of toxicity, including tubular dilatation, crystal deposition, granulomatous tubulo-interstitial inflammation, and tubular necrosis with regeneration. Data suggested that the combination of MEL and CA might be responsible for observed nephrotoxicity that was not seen following individual exposure to either MEL or CA alone. Subsequently, the concentrations of MEL and CA were determined in serum, urine, and kidney tissues by using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Toxicokinetic studies indicated that MEL or CA alone might be eliminated almost completely within 24 h after dosing showing no accumulation in kidney. However, the combined MEL-CA dose produced marked accumulation of chemicals in blood and kidneys. These results suggested that combined MEL and CA might produce renal toxicity due to significant chemical accumulation in kidney accompanied by low excretion.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endosulfan (1,4,5,6,7,7-hexachloro-8,9,10-trinorborn-5-en-2,3-ylenebismet-hylene) is correlated with endocrine disruption, reproductive, and immune dysfunctions. Recently, endosulfan was shown to have an effect on inflammatory pathways, but its influence on cyclooxygenase-2(COX-2) expression is unclear. This study investigated the effects of COX-2 and molecular mechanisms by endosulfan in murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. Endosulfan significantly induced COX-2 protein and mRNA levels, as well as COX-2 promoter-driven luciferase activity and the production of prostaglandin E2, a major COX-2 metabolite. Transfection experiments with several human COX-2 promoter constructs revealed that endosulfan activated NF-κB, C/EBP, AP-1, and CREB. Moreover, Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) were significantly activated by endosulfan. Moreover, endosulfan increased production of the ROS and the ROS-producing NAPDH-oxidase (NOX) family oxidases, NOX2, and NOX3. Endosulfan-induced Akt/MAPK pathways and COX-2 expression were attenuated by DPI, a specific NOX inhibitor, and the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine. These results demonstrate that endosulfan induces COX-2 expression via NADPH oxidase, ROS, and Akt/MAPK pathways. These findings provide further insight into the signal transduction pathways involved in the inflammatory effects of endosulfan.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Archive für Toxikologie
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induction of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1 and CYP1B1 by environmental xenobiotic chemicals or endogenous ligands through the activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) has been implicated in a variety of cellular processes related to cancer, such as transformation and tumorigenesis. Here, we investigated the effects of the anti-diabetes drug metformin on expression of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 in breast cancer cells under constitutive and inducible conditions. Our results indicated that metformin down-regulated the expression of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 in breast cancer cells under constitutive and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced conditions. Down-regulation of AhR expression was required for metformin-mediated decreases in CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 expression, and the metformin-mediated CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 reduction is irrelevant to estrogen receptor α (ERα) signaling. Furthermore, we found that metformin markedly down-regulated Sp1 protein levels in breast cancer cells. The use of genetic and pharmacological tools revealed that metformin-mediated down-regulation of AhR expression was mediated through the reduction of Sp1 protein. Metformin inhibited endogenous AhR ligand-induced CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 expression by suppressing tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) expression in MCF-7 cells. Finally, metformin inhibits TDO expression through a down-regulation of Sp1 and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) protein levels. Our findings demonstrate that metformin reduces CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 expression in breast cancer cells by down-regulating AhR signaling. Metformin would be able to act as a potential chemopreventive agent against CYP1A1 and CYP1B1-mediated carcinogenesis and development of cancer.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
The consequences of precipitously rising allergic skin inflammation rates worldwide have accelerated the risk of atopic dermatitis (AD). Natural product-based agents with good efficacy and low risk of side effects offer promising prevention and treatment strategies for inflammation-related diseases. We have already reported that Platycodon grandiflorum root-derived saponins (Changkil saponins, CKS) have many pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects, but its influence on AD remains unclear. Therefore, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of CKS, mainly platycodin D, on AD-like skin symptoms in mice and the possible mechanisms in cells.
Mice were sensitized and challenged with 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB). Four weeks after challenge, mice were treated with oral administration of CKS for 4 weeks. In addition, cells were used to evaluate the effect of CKS, mainly platycodin D, on the TARC expression regulated mechanism.
CKS attenuated DNCB-induced dermatitis severity, serum levels of IgE and TARC, and mRNA expression of TARC, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in mice. Histopathological examination showed reduced thickness of the epidermis/dermis and dermal infiltration of inflammatory cells and mast cells in the ears. Moreover, CKS and platycodin D inhibited TNF-α/IFN-γ-induced TARC expression through the suppression of NF-κB and STAT1 and induction of Nrf2/ARE-mediated hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in cells.
We suggest that CKS and platycodin D inhibited the development of AD-like skin symptoms by regulating cytokine mediators and may be an effective alternative therapy for AD-like skin symptoms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) plays an important role in cellular redox balance and resistance to oxidative stress. Sirt1 exhibits oncogenic properties in wild-type p53 cancer cells, while Sirt1 acts as a tumor suppressor in p53-mutated cancer cells. Here, we investigated the effects of metformin on Sirt1 expression in several cancer cell lines. Using human cancer cell lines that exhibit differential expression of p53, we found that metformin reduced Sirt1 protein levels in cancer cells bearing wild-type p53, but did not affect Sirt1 protein levels in cancer cell lines harboring mutant forms of p53. Metformin-induced p53 protein levels in wild-type p53 cancer cells resulted in up-regulation of microRNA (miR)-34a. The use of a miR-34a inhibitor confirmed that metformin-induced miR-34a was required for Sirt1 down-regulation. Metformin suppressed peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) coactivator-1 alpha (Pgc-1α) expression and its downstream target Nrf2 in MCF-7 cells. Genetic tools demonstrated that the reduction of Sirt1 and Pgc-1α by metformin caused Nrf2 down-regulation via suppression of PPARγ transcriptional activity. Metformin reduced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) but up-regulated catalase expression in MCF-7 cells. Metformin-treated MCF-7 cells had no increase in basal levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) but were more susceptible to oxidative stress. Furthermore, up-regulation of death receptor (DR) 5 by metformin-mediated Sirt1 down-regulation enhanced the sensitivity of wild-type p53 cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Our results demonstrated that metformin induces miR-34a to suppress the Sirt1/Pgc-1α/Nrf2 pathway and increases susceptibility of wild-type p53 cancer cells to oxidative stress and TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TRAIL induces apoptosis in a variety of tumor cells. However, development of resistance to TRAIL is a major obstacle to more effective cancer treatment. Therefore, novel pharmacological agents that enhance sensitivity to TRAIL are necessary. In the present study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which ilimaquinone isolated from a sea sponge sensitizes human colon cancer cells to TRAIL. Ilimaquinone pretreatment significantly enhanced TRAIL-induced apoptosis in HCT 116 cells and sensitized colon cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis through increased caspase-8, -3 activation, PARP cleavage, and DNA damage. Ilimaquinone also reduced the cell survival proteins Bcl2 and Bcl-xL, while strongly up-regulating death receptor (DR) 4 and DR5 expression. Induction of DR4 and DR5 by ilimaquinone was mediated through up-regulation of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP). The up-regulation of CHOP, DR4 and DR5 expression was mediated through activation of extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. Finally, the generation of ROS was required for CHOP and DR5 up-regulation by ilimaquinone. These results demonstrate that ilimaquinone enhanced the sensitivity of human colon cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis through ROS-ERK/p38 MAPK-CHOP-mediated up-regulation of DR4 and DR5 expression, suggesting that ilimaquinone could be developed into an adjuvant chemotherapeutic drug.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Food and Chemical Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A-disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10) is involved in the generation of amyloid-β (Aβ) during amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing, and has a protective effect against Aβ neurotoxicity. We explored how metallothionein-III (MT-III) is regulated in the non-amyloidogenic pathway to generate soluble APPα (sAPPα). MT-ІІІ increased sAPPα levels and reduced Aβ peptide levels, but did not affect ADAM10 expression. However, MT-III increased the activity of ADAM10. MT-ІІІ-induced sAPPα secretion, and Aβ peptide formation was blocked by specific inhibitors of furin, proprotein convertase7 (PC7), and PKCα. These results demonstrate that MT-ІІІ increases the amount of active ADAM10 in association with furin, PC7 and PKCα.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leptin, a hormone with multiple biological actions, is produced predominantly by adipose tissue. Among its functions, leptin can stimulate tumour cell growth. Oestrogen receptor α (ERα), which plays an essential role in breast cancer development, can be transcriptionally activated in a ligand-independent manner. In this study, we investigated the effect of leptin on CYP1B1 expression and its mechanism in breast cancer cells. Leptin induced CYP1B1 protein, messenger RNA expression and promoter activity in ERα-positive MCF-7 cells but not in ERα-negative MDA-MB-231 cells. Additionally, leptin increased 4-hydroxyoestradiol in MCF-7 cells. Also, ERα knockdown by siRNA significantly blocked the induction of CYP1B1 expression by leptin, indicating that leptin induced CYP1B1 expression via an ERα-dependent mechanism. Transient transfection with CYP1B1 deletion promoter constructs revealed that the oestrogen response element (ERE) plays important role in the up-regulation of CYP1B1 by leptin. Furthermore, leptin stimulated phosphorylation of ERα at serine residues 118, and 167 and increased ERE-luciferase activity, indicating that leptin induced CYP1B1 expression by ERα activation. Finally, we found that leptin activated ERK, and Akt signalling pathways which are upstream kinases related to ERα phosphorylation induced by leptin. Taken together, our results indicate that leptin-induced CYP1B1 expression is mediated by ligand-independent activation of the ERα pathway as a result of the activation of ERK and Akt in MCF-7 cells.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of diallyl sulfide (DAS) on thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity and immunotoxicity were investigated. When male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated orally with 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of DAS in corn oil for three consecutive days, the activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2E1-selective p-nitrophenol hydroxylase was dose-dependently suppressed. In addition, the activities of CYP 2B-selective benzyloxyresorufin O-debenzylase and pentoxyresorufin O-depentylase were significantly induced by the treatment with DAS. Western immunoblotting analyses also indicated the suppression of CYP 2E1 protein and/or the induction of CYP 2B protein by DAS. To investigate a possible role of metabolic activation by CYP enzymes in thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity, rats were pre-treated with 400 mg/kg of DAS for 3 days, followed by a single intraperitoneal treatment with 100 and 200 mg/kg of thioacetamide in saline for 24 hr. The activities of serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase significantly elevated by thioacetamide were protected in DAS-pretreated animals. Likewise, the suppressed antibody response to sheep erythrocytes by thioacetamide was protected by DAS pretreatment in female BALB/c mice. Taken together, our present results indicated that thioacetamide might be activated to its toxic metabolite(s) by CYP 2E1, not by CYP 2B, in rats and mice.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Biomolecules and Therapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) is a multifunctional cytokine that induces growth arrest, tissue fibrosis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through activation of Smad and non-Smad signaling pathways. EMT is the differentiation switch by which polarized epithelial cells differentiate into contractile and motile mesenchymal cells. Our previous studies have shown that saponins from the roots of Platycodon grandiflorum (CKS) have antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antimetastatic, and hepatoprotective effects. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of CKS on TGFβ1-induced alterations characteristic of EMT in human lung carcinoma A549 cells. We found that CKS-treated cells displayed inhibited TGFβ1-mediated E-cadherin downregulation and Vimentin upregulation and also retained epithelial morphology. Furthermore, TGFβ1-increased Snail expression, a repressor of E-cadherin and an inducer of the EMT, was reduced by CKS. CKS inhibited TGFβ1-induced phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2, and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). Inhibition of PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 also blocked TGFβ1-induced GSK-3β phosphorylation and Snail activation. Furthermore, TGFβ1-increased Snail expression was reduced by selective inhibitors of Akt and ERK1/2. Moreover, CKS treatment attenuated TGFβ1-induced Smad2/3 phosphorylation and upregulated Smad7 expression. These results indicate that pretreatment with the CKS inhibits the TGFβ1-induced EMT through PI3K/Akt, ERK1/2, GSK-3β and Smad2/3 in human lung carcinoma cells.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Nutrition and Cancer