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Pubmed ID :29156697
Publication Date : //

Exploring brusatol as a new anti-pancreatic cancer adjuvant: biological evaluation and mechanistic studies.


Pancreatic cancer is highly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents and is known to have a poor prognosis. The development of new therapeutic entities is badly needed for this deadly malignancy. In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that brusatol, a natural quassinoid isolated from a Chinese herbal medicine named Bruceae Fructus, possessed potent cytotoxic effect against different pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines. Its anti-pancreatic cancer effect was comparable to that of the first-line chemotherapeutic agents such as gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil, with a more favorable safety profile. In addition, brusatol showed a synergistic anti-proliferative effect toward PANC-1 and Capan-2 cell lines when combined with gemcitabine or 5-fluorouracil. The results of flow cytometry suggested that brusatol combination treatment with gemcitabine or 5-fluorouracil was able to cause cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase, and accentuate apoptosis in PANC-1 cells. Moreover, brusatol deactivated gemcitabine/5-fluorouracil-induced NF-κB activation. Western blot analysis and qRT-PCR results showed that brusatol significantly down-regulated the expression of vimentin and Twist, and markedly stimulated the expression of E-cadherin, the key regulatory factors of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process. Furthermore, treatment with combination of brusatol and gemcitabine or 5-fluorouracil significantly reduced in vivo tumor growth when compared with treatment of either brusatol or gemcitabine/5-fluorouracil alone. Taken together, these results have amply demonstrated that brusatol is a potent anti-pancreatic cancer natural compound, and the synergistic anti-pancreatic cancer effects of brusatol and gemcitabine/5-fluorouracil observed both in vitro and in vivo are associated with the suppression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition process, indicating that brusatol is a promising adjunct to the current chemotherapeutic regimen.

Authors : Lu Zheng , Lai Zheng-Quan , Leung Albert W N , Leung Po Sing , Li Zhao-Shen , Lin Zhi-Xiu ,

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