Antitumor and apoptosis-promoting properties of emodin, an anthraquinone derivative from Rheum officinale Baill, against pancreatic cancer in mice via inhibition of Akt activation

  • Authors:
    • Wei-Τian Wei
    • Hui Chen
    • Zhong-Lin Ni
    • Hai-Βin Liu
    • Hong-Fei Tong
    • Ling Fan
    • An Liu
    • Mai-Χuan Qiu
    • Dian-Lei Liu
    • Hong-Chun Guo
    • Zhao-Hong Wang
    • Sheng-Zhang Lin
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: July 29, 2011     https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2011.1147
  • Pages: 1381-1390
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Abstract

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. Gemcitabine is currently the standard first-line chemotherapeutic agent for pancreatic cancer. However, gemcitabine can induce activation of Akt and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which is associated with its chemoresistance. It has been reported that gemcitabine combination therapies result in improved survival outcomes in pancreatic cancer. Therefore, agents that can either enhance the effects of gemcitabine or overcome chemoresistance to the drug are needed for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Emodin is an active component of Chinese medicinal herbs and can inhibit the activation of Akt and NF-κB. In this study, we investigated whether emodin could enhance the anticancer effect of gemcitabine on pancreatic cancer in vivo. We demonstrated that treatment of gemcitabine combined with emodin efficiently suppressed tumor growth in mice inoculated with pancreatic tumor cells. This treatment paradigm promoted apoptotic cell death and mitochondrial fragmentation. Furthermore, it reduced phosphorylated-Akt (p-Akt) level, NF-κB activation and Bcl-2/Bax ratio, increased caspase-9 and -3 activation, Cytochrome C (CytC) release occurred in combination therapy. Collectively, emodin enhanced the activity of gemcitabine in tumor growth suppression via inhibition of Akt and NF-κB activation, thus promoting the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway. Therefore, our findings may provide new insights into understanding the pharmacological regulation of emodin on gemcitabine-mediated proapoptosis in pancreatic cancer and may aid in the design of new therapeutic strategies for the intervention of human pancreatic cancers.

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December 2011
Volume 39 Issue 6

Print ISSN: 1019-6439
Online ISSN:1791-2423

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APA
Wei, W., Chen, H., Ni, Z., Liu, H., Tong, H., Fan, L. ... Lin, S. (2011). Antitumor and apoptosis-promoting properties of emodin, an anthraquinone derivative from Rheum officinale Baill, against pancreatic cancer in mice via inhibition of Akt activation. International Journal of Oncology, 39, 1381-1390. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2011.1147
MLA
Wei, W., Chen, H., Ni, Z., Liu, H., Tong, H., Fan, L., Liu, A., Qiu, M., Liu, D., Guo, H., Wang, Z., Lin, S."Antitumor and apoptosis-promoting properties of emodin, an anthraquinone derivative from Rheum officinale Baill, against pancreatic cancer in mice via inhibition of Akt activation". International Journal of Oncology 39.6 (2011): 1381-1390.
Chicago
Wei, W., Chen, H., Ni, Z., Liu, H., Tong, H., Fan, L., Liu, A., Qiu, M., Liu, D., Guo, H., Wang, Z., Lin, S."Antitumor and apoptosis-promoting properties of emodin, an anthraquinone derivative from Rheum officinale Baill, against pancreatic cancer in mice via inhibition of Akt activation". International Journal of Oncology 39, no. 6 (2011): 1381-1390. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2011.1147