Plumbagin induces cell cycle arrest and autophagy and suppresses epithelial to mesenchymal transition involving PI3K/Akt/mTOR-mediated pathway in human pancreatic cancer cells

Feng Wang, Qi Wang, Zhi Wei Zhou, S. Song-Ning Yu, Shu Ting Pan, Zhi Xu He, Xueji Zhang, Dong Wang, Yin Xue Yang, Tianxing Yang, Tao Sun, Min Li, Jia Xuan Qiu, Shu Feng Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plumbagin (PLB), an active naphthoquinone compound, has shown potent anticancer effects in preclinical studies; however, the effect and underlying mechanism of PLB for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is unclear. This study aimed to examine the pancreatic cancer cell killing effect of PLB and investigate the underlying mechanism in human pancreatic cancer PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. The results showed that PLB exhibited potent inducing effects on cell cycle arrest in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells via the modulation of cell cycle regulators including CDK1/CDC2, cyclin B1, cyclin D1, p21 Waf1/Cip1, p27 Kip1, and p53. PLB treatment concentration- and time-dependently increased the percentage of autophagic cells and significantly increased the expression level of phosphatase and tensin homolog, beclin 1, and the ratio of LC3-II over LC3-I in both PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. PLB induced inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) pathways and activation of 5′-AMP-dependent kinase as indicated by their altered phosphorylation, contributing to the proautophagic activities of PLB in both cell lines. Furthermore, SB202190, a selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK, and wortmannin, a potent, irreversible, and selective PI3K inhibitor, remarkably enhanced PLB-induced autophagy in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells, indicating the roles of PI3K and p38 MAPK mediated signaling pathways in PLB-induced autophagic cell death in both cell lines. In addition, PLB significantly inhibited epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype in both cell lines with an increase in the expression level of E-cadherin and a decrease in N-cadherin. Moreover, PLB treatment significantly suppressed the expression of Sirt1 in both cell lines. These findings show that PLB promotes cell cycle arrest and autophagy but inhibits epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype in pancreatic cancer cells with the involvement of PI3K/protein kinase B/ mammalian target of rapamycin and p38 MAPK mediated pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-560
Number of pages24
JournalDrug Design, Development and Therapy
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 14 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • Cell cycle
  • EMT
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Plumbagin
  • Sirt1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery

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