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A new xanthatin analogue 1β-hydroxyl-5α-chloro-8-epi-xanthatin induces apoptosis through ROS-mediated ERK/p38 MAPK activation and JAK2/STAT3 inhibition in human hepatocellular carcinoma

Fang, Xin-Yi, Zhang, Hai, Zhao, Lin, Tan, Shuai, Ren, Qing-Cuo, Wang, Lun, Shen, Xiao-Fei
Biochimie 2018 v.152 pp. 43-52
Xanthium strumarium, antineoplastic activity, apoptosis, cell growth, chemical bonding, cysteine, cytotoxicity, glutathione, hepatoma, humans, malondialdehyde, mitogen-activated protein kinase, neoplasm cells, non-specific protein-tyrosine kinase, pro-apoptotic proteins, sesquiterpenoids, therapeutics, transactivators
1β-hydroxyl-5α-chloro-8-epi-xanthatin (XTT), a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Xanthium sibiricum, possessed potent cytotoxicity on cancer cells in vitro. The objective of this study was to investigate the anti-tumor effect and underlying mechanisms of XTT on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Firstly, XTT inhibited the cell growth and induced apoptosis in human HCC cells, which was associated with the induction of Bax and cleaved-caspase-3, inhibition of Bcl-2 and survivin expression. Importantly, XTT induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA), and depletion of glutathione (GSH) in HCC cells through covalently modification of GSH. Furthermore, XTT caused obvious activation of extracellular regulated protein kinase (ERK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and inactivation of Janus kinase 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (JAK2/STAT3) in HCC cells. ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine abrogated the effects of XTT on ERK/p38 MAPK activation and JAK2/STAT3 inhibition, and rescued HCC cells from XTT-induced apoptosis. Additionally, inhibitors of ERK/p38 MAPKs or activator of JAK2/STAT3 partially abolished XTT-mediated effect. In summary, XTT inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in HCC cells through ROS-mediated ERK/p38 MAPK activation and JAK2/STAT3 inhibition by GSH depletion. These findings also show the therapeutic potential of XTT in HCC.