Toxicology in Vitro, April 2011, Vol.25(3), pp.699-707
Involvement of activities of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) remains unsolved in norcantharidin-associated breast cancer cell apoptosis. This study investigated the anti-cancer effect of norcantharidin and its underlying mechanism in two human breast cancer cell lines, estrogen receptor (ER)− HS-578T and ER+ MCF-7 cells. Norcantharidin induced potent cytotoxicity and arrested cell growth through increasing phosphorylation of Chk1, Chk2 and total p21 and reducing cyclin B and cdc25c expression. It also induced apoptosis through extrinsic death receptor and intrinsic mitochondrial pathways by cytochrome release, caspase activation, oligonucleosome appearance, PARP cleavage, and aberration of Bcl-2 family protein expression and phosphorylation. Although norcantharidin did not affect STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5 protein expression, it suppressed STAT3 and STAT5 phosphorylation in HS-578T cells, whereas it up-regulated STAT1 phosphorylation and down-regulated STAT5 phosphorylation in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, norcantharidin activated MAPK family member proteins, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), were all phosphorylated by treatment. Pretreatment with selective kinase inhibitors significantly attenuated the norcantharidin-induced cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells. These findings suggest the potential involvement of MAPK and STAT pathways in norcantharidin-induced apoptogenesis. Norcantharidin may be an effective anti-cancer drug against breast cancer.
Norcantharidin ; Chemosensitivity ; Breast Cancer ; Estrogen Receptor ; Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription ; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase ; Pharmacy, Therapeutics, & Pharmacology ; Chemistry ; Public Health
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