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Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Feb 15;14(4):1248-57. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-1926.

Honokiol, a constituent of oriental medicinal herb magnolia officinalis, inhibits growth of PC-3 xenografts in vivo in association with apoptosis induction.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy of honokiol, a constituent of oriental medicinal herb Magnolia officinalis, against human prostate cancer cells in culture and in vivo.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

Honokiol-mediated apoptosis was assessed by analysis of cytoplasmic histone-associated DNA fragmentation. Knockdown of Bax and Bak proteins was achieved by transient transfection using siRNA. Honokiol was administered by oral gavage to male nude mice s.c. implanted with PC-3 cells. Tumor sections from control and honokiol-treated mice were examined for apoptotic bodies (terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling assay), proliferation index (proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining), and neovascularization (CD31 staining). Levels of Bcl-2 family proteins in cell lysates and tumor supernatants were determined by immunoblotting.

RESULTS:

Exposure of human prostate cancer cells (PC-3, LNCaP, and C4-2) to honokiol resulted in apoptotic DNA fragmentation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner irrespective of their androgen responsiveness or p53 status. Honokiol-induced apoptosis correlated with induction of Bax, Bak, and Bad and a decrease in Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 protein levels. Transient transfection of PC-3 cells with Bak- and Bax-targeted siRNAs and Bcl-xL plasmid conferred partial yet significant protection against honokiol-induced apoptosis. Oral gavage of 2 mg honokiol/mouse (thrice a week) significantly retarded growth of PC-3 xenografts without causing weight loss. Tumors from honokiol-treated mice exhibited markedly higher count of apoptotic bodies and reduced proliferation index and neovascularization compared with control tumors.

CONCLUSION:

Our data suggest that honokiol, which is used in traditional oriental medicine for the treatment of various ailments, may be an attractive agent for treatment and/or prevention of human prostate cancers.

PMID:
18281560
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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