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Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Apr 15;79(8):1134-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2009.12.006. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Emodin enhances sensitivity of gallbladder cancer cells to platinum drugs via glutathion depletion and MRP1 downregulation.

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  • 1Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China.


Glutathione conjugation and transportation of glutathione conjugates of anticancer drugs out of cells are important for detoxification of many anticancer drugs. Inhibition of this detoxification system has recently been proposed as a strategy to treat drug-resistant solid tumors. Gallbladder carcinoma is resistant to many anticancer drugs, therefore, it is needed to develop a novel strategy for cancer therapy. In the present study, we tested the effect of emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone), a reactive oxygen species (ROS) generator reported by our group previously, in combination with cisplatin (CDDP), carboplatin (CBP) or oxaliplatin in treating the gallbladder carcinoma cell line SGC996. Our results showed that co-treatment with emodin could remarkably enhance chemosensitivity of SGC996 cells in comparison with cisplatin, carboplatin or oxaliplatin treatment alone. We found that the mechanisms may be attributed to reduction of glutathione level, and downregulation of multidrug resistance-related protein 1 (MRP1) expression in SGC996 cells. The experiments on tumor-bearing mice showed that emodin/cisplatin co-treatment inhibited the tumor growth in vivo via increasing tumor cell apoptosis and downregulating MRP1 expression. In conclusion, emodin can work as an adjunct to enhance the anticancer effect of platinum drugs in gallbladder cancer cells via ROS-related mechanisms.

2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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