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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Jan;89(1):50-7. doi: 10.1139/y10-100.

Cytotoxic activity of nemorosone in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy. apopolo@unisa.it

Erratum in

  • Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Feb;89(2):149. Aldo, Pinto [corrected to Pinto, Aldo].


Estrogen receptor (ER) antagonists have been widely used for breast cancer treatment; however, patients have increasingly shown resistance and sensitivity to the high toxicity of these drugs, and identification of novel targeted therapies is therefore required. To determine whether nemorosone, a polycyclic polyisoprenylated benzophenone isolated from floral resins of Clusia rosea Jacq. and Cuban propolis samples, exerts anticancer effects on human breast cancer cells, estrogen receptor positive (ERα+) MCF-7 and estrogen receptor negative (ERα-) MDA-MB-231 and LNCaP cells were used. Cells were treated with nemorosone alone or in association with 17β-estradiol (E2) or an ER antagonist, ICI 182,780, a selective ER downregulator that completely abrogates estrogen-sensitive gene transcription. Nemorosone inhibited the cell viability of ERα+ but not of ERα- cells. In MCF-7, nemorosone induced inhibition of cell growth by blocking the cell cycle in the G₀/G₁ phase. Moreover, the expression of pERK1/2 and pAkt, considered to be hallmarks of the nongenomic estrogen signalling pathway, were reduced in MCF-7 cells treated with nemorosone. All these effects were enhanced by ICI 182,780. However, nemorosone was not able to interfere with E2-induced Ca²(+) release. These findings suggest that nemorosone may have therapeutic application in the treatment of breast cancer because of its activity on ERα.

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