Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2001 Jan 19;276(3):2221-7. Epub 2000 Oct 26.

Triptolide and chemotherapy cooperate in tumor cell apoptosis. A role for the p53 pathway.

Author information

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California 94305-5236, USA.


Triptolide (PG490), a diterpene triepoxide, is a potent immunosuppressive agent extracted from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii. We have previously shown that triptolide blocks NF-kappaB activation and sensitizes tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha)-resistant tumor cell lines to TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. We show here that triptolide enhances chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. In triptolide-treated cells, the expression of p53 increased but the transcriptional function of p53 was inhibited, and we observed a down-regulation of p21(waf1/cip1), a p53-responsive gene. The increase in levels of the p53 protein was mediated by enhanced translation of the p53 protein. Additionally, triptolide induced accumulation of cells in S phase and blocked doxorubicin-mediated accumulation of cells in G(2)/M and doxorubicin-mediated induction of p21. Our data suggest that triptolide, by blocking p21-mediated growth arrest, enhances apoptosis in tumor cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center