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J Neurooncol. 2012 Apr;107(2):307-14. doi: 10.1007/s11060-011-0770-7. Epub 2011 Dec 11.

Β-elemene inhibits Hsp90/Raf-1 molecular complex inducing apoptosis of glioblastoma cells.

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Department of Neurosurgery, 1st Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, 222 Zhong Shan Road, Dalian 116011, People's Republic of China.


β-Elemene, an active component of herb medicine Curcuma wenyujin, has been shown to antagonize glioblastoma cells by inducing apoptosis. However, how β-elemene induces apoptosis of these cells remains unclear. In this study, we report that β-elemene disrupted the formation of the Hsp90/Raf-1 complex, a key step in maintaining the conformation stability of Raf-1, and caused deactivation of Raf-1 and inhibition of the ERK pathway, thereby leading to apoptosis of glioblastoma cells. Specifically, treatment of glioblastoma cell lines with β-elemene attenuated phosphorylation of multiple members of the kinase families in the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK cascade, including Raf-1 and ERK as well as downstream signaling targets such as Bcl-2. These results suggest that the Hsp90/Raf-1 complex could be a promising molecular target for new drug development for the treatment of glioblastoma.

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