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Int J Mol Sci. 2013 May 10;14(5):10075-89. doi: 10.3390/ijms140510075.

The role of E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl proteins in β-elemene reversing multi-drug resistance of human gastric adenocarcinoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, the First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110001, China.


Recent studies indicate that β-elemene, a compound isolated from the Chinese herbal medicine Curcuma wenyujin, is capable of reversing tumor MDR, although the mechanism remains elusive. In this study, β-Elemene treatment markedly increased the intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin (DOX) and rhodamine 123 in both K562/DNR and SGC7901/ADR cells and significantly inhibited the expression of P-gp. Treatment of SGC7901/ADR cells with β-elemene led to downregulation of Akt phosphorylation and significant upregulation of the E3 ubiquitin ligases, c-Cbl and Cbl-b. Importantly, β-elemene significantly enhanced the anti-tumor activity of DOX in nude mice bearing SGC7901/ADR xenografts. Taken together, our results suggest that β-elemene may target P-gp-overexpressing leukemia and gastric cancer cells to enhance the efficacy of DOX treatment.

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