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Eur J Pharmacol. 2013 Aug 15;714(1-3):261-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.04.026. Epub 2013 May 15.

Sprengerinin C exerts anti-tumorigenic effects in hepatocellular carcinoma via inhibition of proliferation and angiogenesis and induction of apoptosis.

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State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China.


The multi-targeted therapy for liver cancer has been considered as a novel strategy to fight hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, we first found that sprengerinin C, a naturally derived compound strongly suppressed tumor angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. A mechanism study revealed that sprengerinin C blocked vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2-dependent phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt/mTOR/matrix metalloproteinase and p38 MAPK/matrix metalloproteinase pathways, two major pathways for tumor angiogenesis. Moreover, sprengerinin C inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor release, a vital event for early angiogenesis response, from hypoxic HepG-2/BEL7402 cells by suppressing hypoxia-inducible factor-1α transcriptional activity. Furthermore, sprengerinin C induced HepG-2/BEL7402 cell apoptosis by activating NADPH oxidase/reactive oxygen species-dependent caspase apoptosis pathway and suppressed HepG-2/BEL7402 cell growth through p53-mediated G2/M-phase arrest. Sprengerinin C also showed a significant anti-tumor effect in the nude mouse xenograft model of human hepatocellular carcinoma. These results provide new insights into development of potent candidate compounds for liver cancer through affecting multiple tumor progression steps of angiogenesis, apoptosis and proliferation.


Angiogenesis; Apoptosis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Proliferation; Sprengerinin C

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