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Biochem Pharmacol. 2014 Apr 1;88(3):322-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2014.01.041. Epub 2014 Feb 9.

Shikonin suppresses tumor growth and synergizes with gemcitabine in a pancreatic cancer xenograft model: Involvement of NF-κB signaling pathway.

Author information

1
Department of Pancreatic and Biliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China.
2
Department of Central Laboratory of Blood Cancer, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China.
3
Department of Pancreatic and Biliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China. Electronic address: sunbei70@tom.com.

Abstract

Although gemcitabine is currently the best chemotherapeutic agent available for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, eventual failure of response is a significant clinical problem. Therefore, novel therapeutic approaches against this disease are highly needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether shikonin, a naphthoquinone derivative, has potential in the treatment of pancreatic cancer when used either alone or in combination with gemcitabine. Our in vitro results showed that shikonin inhibited the proliferation of three different human pancreatic cancer cell lines and potentiated the cytotoxic effect of gemcitabine, which correlated with the down-regulation of constitutive as well as gemcitabine-induced activation of NF-κB and NF-κB-regulated gene products. Most importantly, using a xenograft model of human pancreatic cancer, we found shikonin alone significantly suppressed tumor growth and argumented the antitumor activity of gemcitabine. These effects also correlated with the down-regulation of NF-κB activity and its target genes, decreased proliferation (PCNA and Ki-67), decreased microvessel density (CD31), and increased apoptosis (TUNEL) in tumor remnants. Collectively, our results suggest that shikonin can suppress the growth of human pancreatic tumors and potentiate the antitumor effects of gemcitabine through the suppression of NF-κB and NF-κB-regulated gene products.

KEYWORDS:

Gemcitabine; NF-κB; Pancreatic Cancer; Shikonin

PMID:
24522113
DOI:
10.1016/j.bcp.2014.01.041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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