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Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 8;6:36594. doi: 10.1038/srep36594.

Cucurbitacin D exhibits potent anti-cancer activity in cervical cancer.

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University of Tennessee Health Science Centre, Memphis, TN, 38163, USA.
King Khaled University, College of Pharmacy, Box 188, Abha, 61441, Saudi Arabia.
South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, 57007, USA.


In this study, we for the first time, investigated the potential anti-cancer effects of a novel analogue of cucurbitacin (Cucurbitacin D) against cervical cancer in vitro and in vivo. Cucurbitacin D inhibited viability and growth of cervical cancer cells (CaSki and SiHa) in a dose-dependent manner. IC50 of Cucurbitacin D was recorded at 400 nM and 250 nM in CaSki and SiHa cells, respectively. Induction of apoptosis was observed in Cucurbitacin D treated cervical cancer cells as measured by enhanced Annexin V staining and cleavage in PARP protein. Cucurbitacin D treatment of cervical cancer cells arrested the cell cycle in G1/S phase, inhibited constitutive expression of E6, Cyclin D1, CDK4, pRb, and Rb and induced the protein levels of p21 and p27. Cucurbitacin D also inhibited phosphorylation of STAT3 at Ser727 and Tyr705 residues as well as its downstream target genes c-Myc, and MMP9. Cucurbitacin D enhanced the expression of tumor suppressor microRNAs (miR-145, miRNA-143, and miRNA34a) in cervical cancer cells. Cucurbitacin D treatment (1 mg/kg body weight) effectively inhibited growth of cervical cancer cells derived orthotopic xenograft tumors in athymic nude mice. These results demonstrate the potential therapeutic efficacy of Cucurbitacin D against cervical cancer.

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