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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Dec 16;17(1):538. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-2046-z.

Inhibition of autophagy enhances synergistic effects of Salidroside and anti-tumor agents against colorectal cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Geriatrics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. lihaiges@hust.edu.cn.
2
Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Various plant extracts have been suggested to be used as auxiliary agents in chemotherapy considering their anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells. However, recent reports reveal that plant extracts may function as inducers of autophagy of cancer cells. In general, autophagy confers survival advantage for cells responding to stress conditions, thus representing an important mechanism for chemo-resistance. This study was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of combined use of Salidroside (Sal, a phenylpropanoid glycosides from Rhodiola rosea L) with anti-tumor agents against colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, and moreover to evaluate the potential role of autophagy in the combined therapy.

METHODS:

CRC cells, HCT-116, were incubated with Sal alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy agents including oxaliplatin (OXA), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and Doxorubicin (ADM). Cell proliferative characteristics were evaluated by cell viability and apoptosis rate. The protein expression was assessed by Immunofluorescent and Western blot assays.

RESULTS:

Sal, alone or in combination with anti-tumor agents, increased expression of autophagic biomarkers, including LC3B and Becline-1, suggesting an autophagy induction. Except for the up-regulation of p-AMPK, p-mTOR, p-NF-κB (p65), TGF-β, p-JAK2 and p-STAT3 were down-regulated by Sal. Because autophagy is positively correlated with the activation of AMPK/mTOR, NF-κB, TGFβ1 and JAK2/STAT3 cascades, the autophagy induced by Sal may associate with AMPK activation. Indeed, blockage of AMPK signaling via Compound C or AMPK knockdown inhibited the autophagy. The blockage of AMPK signaling or a direct inhibition of autophagy via 3-MA increased effectiveness of combined use of Sal with anti-tumor agents against CRC.

CONCLUSIONS:

Inhibition of autophagy enhances synergistic effects of Sal and anti-tumor agents against colorectal cancer. This study provides experimental evidence and theoretical reference for improvement of a novel chemotherapy treatment protocol.

KEYWORDS:

AMPK signaling; Anti-tumor agents; Autophagy; Colorectal cancer; Salidroside

PMID:
29246220
PMCID:
PMC5732533
DOI:
10.1186/s12906-017-2046-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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