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J Cancer Res Ther. 2019;15(2):398-403. doi: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_639_18.

Rapamycin may inhibit murine S180 sarcoma growth by regulating the pathways associated with autophagy and cancer stem cells.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Department of Pathology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China.



The objective of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in rapamycin-induced inhibition of tumor growth.

Materials and Methods:

Murine S180 sarcoma cells were subcutaneously injected into mice, and the tumor-bearing mice were randomly divided into three groups (vehicle control, 2 mg/kg rapamycin, and 4 mg/kg rapamycin). The effect of rapamycin on tumor growth was determined by measuring tumor volume. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), Beclin1, ULK1, LC3, Notch1, CD133, and CD90 expressions was confirmed using confocal microscopy and Western blotting.


The tumor growth inhibition rates induced by high-dose and low-dose rapamycin were 48.8% and 30.1%, respectively. Beclin1 and ULK1 expressions and the LC3-II/LC3-I ratio in tumor tissues were altered by rapamycin, whereas mTOR, Notch1, CD133, and CD90 expressions were significantly inhibited by rapamycin in immunofluorescence assays. Western blotting also showed similar results.


Tumor growth delay induced by rapamycin may be associated with the suppression of the cancer stem cell phenotype (Notch1, CD133, and CD90) and promotion of autophagy (mTOR, Beclin1, ULK1, and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) in the murine S180 sarcoma model.


Autophagy; cancer stem cell; rapamycin

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