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Carcinogenesis. 2013 Dec;34(12):2918-28. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgt255. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

A sesquiterpene lactone antrocin from Antrodia camphorata negatively modulates JAK2/STAT3 signaling via microRNA let-7c and induces apoptosis in lung cancer cells.

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Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and current therapies fail to treat this disease in majority of cases. Antrodia camphorata is a medicinal mushroom being widely used as food dietary supplement for cancer prevention. The sesquiterpene lactone antrocin is the most potent among >100 secondary metabolites isolated from A. camphorata. However, the molecular mechanisms of antrocin-mediated anticancer effects remain unclear. In this study, we found that antrocin inhibited cell proliferation in two non-small-cell lung cancer cells, namely H441 (wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor, IC50 = 0.75 μM) and H1975 (gefitnib-resistant mutant T790M, IC50 = 0.83 μM). Antrocin dose dependently suppressed colony formation and induced apoptosis as evidenced by activated caspase-3 and increased Bax/Bcl2 ratio. Gene profiling studies indicated that antrocin downregulated Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway. We further demonstrated that antrocin suppressed both constitutively activated and interleukin 6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and its subsequent nuclear translocation. Such inhibition is found to be achieved through the suppression of JAK2 and interaction between STAT3 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Additionally, antrocin increased microRNA let-7c expression and suppressed STAT signaling. The combination of antrocin and JAK2/STAT3 gene silencing significantly increased apoptosis in H441 cells. Such dual interruption of JAK2 and STAT3 pathways also induced downregulation of antiapoptotic protein mcl-1 and increased caspase-3 expression. In vivo intraperitoneal administration of antrocin significantly suppressed the growth of lung cancer tumor xenografts. Our results indicate that antrocin may be a potential therapeutic agent for human lung cancer cells through constitutive inhibition of JAK2/STAT3 pathway.

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