Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vascular beds, is essential for tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. Luteolin is a common dietary flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables. We studied the antiangiogenic activity of luteolin using in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models. In vitro studies using rat aortic ring assay showed that luteolin at non-toxic concentrations significantly inhibited microvessel sprouting and proliferation, migration, invasion and tube formation of endothelial cells, which are key events in the process of angiogenesis. Luteolin also inhibited ex vivo angiogenesis as revealed by chicken egg chorioallantoic membrane assay (CAM) and matrigel plug assay. Gelatin zymographic analysis demonstrated the inhibitory effect of luteolin on the activation of matrix metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9. Western blot analysis showed that luteolin suppressed VEGF induced phosphorylation of VEGF receptor 2 and their downstream protein kinases AKT, ERK, mTOR, P70S6K, MMP-2, and MMP-9 in HUVECs. Proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α level were significantly reduced by the treatment of luteolin in PC-3 cells. Luteolin (10 mg/kg/d) significantly reduced the volume and the weight of solid tumors in prostate xenograft mouse model, indicating that luteolin inhibited tumorigenesis by targeting angiogenesis. CD31 and CD34 immunohistochemical staining further revealed that the microvessel density could be remarkably suppressed by luteolin. Moreover, luteolin reduced cell viability and induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells, which were correlated with the downregulation of AKT, ERK, mTOR, P70S6K, MMP-2, and MMP-9 expressions. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that luteolin inhibits human prostate tumor growth by suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2-mediated angiogenesis.
The concentration of deuterium is about 150 ppm (over 16 mmol/L) in surface water and more than 10 mmol/L in living organisms. Experiments with deuterium depleted water (30+/-5 ppm) revealed that due to D-depletion various tumorous cell lines (PC-3, human prostate, MDA, human breast, HT-29, human colon, M14, human melanoma) required longer time to multiply in vitro. DDW caused tumor regression in xenotransplanted mice (MDA and MCF-7, human breast, PC-3) and induced apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Deuterium depleted water (25+/-5 ppm) induced complete or partial tumor regression in dogs and cats with spontaneous malignancies, it was registered as anticancer for veterinary use in 1999 (Vetera-DDW-25 A.U.V., 13/99 FVM). The hypodermic preparation of the registered veterinary drug was successfully tested in clinical investigations. Under the permission of the Hungarian Institute of Pharmacology (No. 5621/40/95) a randomized, double blind controlled, human Phase II clinical trial with prostate cancer was performed, in compliance with GCP principles, which exhibited a significant difference between the control and treated groups with respect to the examined parameters, median survival time and the extension of life-span. We suggest that cells are able to regulate the D/H ratio and the changes in the D/H ratio can trigger certain molecular mechanisms having a key role in cell cycle regulation. We suppose that not the shift in the intracellular pH, but the concomitant increase in the D/H ratio is the real trigger for the cells to enter into S phase. The decrease of D concentration can intervene in the signal transduction pathways thus leading to tumor regression. Deuterium depletion may open new perspectives in cancer treatment and prevention helping to increase the effectiveness of current oncotherapies.
Transferrin (Tf) conjugates of monomeric artemisinin (ART) and artemisinin dimer were synthesized. The two conjugates, ART-Tf and dimer-Tf, retained the original protein structure, and formed stable aggregates in aqueous buffer. ART-Tf induced declines in proteins involved in apoptosis (survivin), cell cycling (cyclin D1), oncogenesis (cmyelocytomatosis oncogene product (c-MYC)), and dysregulated WNT signaling (betacatenin) in both the human prostate (DU145) and breast (MCF7) cancer cell lines. Both ARTTf and dimer-Tf induced down-regulation of survivin, c-MYC and mutated human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (ERBB2 or HER2) in the BT474 breast cancer cell line. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that an ART derivative can cause a decline of ERBB2 in a human cancer cell line. Potential mechanisms for the observed effects are presented. Both transferrin conjugates strongly inhibited the growth of BT474 cells in the same concentration range that the conjugates caused declines in the levels of ERBB2, survivin, and c-MYC, while showing essentially no toxicity towards MCF10A normal breast cells.
Artesunate (ART) is a semi-synthetic derivative of artemisinin, the active principle of the Chinese herb Artemisia annua. ART reveals remarkable activity against otherwise multidrugresistant Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax malaria.
ART has now been analyzed for its anti-cancer activity against 55 cell lines of the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the National Cancer Institute, USA. ART was most active against leukemia and colon cancer cell lines (mean GI50 values: 1.11+/-0.56 microM and 2.13+/-0.74 microM , respectively).
Nonsmall cell lung cancer cell lines showed the highest mean GI50 value (25.62+/-14.95 microM) indicating the lowest sensitivity towards ART in this test panel. Intermediate GI50 values were obtained for melanomas, breast, ovarian, prostate, CNS, and renal cancer cell lines. Importantly, a comparison of ART's cytotoxicity with those of other standard cytostatic drugs showed that ART was active in molar ranges comparable to those of established anti-tumor drugs. Furthermore, we tested CEM leukemia sub-lines resistant to either doxorubicin, vincristine, methotrexate, or hydroxyurea which do not belong to the N.C.I. screening panel. None of these drug-resistant cell lines showed cross resistance to ART. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms of ART's cytotoxicity, we used a panel of isogenic Saccaromyces cerevisiae strains with defined genetic mutations in DNA repair, DNA checkpoint and cell proliferation genes. A yeast strain with a defective mitosis regulating BUB3 gene showed increased ART sensitivity and another strain with a defective proliferation-regulating CLN2 gene showed increased ART resistance over the wild-type strain, wt644. None of the other DNA repair or DNA check-point deficient isogenic strains were different from the wild-type. These results and the known low toxicity of ART are clues that ART may be a promising novel candidate for cancer chemotherapy.
Epidemiologic and case control population based studies over the past few decades have identified diet as an important determinant of cancerrisk. This evidence has kindled interest into research on bioactive food components and has till date resulted in the identification of many compounds with cancer preventive and therapeutic potential. Among such compounds has been fisetin (3,7,3',4'-tetrahydroxyflavone), a flavonol and a member of the flavonoid polyphenols that also include quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol. Fisetin is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, persimmons, grapes, kiwis, strawberries, onions and cucumbers. We evaluated the effects of fisetin against melanoma and cancers of the prostate, pancreas and the lungs. Using prostate and lung adenocarcinoma cells, we demonstrated that fisetin acts as a dual inhibitor of the PI3K/Akt and the mTOR pathways. This is a significant finding considering the fact that mTOR is phosphorylated and its activation is more frequent in tumors with overexpression of PI3K/Akt. Dual inhibitors of PI3K/Akt and mTOR signaling have been suggested as valuable agents for treating such cancers. Here, we summarize our findings on the dietary flavonoid fisetin and its effects on cancer with particular focus on prostate cancer. Our observations and findings from other laboratories suggest that fisetin could be a useful chemotherapeutic agent that could be used either alone or as an adjuvant with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs for the management of prostate and other cancers.