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Open AccessArticle

Mollugin Has an Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Effect by Inhibiting TNF-α-Induced NF-κB Activation

Key Laboratory of Natural Resources of Changbai Mountain & Functional Molecules, Ministry of Education, Molecular Medicine Research Center, College of Pharmacy, Yanbian University, Yanji 133002, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1619;
Received: 27 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alterations to Signalling Pathways in Cancer Cells)
The NF-κB signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in regulating the immune response and inflammation. However, it has been shown that NF-κB also has a major role in oncogenesis. Therefore, NF-κB inhibitors have been considered as potential drugs against cancer. Herein, we searched for NF-κB inhibitors from natural sources and identified mollugin from the roots of Rubia cordifolia L. as an inhibitor of NF-κB activation. We found that mollugin significantly inhibited the expression of an NF-κB reporter gene induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, mollugin inhibited TNF-α-induced phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of p65, phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitor of κB (IκBα), and IκB kinase (IKK) phosphorylation. Furthermore, we discovered that pretreatment of cells with mollugin prevented the TNF-α-induced expression of NF-κB target genes, such as genes related to proliferation (COX-2, Cyclin D1 and c-Myc), anti-apoptosis (Bcl-2, cIAP-1 and survivin), invasion (MMP-9 and ICAM-1), and angiogenesis (VEGF). We also demonstrated that mollugin potentiated TNF-α-induced apoptosis and inhibited proliferation of HeLa cells. We further demonstrated in vivo that mollugin suppressed the growth of tumor xenografts derived from HeLa cells. Taken together, mollugin may be a valuable candidate for cancer treatment by targeting NF-κB. View Full-Text
Keywords: mollugin; cancer; NF-κB; NF-κB target genes mollugin; cancer; NF-κB; NF-κB target genes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Z.; Li, M.Y.; Mi, C.; Wang, K.S.; Ma, J.; Jin, X. Mollugin Has an Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Effect by Inhibiting TNF-α-Induced NF-κB Activation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1619.

AMA Style

Wang Z, Li MY, Mi C, Wang KS, Ma J, Jin X. Mollugin Has an Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Effect by Inhibiting TNF-α-Induced NF-κB Activation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017; 18(8):1619.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Zhe; Li, Ming Y.; Mi, Chunliu; Wang, Ke S.; Ma, Juan; Jin, Xuejun. 2017. "Mollugin Has an Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Effect by Inhibiting TNF-α-Induced NF-κB Activation" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 18, no. 8: 1619.

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