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Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(4), 2376-2389;

Avarol Induces Apoptosis in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cells by Activating PERK–eIF2α–CHOP Signaling

Science Research Center, Kochi University, Kohasu, Oko-cho, Nankoku-shi, Kochi 783-8505, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peer B. Jacobson
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 28 March 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
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Avarol is a sesquiterpenoid hydroquinone with potent cytotoxicity. Although resolving endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is essential for intracellular homeostasis, erratic or excessive ER stress can lead to apoptosis. Here, we reported that avarol selectively induces cell death in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC), which are difficult to treat owing to the availability of few chemotherapeutic agents. Analyses of the molecular mechanisms of avarol-induced apoptosis indicated upregulation of ER stress marker BiP and ER stress-dependent apoptosis inducer CHOP in PDAC cells but not in normal cells, suggesting that avarol selectively induces ER stress responses. We also showed that avarol activated the PERK–eIF2α pathway but did not affect the IRE1 and ATF6 pathways. Moreover, CHOP downregulation was significantly suppressed by avarol-induced apoptosis. Thus, the PERK–eIF2α–CHOP signaling pathway may be a novel molecular mechanism of avarol-induced apoptosis. The present data indicate that avarol has potential as a chemotherapeutic agent for PDAC and induces apoptosis by activating the PERK–eIF2α pathway. View Full-Text
Keywords: avarol; ER stress; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas; CHOP avarol; ER stress; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas; CHOP

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Namba, T.; Kodama, R. Avarol Induces Apoptosis in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cells by Activating PERK–eIF2α–CHOP Signaling. Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 2376-2389.

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