Triptonide effectively suppresses gastric tumor growth and metastasis through inhibition of the oncogenic Notch1 and NF-κB signaling pathways


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Abstract

Gastric cancer ranks as the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The uncontrolled tumor growth and robust metastasis are key factors to cause the cancer patient death. Mechanistically, aberrant activation of Notch and NF-κB signaling pathways plays pivotal roles in the initiation and metastasis of gastric cancer. Despite great efforts have been made in recent decades, the effective drug against the advanced and metastatic gastric cancer is still lacking in the clinical setting. In this study, we found that triptonide, a small molecule (MW358) purified from the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, effectively suppressed tumor growth and metastasis in xenograft mice without obvious toxicity at the doses we tested, resulting in potent anti-gastric cancer effect with low toxicity. Triptonide markedly inhibited human metastatic gastric cancer cell migration, invasion, proliferation, and tumorigenicity. Molecular mechanistic studies revealed that triptonide significantly reduced Notch1 protein levels in metastatic gastric cancer cells through degrading the oncogenic protein Notch1 via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Consequently, the levels of Notch1 downstream proteins RBPJ, IKKα, IKKβ were significantly diminished, and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) phosphorylation was significantly reduced. Together, triptonide effectively suppresses gastric cancer growth and metastasis via inhibition of the oncogenic Notch1 and NF-κB signaling pathways. Our findings provide a new strategy and drug candidate for treatment of the advanced and metastatic gastric cancer.HighlightsGastric tumor growth and metastasis in xenograft mice are suppressed by triptonide.Triptonide reduces gastric cancer cell migration, invasion, and tumorigenicity.Triptonide inhibits Notch1 and NF-κB signaling pathways in gastric cancer.Our findings provide a new strategy and drug candidate for cancer therapy.

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