Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma contributes to the inhibitory effects of Embelin on colon carcinogenesis

Yun Dai, Liang Qiao, Kwok Wah Chan, Mo Yang, Jieyu Ye, Juan Ma, Bing Zou, Qing Gu, Jide Wang, Roberta Pang, H Y Lan, Benjamin C Y Wong
Cancer Research 2009 June 1, 69 (11): 4776-83
Down-regulation of XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein) sensitizes colon cancer cells to the anticancer effect of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) ligands in mice. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of embelin (2,5-dihydroxy-3-undecyl-1,4-benzoquinone), an antagonist of XIAP, on colon cancer, with a particular focus on whether PPARgamma is required for embelin to exert its effect. A dominant-negative PPARgamma was used to antagonize endogenous PPARgamma in HCT116 cells. Cells were treated with or without embelin. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activity were measured. For in vivo studies, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine dihydrochloride (DMH) was s.c. injected to induce colon cancer in PPARgamma(+/+) and PPARgamma(+/-) mice. Mice were fed embelin daily for 10 days before DMH injection, and continued for 30 more weeks. Embelin inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in HCT116 cells with marked up-regulation of PPARgamma. In addition, embelin significantly inhibited the expressions of survivin, cyclin D1, and c-Myc. These effects were partially dependent on PPARgamma. PPARgamma(+/-) mice were more susceptible to DMH-induced colon carcinogenesis than PPARgamma(+/+) mice, and embelin significantly reduced the incidence of colon cancer in PPARgamma(+/+) mice but not in PPARgamma(+/-) mice. Embelin inhibited NF-kappaB activity in PPARgamma(+/+) mice but marginally so in PPARgamma(+/-) mice. Thus, reduced expression of PPARgamma significantly sensitizes colonic tissues to the carcinogenic effect of DMH. Embelin inhibits chemical carcinogen-induced colon carcinogenesis, but this effect is partially dependent on the presence of functional PPARgamma, indicating that PPARgamma is a necessary signaling pathway involved in the antitumor activity of normal organisms.

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