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Jiang W.G.,University of Cardiff | Ye L.,University of Cardiff | Ruge F.,University of Cardiff | Sun P.-H.,University of Cardiff | And 11 more authors.
Anticancer Research | Year: 2015

Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) is a protein that is aberrantly expressed in various human tumors. SHH and its signaling molecules have been indicated as potential therapeutic targets. In the present study, we evaluated the expression of SHH transcript in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues and investigated the impact of inhibiting SHH together with a traditional Chinese medicine formula, YangZheng XiaoJi (YZXJ), on the function and growth of lung cancer cells. Human NSCLC tissues had significantly higher levels of the SHH transcript compared matched normal lung tissues (n=83). TNM2 tumors and tumors with pleural invasion had higher levels than TNM1 and non-invasive tumors. High SHH levels were associated with a shorter overall survival (OS) of the patients. A SHH inhibitor, cyclopamine, and YZXJ alone or in combination had a marked inhibitory effect on cellular invasion and cellular migration of human lung cancer cells, A549 and SKMES1. YangZheng XiaoJi and its combination with cyclopamine also significantly reduced the growth of lung tumors in vivo together with a reduction of SHH and smoothened (Smo) proteins in the lung tumors. The present study provides evidence that blocking SHH by way of small inhibitor and by YangZheng XiaoJi has a profound influence on lung cancer cells as seen by in vitro invasion and cell migration and in vivo tumor growth. Together with the aberrant expression of SHH in NSCLC tumors in the patients, it is suggested that SHH is a potential target for therapies for NSCLC.

Jiang W.G.,University of Cardiff | Ye L.,University of Cardiff | Ruge F.,University of Cardiff | Owen S.,University of Cardiff | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a cytokine that has a profound effect on cancer cells by stimulating migration and invasion and acting as an angiogenic factor. In lung cancer, the factor also plays a pivotal role and is linked to a poor outcome in patients. In particular, HGF is known to work in combination with EGF on lung cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated the effect of a traditional Chinese medicine reported in cancer therapies, namely YangZheng XiaoJi (YZXJ) on lung cancer and on HGF mediated migration and invasion of lung cancer cells. Methods: Human lung cancer cells, SKMES1 and A549 were used in the study. An extract from the medicine was used. Cell migration was investigated using the EVOS and by ECIS. Cell-matrix adhesion and in vitro invasion were assessed. In vivo growth of lung cancer was tested using an in vivo xenograft tumour model and activation of the HGF receptor in lung tumours by an immunofluorescence method. Results: Both lung cancer cells increased their migration in response to HGF and responded to YZXJ by reducing their speed of migration. YZXJ markedly reduced the migration and in vitro invasiveness induced by HGF. It worked synergistically with PHA665752 and SU11274, HGF receptor inhibitors on the lung cancer cells both on HGF receptor activation and on cell functions. A combination of HGF and EGF resulted in a greater increase in cell migration, which was similarly inhibited by YZXJ, and in combination with the HGF receptor and EGF receptor inhibitors. In vivo, YZXJ reduced the rate of tumour growth and potentiated the effects of PHA665752 on tumour growth. It was further revealed that YZXJ significantly reduced the degree of phosphorylation of the HGF receptor in lung tumours. Conclusion:YZXJ has a significant role in reducing the migration, invasion and in vivo tumour growth of lung cancer and acts to inhibit the migratory and invasive effects induced by HGF and indeed by HGF/EGF. This effect is likely attributed to the inhibition of the HGF receptor activation. These results indicate that YZXJ has a therapeutic role in lung cancer and that combined strategy with methods to block HGF and EGF should be considered. © 2015 Jiang et al.

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