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Shen A.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Lin W.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Chen Y.,Case Western Reserve University | Liu L.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2015

Tumor metastasis, a complex process involving the spread of malignant tumor cells from a primary tumor site to a distant organ, is a major cause of failure of cancer chemotherapy. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a critical step for the initiation of cancer metastasis. The processes of EMT and metastasis are highly regulated by a doublenegative feedback loop consisting of TGF-β1/ZEB pathway and miR-200 family, which therefore has become a promising target for cancer chemotherapy. Pien Tze Huang (PZH), a well-known traditional Chinese formula first prescribed in the Ming Dynasty, has been demonstrated to be clinically effective in the treatment of various types of human malignancy including colorectal cancer (CRC). Our published data proposed that PZH was able to induce apoptosis, inhibit cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis, leading to the suppression of CRC growth in vitro and in vivo. To further elucidate the mode of action of PZH, in the present study we evaluated its effects on the metastatic capacities of human colorectal carcinoma HCT-8 cells and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that PZH significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of HCT-8 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, PZH treatment inhibited the expression of key mediators of TGF-β1 signaling, such as TGF-β1, Smad2/3 and Smad4. Moreover, PZH treatment suppressed the expression of ZEB1 and ZEB2, two critical target genes of TGF-β1 pathway, leading to a decrease in the expression of mesenchymal marker N-cadherin and an increased expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin. Furthermore, PZH treatment upregulated the expression of miR-200a, miR-200b and miR-200c. Collectively, our findings in this study suggest that PZH can inhibit metastasis of colorectal cancer cells via modulating TGF-β1/ZEB/miR-200 signaling network, which might be one of the mechanisms whereby PZH exerts its anticancer function. Source


Chen H.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Shen A.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Zhang Y.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Chen Y.,Case Western Reserve University | And 5 more authors.
Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine | Year: 2014

Hypoxia-induced activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) signaling pathway is frequently observed in solid tumors and is strongly associated with numerous pathophysiological processes, including the induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which result in cancer progression and metastasis. Thus, inhibiting EMT through the suppression of the HIF-1 pathway may be a promising strategy for anticancer chemotherapy. Pien Tze Huang (PZH), a well-established traditional Chinese medicine has been prescribed for >450 years and has been used for centuries to clinically treat various types of human cancer. We previously reported that PZH suppresses multiple intracellular signaling pathways and thereby promotes the apoptosis of cancer cells and the inhibition of cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis. In the present study, to further explore the mechanisms underlying the antitumor action of PZH, HCT-8 human colon carcinoma cells were cultured under hypoxic conditions and the effect of PZH on hypoxia-induced EMT was assessed. Hypoxia was found to induce EMT-associated morphological changes in HCT-8 cells, including loss of cell adhesion and the development of spindle-shaped fibroblastoid-like morphology In addition, hypoxia was observed to reduce the expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin, but increase that of the mesenchymal marker N-cadherin. In addition, hypoxia significantly enhanced HCT-8 cell migration and invasion and induced the activation of the HIF-1 pathway. However, treatment of the HCT-8 cells with PZH significantly inhibited the hypoxia-mediated EMT and HIF-1 signaling. These findings suggest that PZH inhibits hypoxia-induced cancer EMT through the suppression of the HIF-1 pathway, which may be one of the molecular mechanisms by which PZH exerts its antitumor activity. Source


Shen A.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Lin J.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Chen Y.,Case Western Reserve University | Lin W.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | And 5 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2013

Angiogenesis plays an essential role in cancer progression, which therefore has become an attractive target for anticancer treatment. Tumor angiogenesis is tightly regulated by multiple signaling pathways that usually function redundantly; in addition, crosstalk between these pathways forms a complicated network that is regulated by compensatory mechanisms. Given the complexity of pathogenic mechanisms underlying tumor angiogenesis, most currently used angiogenesis inhibitors that only target single pathways may be insufficient and probably generate drug resistance, thus, increasing the necessity for development of novel anticancer agents. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) are receiving great interest since they have relatively fewer side-effects and have been used for thousands of years to clinically treat various types of diseases including cancer. Pien Tze Huang (PZH), a well-known traditional Chinese formulation that was first prescribed 450 years ago, has long been used as an alternative remedy for cancers. However, the precise mechanism of PZH's anticancer activity remains to be further elucidated. Using a colorectal cancer mouse xenograft model, in the present study, we evaluated the effect of PZH on tumor angiogenesis and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that PZH inhibited tumor growth since PZH treatment resulted in decrease in both tumor volume and tumor weight in CRC mice. In addition, PZH suppressed the activation of several signaling pathways such as STAT3, Akt and MAPKs. Consequently, the inhibitory effect of PZH on these pathways resulted in the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis as demonstrated by the decrease of microvessel density in tumor tissues. Moreover, PZH treatment reduced the expression of angiogenic factors including iNOS, eNOS, VEGF-A, bFGF as well as their specific receptors VEGFR2 and bFGFR. Altogether, our findings suggest that inhibition of tumor angiogenesis via suppression of multiple signaling pathways might be one of the mechanisms whereby PZH affects cancers. Source


A method of treating a patient to improve liver functioning includes providing a drug composed of at least one of pharmaceutical 2-(4-morpholinoaniline)-6-cyclohexyl aminopurine and a salt thereof; and administering the drug to the patient in a manner and dosage effective to improve liver functioning. The 2-(4-morpholinoaniline)-6-cyclohexyl aminopurine can inhibit the activated hepatic stellate cells from synthesizing and expressing collagens and other extracellular matrix proteins including MMPs and TIMPs, and so it can inhibit liver fibrosis. In the liver, it can inhibit collagen synthesis and expression, and therefore reverse and treat hepatitis and liver cirrhosis effectively. Also disclosed is a method for preparing drugs for treating infective hepatitis, non-infectious hepatitis, liver injury, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver fibrosis, and improving t liver functioning, in which the compound and/or salt thereof is used optionally or in combination with a target molecule or carrier comprising a vitamin A-coupled liposome.


Wei L.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Chen P.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Chen Y.,Case Western Reserve University | Shen A.,Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Medicine Reports | Year: 2014

Accumulating evidence suggests that a small population of cells termed cancer stem cells (CSCs) are crucial in tumor development and drug resistance, leading to cancer relapse and metastasis and eventually the failure of clinical cancer treatment. Therefore, targeting CSCs is a promising approach for anticancer therapies. Due to the drug resistance and adverse effects of currently used chemo-therapies, traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) have recently received attention due to the relatively few side-effects. Thus, they have been used as important alternative remedies for various diseases, including cancer. Pien Tze Huang (PZH), a well-known TCM formula that was first prescribed more than 450 years ago in the Ming Dynasty, has been used in China and Southeast Asia for centuries as a folk remedy for various types of cancer. Previously, it was reported that PZH inhibits colon cancer growth via the promotion of cancer cell apoptosis and inhibition of cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis, which is probably mediated by its regulatory effect on multiple intracellular signaling pathways. To elucidate the mechanism of the tumoricidal activity of PZH, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of PZH on CSCs that were isolated as the side population (SP) from the HT-29 colorectal cancer cell line. The results demonstrated that PZH significantly and dose-dependently. Source

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