Author(s): Grogan PT, Sleder KD, Samadi AK, Zhang H, Timmermann BN,
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Abstract Withaferin A (WA), a steroidal lactone derived from the plant Vassobia breviflora, has been reported to have anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-angiogenic properties against cancer growth. In this study, we identified several key underlying mechanisms of anticancer action of WA in glioblastoma cells. WA was found to inhibit proliferation by inducing a dose-dependent G2/M cell cycle arrest and promoting cell death through both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. This was accompanied by an inhibitory shift in the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway which included diminished expression and/or phosphorylation of Akt, mTOR, p70 S6K, and p85 S6K with increased activation of AMPKα and the tumor suppressor tuberin/TSC2. Alterations in proteins of the MAPK pathway and cell surface receptors like EGFR, Her2/ErbB2, and c-Met were also observed. WA induced an N-acetyl-L-cysteine-repressible enhancement in cellular oxidative potential/stress with subsequent induction of a heat shock stress response primarily through HSP70, HSP32, and HSP27 upregulation and HSF1 downregulation. Taken together, we suggest that WA may represent a promising chemotherapeutic candidate in glioblastoma therapy warranting further translational evaluation.
This article was published in Invest New Drugs
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals