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      Jatrophone: a cytotoxic macrocylic diterpene targeting PI3K/AKT/NF-κB pathway, inducing apoptosis and autophagy in resistant breast cancer cells


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          Breast cancer is a prevalent malignant tumor that affects women worldwide. The primary challenge in treating breast cancer is combating drug resistance, which contributes to relapse and metastasis. Jatrophone is a unique macrocyclic jatrophane diterpene found in various Jatropha and Euphorbia species. It possesses diverse biological and pharmacological activities, including anticancer activity. However, it is unclear whether jatrophone can overcome drug resistance in breast cancer.


          This study includes the investigation of the cytotoxicity of jatrophone on doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7 ADR) and the underlying molecular mechanisms. The effects of jatrophone on cell viability were determined using the sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay, while flow cytometry was used to evaluate cell cycle progression, apoptosis, and autophagy. A scratch assay was conducted to observe cell migration, and western blotting was used to measure downstream protein levels (PI3K, AKT, and NF-κB). Unpaired Student’s t-tests were used for comparison between the two groups and the results were analyzed by one-way ANOVA with Tukey- Kremer post hoc test.


          It was shown that jatrophone exhibited potent cytotoxic activity on MCF-7 ADR cells in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC 50 value of 1.8 µM. It also significantly induced cell cycle S and G/M phase arrest. Interestingly, jatrophone induced both early and late apoptotic cell death, as well as autophagic cell death, with negligible necrosis. Furthermore, jatrophone treatment diminished the migration of MCF-7 ADR cells. At the molecular level, jatrophone treatment significantly down-regulated the expression levels of PI3K, AKT, and NF-κB. β.


          The results of the study suggest that jatrophone decreases the proliferation of MCF-7/ADR cells at a low micromolar concentration; induces cell cycle arrest; promotes apoptotic, and autophagic cell death; inhibits migration and EMT; and works on resistance by a mechanism involving the inhibition of the PI3K/Akt/ NF-κB pathway. These findings provide evidence of the potential of jatrophone to be a promising lead compound for targeting doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells and could be further investigated for its clinical application as a chemotherapy adjuvant.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12906-023-04113-6.

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          Most cited references46

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          Naturally occurring anti-cancer compounds: shining from Chinese herbal medicine

          Numerous natural products originated from Chinese herbal medicine exhibit anti-cancer activities, including anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-metastatic, anti-angiogenic effects, as well as regulate autophagy, reverse multidrug resistance, balance immunity, and enhance chemotherapy in vitro and in vivo. To provide new insights into the critical path ahead, we systemically reviewed the most recent advances (reported since 2011) on the key compounds with anti-cancer effects derived from Chinese herbal medicine (curcumin, epigallocatechin gallate, berberine, artemisinin, ginsenoside Rg3, ursolic acid, silibinin, emodin, triptolide, cucurbitacin B, tanshinone I, oridonin, shikonin, gambogic acid, artesunate, wogonin, β-elemene, and cepharanthine) in scientific databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Medline, Scopus, and Clinical Trials). With a broader perspective, we focused on their recently discovered and/or investigated pharmacological effects, novel mechanism of action, relevant clinical studies, and their innovative applications in combined therapy and immunomodulation. In addition, the present review has extended to describe other promising compounds including dihydroartemisinin, ginsenoside Rh2, compound K, cucurbitacins D, E, I, tanshinone IIA and cryptotanshinone in view of their potentials in cancer therapy. Up to now, the evidence about the immunomodulatory effects and clinical trials of natural anti-cancer compounds from Chinese herbal medicine is very limited, and further research is needed to monitor their immunoregulatory effects and explore their mechanisms of action as modulators of immune checkpoints.
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            The mitochondrial membrane potential (deltapsi(m)) in apoptosis; an update.

            Mitochondrial dysfunction has been shown to participate in the induction of apoptosis and has even been suggested to be central to the apoptotic pathway. Indeed, opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore has been demonstrated to induce depolarization of the transmembrane potential (deltapsi(m)), release of apoptogenic factors and loss of oxidative phosphorylation. In some apoptotic systems, loss of deltapsi(m) may be an early event in the apoptotic process. However, there are emerging data suggesting that, depending on the model of apoptosis, the loss of deltapsi(m) may not be an early requirement for apoptosis, but on the contrary may be a consequence of the apoptotic-signaling pathway. Furthermore, to add to these conflicting data, loss of deltapsi(m) has been demonstrated to not be required for cytochrome c release, whereas release of apoptosis inducing factor AIF is dependent upon disruption of deltapsi(m) early in the apoptotic pathway. Together, the existing literature suggests that depending on the cell system under investigation and the apoptotic stimuli used, dissipation of deltapsi(m) may or may not be an early event in the apoptotic pathway. Discrepancies in this area of apoptosis research may be attributed to the fluorochromes used to detect deltapsi(m). Differential degrees of sensitivity of these fluorochromes exist, and there are also important factors that contribute to their ability to accurately discriminate changes in deltapsi(m).
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              The Role of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Plasticity in Ovarian Cancer Progression and Therapy Resistance

              Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of all gynecologic malignancies and the eighth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. The main reasons for this poor prognosis are late diagnosis; when the disease is already in an advanced stage, and the frequent development of resistance to current chemotherapeutic regimens. Growing evidence demonstrates that apart from its role in ovarian cancer progression, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) can promote chemotherapy resistance. In this review, we will highlight the contribution of EMT to the distinct steps of ovarian cancer progression. In addition, we will review the different types of ovarian cancer resistance to therapy with particular attention to EMT-mediated mechanisms such as cell fate transitions, enhancement of cancer cell survival, and upregulation of genes related to drug resistance. Preclinical studies of anti-EMT therapies have yielded promising results. However, before anti-EMT therapies can be effectively implemented in clinical trials, more research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms leading to EMT-induced therapy resistance.

                Author and article information

                BMC Complement Med Ther
                BMC Complement Med Ther
                BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 August 2023
                22 August 2023
                : 23
                : 293
                [1 ]GRID grid.7776.1, ISNI 0000 0004 0639 9286, Pharmacognosy Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, , Cairo University, ; Kasr El-Aini St, Cairo, 11562 Egypt
                [2 ]GRID grid.419725.c, ISNI 0000 0001 2151 8157, Pharmacology Department, Medical Research Institute, National Research Centre, ; Dokki, Cairo, 12622 Egypt
                © BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2023

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                : 18 May 2023
                : 2 August 2023
                Funded by: Cairo University
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                © BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2023

                jatrophone,jatropha spinosa,doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer,early apoptosis,pi3k/akt/nf-κb,autophagy,migration/β


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