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      An Arthropod Hormone, Ecdysterone, Inhibits the Growth of Breast Cancer Cells via Different Mechanisms


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          Ecdysterone (Ecdy) is a hormone found in arthropods, which regulates their development. It is also synthesized by a number of plants to combat insect pests. It provides a number of beneficial pharmacological effects including the anabolic and adaptogenic ones. Ecdysterone is widely marketed as food supplement to enhance the physical performance of athletes. In addition to the estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta)-dependent anabolic effect of Ecdy in muscles, the molecular mechanisms of the plethora of other Ecdy-induced pharmacological effects remain unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacological effect of ecdysterone on human breast cancer cell lines of different molecular subtypes. Surprisingly, in contrast to the anabolic effect on muscle tissues, we have revealed a tumor suppressive effect of Ecdy on a panel of breast cancer cell lines studied. Using the SeaHorse-based energy profiling, we have demonstrated that Ecdy dampened glycolysis and respiration, as well as greatly reduced the metabolic potential of triple negative breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, we have revealed that Ecdy strongly induced autophagy. As part of the combined treatment, based on the Combination Index (CI) and Dose Reduction Index (DRI), Ecdy synergized with doxorubicin to induce cell death in several breast cancer cell lines. In contrast, Ecdy had only minor effect on non-transformed human fibroblasts. Collectively, our results indicate that ecdysterone can be considered as a new potential adjuvant for genotoxic therapy in treatment of breast cancer patients.

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          Theoretical basis, experimental design, and computerized simulation of synergism and antagonism in drug combination studies.

          The median-effect equation derived from the mass-action law principle at equilibrium-steady state via mathematical induction and deduction for different reaction sequences and mechanisms and different types of inhibition has been shown to be the unified theory for the Michaelis-Menten equation, Hill equation, Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, and Scatchard equation. It is shown that dose and effect are interchangeable via defined parameters. This general equation for the single drug effect has been extended to the multiple drug effect equation for n drugs. These equations provide the theoretical basis for the combination index (CI)-isobologram equation that allows quantitative determination of drug interactions, where CI 1 indicate synergism, additive effect, and antagonism, respectively. Based on these algorithms, computer software has been developed to allow automated simulation of synergism and antagonism at all dose or effect levels. It displays the dose-effect curve, median-effect plot, combination index plot, isobologram, dose-reduction index plot, and polygonogram for in vitro or in vivo studies. This theoretical development, experimental design, and computerized data analysis have facilitated dose-effect analysis for single drug evaluation or carcinogen and radiation risk assessment, as well as for drug or other entity combinations in a vast field of disciplines of biomedical sciences. In this review, selected examples of applications are given, and step-by-step examples of experimental designs and real data analysis are also illustrated. The merging of the mass-action law principle with mathematical induction-deduction has been proven to be a unique and effective scientific method for general theory development. The median-effect principle and its mass-action law based computer software are gaining increased applications in biomedical sciences, from how to effectively evaluate a single compound or entity to how to beneficially use multiple drugs or modalities in combination therapies.
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            Quantitative analysis of dose-effect relationships: the combined effects of multiple drugs or enzyme inhibitors

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              The Roles of Autophagy in Cancer

              Autophagy is an intracellular degradative process that occurs under several stressful conditions, including organelle damage, the presence of abnormal proteins, and nutrient deprivation. The mechanism of autophagy initiates the formation of autophagosomes that capture degraded components and then fuse with lysosomes to recycle these components. The modulation of autophagy plays dual roles in tumor suppression and promotion in many cancers. In addition, autophagy regulates the properties of cancer stem-cells by contributing to the maintenance of stemness, the induction of recurrence, and the development of resistance to anticancer reagents. Although some autophagy modulators, such as rapamycin and chloroquine, are used to regulate autophagy in anticancer therapy, since this process also plays roles in both tumor suppression and promotion, the precise mechanism of autophagy in cancer requires further study. In this review, we will summarize the mechanism of autophagy under stressful conditions and its roles in tumor suppression and promotion in cancer and in cancer stem-cells. Furthermore, we discuss how autophagy is a promising potential therapeutic target in cancer treatment.

                Author and article information

                Front Pharmacol
                Front Pharmacol
                Front. Pharmacol.
                Frontiers in Pharmacology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                30 October 2020
                : 11
                : 561537
                [ 1 ]Institute of cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), St-Petersburg, Russia
                [ 2 ]Almazov National Medical Research Centre, St-Petersburg, Russia
                [ 3 ]Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudny, Russia
                [ 4 ]Orekhovich Institute of Biochemical Medicine, Moscow, Russia
                Author notes

                Edited by: Jin-Ming Yang, University of Kentucky, United States

                Reviewed by: Daotai Nie, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, United States

                Agnieszka Zdzisława Robaszkiewicz, University of Łódź, Poland

                *Correspondence: N. A. Barlev, nick.a.barlev@ 123456gmail.com

                This article was submitted to Pharmacology of Anti-Cancer Drugs, a section of the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology

                Copyright © 2020 Shuvalov, Fedorova, Tananykina, Julia, Daks, Petukhov and Barlev

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 12 May 2020
                : 30 September 2020
                Page count
                Pages: 0
                Funded by: Russian Science Foundation 10.13039/501100006769
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                ecdysterone,breast cancer,doxorubicin,autophagy,energy metabolism,synergism,triple negative breast cancer,combination index,dose reduction index,2-deoxyglucose,extracellular acidification rate,oxygen consumption rate,multiple drug resistance


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