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      Design and Synthesis of Novel Anti-Proliferative Emodin Derivatives and Studies on their Cell Cycle Arrest, Apoptosis Pathway and Migration

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          Abstract

          Emodin is a cell arrest and apoptosis-inducing compound that is widely distributed in different plants (rhubarb, aloe), lichens and terrestrial fungi, and also isolated from marine-derived fungi and marine sponge-associated fungi. In this study, we designed and synthesized a novel series of emodin derivatives by binding emodin to an amino acid using linkers of varying lengths and composition, and evaluated their anti-proliferative activities using HepG2 cells (human hepatic carcinoma), MCF-7 cells (human breast cancer) and human normal liver L02 cells. Most of these derivatives showed moderate to potent anti-proliferative activities. Notably, compound 7a exhibited potent anti-proliferative activity against HepG2 cells with the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC 50) value of 4.95 µM, which was enhanced 8.8-fold compared to the parent compound emodin (IC 50 = 43.87 µM), and it also exhibited better selective anti-proliferative activity and specificity than emodin. Moreover, further experiments demonstrated that compound 7a displayed a significant efficacy of inducing apoptosis through mitochondrial pathway via release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and subsequent activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, inducing cell arrest at G0/G1 phase, as well as suppression of cell migration of tumor cells. The preliminary results suggested that compound 7a could be a promising lead compound for the discovery of novel anti-tumor drugs and has the potential for further investigations as an anti-cancer drug.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Emodin induces apoptosis in human lung adenocarcinoma cells through a reactive oxygen species-dependent mitochondrial signaling pathway.

          Emodin, a natural anthraquinone derivative isolated from Rheum palmatum L., has been reported to exhibit anti-cancer effect on several human cancers such as liver cancers and lung cancers. However, the molecular mechanisms of emodin-mediated tumor regression have not been fully defined. In this study, we show that treatment with 50 microM emodin resulted in a pronounced release of cytochrome c, activation of caspase-2, -3, and -9, and apoptosis in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells. These events were accompanied by the inactivation of ERK and AKT, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential ((Delta)psi(m)), decrease of mitochondrial Bcl-2, and increase of mitochondrial Bax content. Ectopic expression of Bcl-2, or treatment with aurintricarboxylic acid, furosemide or caspase inhibitors markedly blocked emodin-induced apoptosis. Conversely, pharmacologic ERK and AKT inhibition promoted emodin-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, the free radical scavenger ascorbic acid and N-acetylcysteine attenuated emodin-mediated ROS production, ERK and AKT inactivation, mitochondrial dysfunction, Bcl-2/Bax modulation, and apoptosis. Take together, these findings suggest that in A549 cells, emodin-mediated oxidative injury acts as an early and upstream change in the cell death cascade to antagonize cytoprotective ERK and AKT signaling, triggers mitochondrial dysfunction, Bcl-2 and Bax modulation, mitochondrial cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and consequent leading to apoptosis.
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            Emodin, a naturally occurring anthraquinone derivative, suppresses IgE-mediated anaphylactic reaction and mast cell activation.

            The high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcɛRI)-mediated activation of mast cells plays an important role in allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis. Emodin, a naturally occurring anthraquinone derivative in oriental herbal medicines, has several beneficial pharmacologic effects, such as anti-cancer and anti-diabetic activities. However, the anti-allergic effect of emodin has not yet been investigated. To assess the anti-allergic activity of emodin, in vivo passive anaphylaxis animal model and in vitro mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells were used to investigate the mechanism of its action on mast cells. Our results showed that emodin inhibited degranulation, generation of eicosanoids (prostaglandin D(2) and leukotriene C(4)), and secretion of cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) in a dose-dependent manner in IgE/Ag-stimulated mast cells. Biochemical analysis of the FcɛRI-mediated signaling pathways demonstrated that emodin inhibited the phosphorylation of Syk and multiple downstream signaling processes including mobilization of intracellular Ca(2+) and activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and NF-κB pathways. When administered orally, emodin attenuated the mast cell-dependent passive anaphylactic reaction in IgE-sensitized mice. Thus, emodin inhibits mast cell activation and thereby the anaphylactic reaction through suppression of the receptor-proximal Syk-dependent signaling pathways. Therefore, emodin might provide a basis for development of a novel anti-allergic drug. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Emodin suppresses inflammatory responses and joint destruction in collagen-induced arthritic mice.

              Emodin (3-methyl-1,6,8-trihydroxyanthraquinone) is one of the active components present in the root and rhizome of Rheum palmatum. It has been shown to contain biological activity (antitumour, antibacterial, diuretic and vasorelaxant effects). However, the mechanisms underlying the anti-arthritic effect of emodin have not been elucidated. Here we investigated whether emodin treatment would modulate the severity of the disease in an experimental arthritis model. We evaluated the effects of emodin on CIA mice in vivo. The pathological processes of RA are mediated by a number of cytokines and MMPs. Expression of these proinflammatory mediators is controlled by nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). This study was performed to explore the effect of emodin on control of the NF-κB activation pathway and to investigate whether emodin has anti-inflammatory effects in CIA mice in vivo. Emodin inhibited the nuclear translocation and DNA binding of NF-κB subunits, which were correlated with its inhibitory effect on cytoplasmic IκBα degradation in CIA mice. These events further suppressed chemokine production and MMP expression. In addition, emodin inhibited the osteoclast differentiation induced by M-CSF and receptor activation of NF-κB ligand in bone marrow macrophages. These findings suggest that emodin exerts anti-inflammatory effects in CIA mice through inhibition of the NF-κB pathway and therefore may have therapeutic value for the treatment of RA.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Molecules
                Molecules
                molecules
                Molecules
                MDPI
                1420-3049
                02 March 2019
                March 2019
                : 24
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Key Laboratory of Natural Resources and Functional Molecules of the Changbai Mountain, Affiliated Ministry of Education; Yanbian University College of Pharmacy, Yanji 133002, Jilin Province, China; yangkun815@ 123456163.com
                [2 ]Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China; mingji612@ 123456126.com
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: zsquan@ 123456ybu.edu.cn (Z.-S.Q.); piaohr@ 123456ybu.edu.cn (H.-R.P.); Tel.: +86-433-243-6149 (H.-R.P.)
                Article
                molecules-24-00884
                10.3390/molecules24050884
                6429262
                30832378
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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