Dehydrodiisoeugenol inhibits colorectal cancer growth by endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced autophagic pathways

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Abstract

Background: Dehydrodiisoeugenol (DEH), a novel lignan component extracted from nutmeg, which is the seed of Myristica fragrans Houtt, displays noticeable anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects in digestive system diseases. However, the mechanism of its anticancer activity in gastrointestinal cancer remains to be investigated. Methods: In this study, the anticancer effect of DEH on human colorectal cancer and its underlying mechanism were evaluated. Assays including MTT, EdU, Plate clone formation, Soft agar, Flow cytometry, Electron microscopy, Immunofluorescence and Western blotting were used in vitro. The CDX and PDX tumor xenograft models were used in vivo. Results: Our findings indicated that treatment with DEH arrested the cell cycle of colorectal cancer cells at the G1/S phase, leading to significant inhibition in cell growth. Moreover, DEH induced strong cellular autophagy, which could be inhibited through autophagic inhibitors, with a rction in the DEH-induced inhibition of cell growth in colorectal cancer cells. Further analysis indicated that DEH also induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and subsequently stimulated autophagy through the activation of PERK/eIF2α and IRE1α/XBP-1 s/CHOP pathways. Knockdown of PERK or IRE1α significantly decreased DEH-induced autophagy and retrieved cell viability in cells treated with DEH. Furthermore, DEH also exhibited significant anticancer activities in the CDX- and PDX-models. Conclusions: Collectively, our studies strongly suggest that DEH might be a potential anticancer agent against colorectal cancer by activating ER stress-induced inhibition of autophagy.

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Li, C., Zhang, K., Pan, G., Ji, H., Li, C., Wang, X., … Cui, H. (2021). Dehydrodiisoeugenol inhibits colorectal cancer growth by endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced autophagic pathways. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research, 40(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13046-021-01915-9

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