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Context: Trichosanthin produced in the root tube of Trichosanthes kirilowii shows anti-tumor activity on a series of cancer cells including Hela, MCF-7, HL-60. But there is little information about its effect on the carcinogenesis of prostate cancer. Objective: This work was designed to study the role of trichosanthin on prostate cancer cells PC3. Materials and methods: Trichosanthin was expressed in BL21 strain and purified by affinity chromatography. MTT assay was designed to determine the effect of trichosanthin on growth of PC3 cells at doses of 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 120 μg/ml. Then the effect of 50 μg/ml rTCS alone or combined with 2 μM IL-2 on PC3 cell proliferation was analyzed. And the mechanism of rTCS was studied by western blot. After that the in vivo effect of rTCS combined with IL-2 was explored in mice bearing PC3 xenograft tumor. Results: Trichosanthin was successfully expressed in BL21 and purified by 100 mM imidazole. It was shown to inhibit proliferation of PC3 cells in a dose-dependent manner with IC50 50.6 μg/ml. When combined with cytokine IL-2, a significant synergic effect was obtained. The inhibition rate on PC3 was around 50 % in combination group while only 35.5 % in single rTCS group at 50 μg/ml. Further, the expression of full length caspase-8 and Bcl-2 decreased significantly while cleaved caspase-8 and Bax were up-regulated, which suggest that caspase-8-mediated apoptosis pathway may be activated by rTCS in PC3 cells. Moreover, our data demonstrated that tumor volume and tumor weight were significantly reduced in rTCS-treated or rTCS/IL-2-treated nude mice bearing PC3 xenograft tumor compared with control. And significant difference was also found between rTCS and rTCS/IL-2 group. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that rTCS is a potential agent with high in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activity on PC3 cells. And rTCS combined with IL-2 is a promising strategy in treating patients with prostate cancer in future.
Li, J. L., Li, H., Zhang, Z. L., Wang, N. Y., & Zhang, Y. C. (2016). The anti-cancerous activity of recombinant trichosanthin on prostate cancer cell PC3. Biological Research, 49(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40659-016-0081-8