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eISSN: 1643-3750

Antiproliferative Effects of Matricine in Gemcitabine-Resistant Human Pancreatic Carcinoma Cells Are Mediated via Mitochondrial-Mediated Apoptosis, Inhibition of Cell Migration, Invasion Suppression, and Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)-TOR/PI3K/AKT Signalling Pathway

Kaifeng Fang, Li Wang, LuJia Chen, Tao Liu, Zhi Fang

Department of Emergency Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:2943-2949

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.914244

Available online:

Published: 2019-04-21

BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is a major cause of mortality worldwide. Inefficient drugs, their adverse effects, and the development of drug resistance make it difficult to curb the growing incidence of pancreatic cancer. Against this backdrop, the development new drug regimens with no or negligible adverse effects is imperative. We assessed the anticancer effects of a plant-derived sesquiterpene - matricine - against capan-2 pancreatic cancer cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cell viability was determined by MTT assay. AO/EB, DAPI, and annexin V/PI staining were used to detect apoptosis. Transwell assays were used for monitoring of cell migration and invasion. Immunoblotting was used to examine the expression of proteins.
RESULTS: The results showed that matricine halted the proliferation of capan-2 cells, with minimal toxic effects on normal pancreatic cells. The anticancer effects were due to the induction of apoptotic cell death, which was allied with activation of caspases 3 and 9, upregulation of Bax, and downregulation of Bcl-2. Moreover, matricine suppressed the migration and invasive abilities of pancreatic cancer cells at IC50. We also assessed the effects of matricine on the mTOR/PI3K/AKT signalling pathway. We found that matricine efficiently blocked this pathway, suggesting the anticancer potential of matricine.
CONCLUSIONS: Matricine induced antiproliferative effects in capan-2 human pancreatic cancer cells through inducing apoptosis, caspase activation, inhibition of cell migration and invasion, and blocking the mTOR/PI3K/AKT signalling pathway.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Cell Proliferation, Neoplasm Invasiveness, Pancreatic Neoplasms