β-elemene induced anticancer effect in bladder cancer through upregulation of PTEN and suppression of AKT phosphorylation.
Oncol Lett. 2018 Nov ;16(5):6019-6025. Epub 2018 Sep 5. PMID: 30333873
Human bladder cancer is one of the most aggressive tumours known and has shown resistance to traditional chemotherapy, which depends heavily on DNA-damaging drugs.β-elemene is one of the least cytotoxic antitumor agents that are extracted from Curcuma aromatica salisb and it exhibits antitumor effects in many carcinomas. β-elemene has attracted the attention of clinicians and scientists worldwide due to its few side effects and limited effect on the bone marrow. However, the antitumor mechanism of β-elemene remains largely unstudied. In the present study, the expression of the AKT serine/threonine kinase (AKT) signaling pathway in bladder cancer and normal bladder tissue was investigated, and the influence of β-elemene on bladder cancer cells and the mechanisms involved were assessed. The results showed that phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) was downregulated and phosphorylated-AKT (pAKT) was overexpressed in human bladder cancer. β-elemene significantly suppressed the viability of bladder cancer cells, while leaving normal bladder cells unaffected. In addition, there was an increased number of apoptotic bladder cancer cells following β-elemene treatment, and a significant reduction in cell invasion and migration. Subsequent western blot analyses revealed that bladder cancer cells treated with β-elemene had increased PTEN expression and decreased expression of pAKT. Taken together, these results suggest that β-elemene has an antitumor effect in bladder cancer cells through the upregulation of PTEN and suppression of AKT phosphorylation.