Paeonol exerts an anticancer effect on human colorectal cancer cells. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Paeonol exerts an anticancer effect on human colorectal cancer cells through inhibition of PGE₂ synthesis and COX-2 expression.
Oncol Rep. 2014 Dec ;32(6):2845-53. Epub 2014 Oct 13. PMID: 25322760
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its metabolite prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) can potentially affect most of the events in cancer development, including promotion of proliferation, resistance to apoptosis, angiogenesis, immune suppression and invasion. However, worldwide attention has predominantly centered on the cardiovascular toxicity of selective COX-2 inhibitors. Paeonol is a major active extract from the root bark of Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews with anti‑inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, anti-oxidation and antitumor effects. In the present study, we investigated the underlying mechanisms of paeonol in inducing apoptosis and aimed to ascertain whether its antitumor effect is associated with a reduction in COX-2 expression and a decrease in the levels of PGE2 in colorectal cancer cells. We observed that paeonol inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner in colorectal cancer cells, which was associated with a reduction in COX-2 expression and PGE2 synthesis. Treatment with the selective COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, or transient transfection of colorectal cancer cells with COX-2 siRNA, also inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. Western blot analysis showed that paeonol inhibited the activation of NF-κB, an upstream regulator of COX-2, and its translocation to the nucleus.Treatment with increasing doses of paeonol led to increased expression of pro-apoptotic factor Bax and decreased expression of anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-2. Caspase-3 and caspase-9 were activated, and paeonol induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, suggesting that the apoptosis induced bypaeonol was mediated by mitochondrial pathways. In addition, paeonol significantly suppressed tumor growth in a xenograft tumor mouse model in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings indicate that paeonol exerts an antitumor effect on human colorectal cancer cells by inhibiting PGE2 production and COX-2 expression. We expect that paeonol may replace selective COX-2 inhibitors due to their toxic effects, and may offer a new strategy for the therapy of colorectal cancer.