Research Papers:

Glycycoumarin exerts anti-liver cancer activity by directly targeting T-LAK cell-originated protein kinase

Xinhua Song, Shutao Yin, Enxiang Zhang, Lihong Fan, Min Ye, Yong Zhang and Hongbo Hu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:65732-65743. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11610

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Xinhua Song1, Shutao Yin1, Enxiang Zhang1, Lihong Fan2, Min Ye3, Yong Zhang4, Hongbo Hu1

1Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China

2College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

3The State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China

4The Key Laboratory of RNA Biology, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Correspondence to:

Hongbo Hu, email: [email protected]

Min Ye, email: [email protected]

Keywords: licorice, glycycoumarin, anti-liver cancer, T-LAK cell-originated protein kinase, p53

Received: June 03, 2016    Accepted: August 15, 2016    Published: August 25, 2016


Glycycoumarin (GCM) is a major bioactive coumarin compound isolated from licorice and the anti-cancer activity of GCM has not been scientifically addressed. In the present study, we have tested the anti-liver cancer activity of GCM using both in vitro and in vivo models and found for the first time that GCM possesses a potent activity against liver cancer evidenced by cell growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in vitro and tumor reduction in vivo. Mechanistically, GCM was able to bind to and inactivate oncogenic kinase T-LAK cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK), which in turn led to activation of p53 pathway. Our findings supported GCM as a novel active compound that contributed to the anti-cancer activity of licorice and TOPK could be an effective target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment.

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