Research Papers:

Rottlerin as a novel chemotherapy agent for adrenocortical carcinoma

Yi Zhu, Minjie Wang, Xu Zhao, Lei Zhang, Yigao Wu, Bangqi Wang and Weilie Hu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:22825-22834. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15221

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Yi Zhu1,2, Minjie Wang3, Xu Zhao2,4, Lei Zhang2, Yigao Wu2, Bangqi Wang2, Weilie Hu2

1Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, P.R. China

2Guangzhou General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China

3No. 422 Hospital of PLA, Zhanjiang, Guangdong, P.R. China

4Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Weilie Hu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: adrenocortical carcinoma, rottlerin, Wnt/β-catenin, anticancer agent

Received: October 07, 2016     Accepted: January 24, 2017     Published: February 09, 2017


Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare, but aggressive endocrine malignancy with a generally poor clinical outcome. There is no effective therapy for advanced and metastatic ACC. In our study, we found that an existing drug (rottlerin) exerted its tumour-suppressive function in ACC. Specifically, rottlerin inhibited cellular proliferation of ACC cell lines (NCI-H295R and SW-13) in a dose- and time-dependent manner. We also found that rottlerin induced cell apoptosis and promoted G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in ACC cell lines. The cellular migration and invasion of ACC cell lines were decreased after treatment with rottlerin. Further, the molecular expression of lipoprotein receptor related protein 6 (LRP6) and β-catenin were down-regulated in rottlerin-treated ACC cells, which indicated that Wnt/β-catenin signaling was involved in the tumour-suppressive function of rottlerin. To further confirm the anti-tumour function of rottlerin, a nude mouse ACC xenograft model was used. The xenograft growth curves and TUNEL assays demonstrated that rottlerin inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in the ACC xenograft model. Furthermore, we verified that rottlerin down-regulated the expression of LRP6 and β-catenin in vivo. The ACC cell line and xenograft mouse model data indicated that rottlerin significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of ACC cells, likely via suppression of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Our study indicated the potential therapeutic utility of rottlerin as a novel and potential chemotherapeutic agent for ACC.

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