Research Papers:

Morusin inhibits cell proliferation and tumor growth by downregulating c-Myc in human gastric cancer

Feng Wang, Dunke Zhang, Jingxin Mao, Xiao-Xue Ke, Rui Zhang, Chao Yin, Ning Gao and Hongjuan Cui _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:57187-57200. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19231

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Feng Wang1, Dunke Zhang1, Jingxin Mao1, Xiao-Xue Ke1, Rui Zhang1, Chao Yin1, Ning Gao2 and Hongjuan Cui1

1State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, Chongqing, P.R. China

2Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Hongjuan Cui, email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Keywords: morusin, c-Myc, cell proliferation, tumor growth, gastric cancer

Received: February 22, 2017     Accepted: June 26, 2017     Published: July 14, 2017


Morusin is a pure extract from the root bark of Morus australis (Moraceae). In recent years, morusin has been reported to exhibit anti-tumor biological activity in some types of human cancers through different mechanisms. Here, we attempted to investigate the inhibitory effect and mechanism of morusin on gastric cancer. Morusin markedly inhibited gastric cancer cell proliferation by down-regulating CDKs and Cyclins, such as CDK2, CDK4, Cyclin D1 and Cyclin E1. Additionally, morusin suppressed tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Up-regulation of CDKs and Cyclins in gastric cancer cells was induced by c-Myc binding at the E-Box regions of CDKs and the Cyclin promoter. In addition, compared with the control group, the morusin-treated group showed reduced expression of c-Myc and c-Myc protein binding at the E-Box regions. Based on these results, we overexpressed c-Myc in gastric cancer cells and found that overexpressing c-Myc rescued morusin-induced inhibition of cell proliferation and tumor growth. These results suggest that morusin inhibits cell proliferation and tumor growth by down-regulating c-Myc in human gastric cancer.

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