Research Papers:

Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of xanthohumol in cholangiocarcinoma

Daniel Walden, Selvi Kunnimalaiyaan, Kevin Sokolowski, T. Clark Gamblin and Muthusamy Kunnimalaiyaan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:88069-88078. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21422

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Daniel Walden1, Selvi Kunnimalaiyaan1, Kevin Sokolowski1, T. Clark Gamblin1 and Muthusamy Kunnimalaiyaan1

1Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, MCW Cancer Center, Translational and Biomedical Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA

Correspondence to:

Muthusamy Kunnimalaiyaan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cholangiocarcinoma, xanthohumol, Notch1, apoptosis, cell cycle

Received: July 06, 2017     Accepted: August 31, 2017     Published: September 30, 2017


Cholangiocarcinoma remains the second most prevalent hepatic neoplasm in the United States with a 5-year survival rate of less than 10%. Currently, no systemic therapy has demonstrated efficacy. Therefore, an urgent need for the identification of molecularly targeted compound(s) remains. The Notch signaling pathway has been shown to be dysregulated in cholangiocarcinoma, exhibiting hyperactivity while also possibly mediating chemotherapeutic resistance. We analyzed the effects of xanthohumol, a prenylated chalcone, on cholangiocarcinoma proliferation utilizing human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines CCLP1, SG-231 and CC-SW-1 while gaining insight into the associated mechanism. Xanthohumol potently reduced cellular proliferation, colony formation, and cell confluency in all three cell lines. Xanthohumol induced cell cycle arrest as well as apoptosis through the reduction of cell cycle regulatory proteins as well as an increase in pro-apoptotic markers (cleaved poly ADP ribose polymerase, cleaved caspase-3) and a decrease in anti-apoptotic markers (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis and survivin). At the molecular level, xanthohumol reduced Notch1 and AKT expression in a step-wise and time-dependent fashion, with Notch1 reductions preceding AKT. Additionally, xanthohumol reduced cholangiocarcinoma growth in both CCLP-1 and SG-231 derived mice xenografts. In summary, we show that xanthohumol significantly reduced cholangiocarcinoma growth through the Notch1/AKT signaling axis. Furthermore, known pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of XN supports continued development of treatment for cholangiocarcinoma.

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