Research Papers:

This article has been corrected. Correction in: Oncotarget. 2018; 9:28796.

Genipin suppresses colorectal cancer cells by inhibiting the Sonic Hedgehog pathway

Bo Ram Kim, Yoon A. Jeong, Yoo Jin Na, Seong Hye Park, Min Jee Jo, Jung Lim Kim, Soyeon Jeong, Suk-Young Lee, Hong Jun Kim, Sang Cheul Oh and Dae-Hee Lee _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:101952-101964. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21882

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Bo Ram Kim1, Yoon A. Jeong1, Yoo Jin Na2, Seong Hye Park2, Min Jee Jo2, Jung Lim Kim1, Soyeon Jeong1, Suk-Young Lee1, Hong Jun Kim1, Sang Cheul Oh1,2 and Dae-Hee Lee1,2

1Department of Oncology, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Graduate School of Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:

Dae-Hee Lee, email: [email protected]

Sang Cheul Oh, email: [email protected]

Keywords: genipin; Hedgehog pathway; NOXA; GLI1; ubiquitin

Received: July 05, 2017     Accepted: September 04, 2017     Published: October 16, 2017


Genipin, a major component of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis fruit, has been shown to inhibit the growth of gastric, prostate, and breast cancers. However, the anti-proliferative activity of genipin in colorectal cancer (CRC) has not been characterized. Herein, we demonstrated that genipin inhibits the proliferation of CRC cells and that genipin suppressed the Hedgehog pathway. Further investigation showed that p53 and NOXA protein levels were increased during inhibition of Hedgehog pathway-mediated apoptosis in CRC cells. We also showed that p53 modulated the expression of NOXA during genipin-induced apoptosis, and suppression via SMO also played a role in this process. Subsequently, GLI1 was ubiquitinated by the E3 ligase PCAF. In a xenograft tumor model, genipin suppressed tumor growth, which was also associated with Hedgehog inactivation. Taken together, these results suggest that genipin induces apoptosis through the Hedgehog signaling pathway by suppressing p53. These findings reveal a novel regulatory mechanism involving Hedgehog/p53/NOXA signaling in the modulation of CRC cell apoptosis and tumor-forming defects.

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