Cucurbitacin B induces apoptosis of primary effusion lymphoma via disruption of cytoskeletal organization.
Phytomedicine. 2021 May ;85:153545. Epub 2021 Mar 10. PMID: 33799222
BACKGROUND: Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is an aggressive B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that develops especially in AIDS patients and immunocompromised patients infected with human herpes virus-8 (HHV-8)/Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). PEL has a poor prognosis in patients despite conventional chemotherapeutic treatment, and a safe and efficient therapy is required.
PURPOSE: To examine the effects on PEL of cucurbitacin B (CuB), a triterpene found in plants of the Cucurbitaceae family that has several anti-cancer activities.
STUDY DESIGN: We evaluated the anti-cancer activities of CuB in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: Cell proliferation of PEL cell lines was measured by MTT assay. Cleaved caspases and signaling transduction associated proteins were analyzed by western blotting. Wright and Giemsa staining and immunofluorescence staining were carried out to observe cell morphology. Cell cycles were analyzed by flow cytometry. RT-PCR was performed to detect viral gene expressions. A xenograft mouse model was employed to evaluate the anti-cancer activity of CuB in vivo.
RESULTS: CuB inhibited cell proliferation of PEL cell lines (BCBL-1, BC-1, GTO and TY-1) in a dose-dependent manner (0-50 nM) and induced apoptosis of BCBL-1 cells via caspase activation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In addition, CuB caused cell-shape disruption by inducing actin aggregation and suppressing the p-cofilin level, resulting in BCBL-1 cell arrest at the G2/M phase. In contrast, CuB showed almost no suppression of p-STAT3 and p-Akt activation, which were constitutively activated by KSHV-derived proteins. Furthermore, CuB (0.5 mg/kg) via intraperitoneal injection significantly (p<0.05) suppressed solid tumor growth in the xenograft mouse model.
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that CuB is a promising agent for PEL treatment.