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Abstract Title:

Honokiol Eliminates Glioma/Glioblastoma Stem Cell-Like Cells Via JAK-STAT3 Signaling and Inhibits Tumor Progression by Targeting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor.

Abstract Source:

Cancers (Basel). 2018 Dec 26 ;11(1). Epub 2018 Dec 26. PMID: 30587839

Abstract Author(s):

Yipu Fan, Weikang Xue, Melitta Schachner, Weijiang Zhao

Article Affiliation:

Yipu Fan


Malignant gliomas are the most aggressive forms of brain tumors; whose metastasis and recurrence contribute to high rates of morbidity and mortality. Glioma stem cell-like cells are a subpopulation of tumor-initiating cells responsible for glioma tumorigenesis, metastasis, recurrence and resistance to therapy. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been reported to be dysregulated in most cancers, including gliomas and its functions are closely linked to initiating tumor metastasis and a very poor prognosis. In search for compounds that may reduce the tumorigenic potential of gliomas/glioblastomas honokiol attracted our attention. Honokiol, purified from the bark of traditional Chinese herbal medicine Magnolia species, is beneficial in vitro and in animal models via a variety of pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenetic, anti-arrhythmic and antioxidant activities, as well as anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effects in a wide range of human cancer cells. However, its effects on glioma cells are unknown. Here, we used different concentrations of honokiol in treating U251 and U-87 MG human glioma/glioblastoma cells in cell culture. Results showed that honokiol inhibited glioma cell viability and colony formation and promoted apoptosis. It also inhibited glioma cell migration/proliferation and invasion. In addition, honokiol promoted apoptosis and reduced Bcl-2 expression, accompanied by increase in Bax expression. Honokiol reduced expression of EGFR, CD133 and Nestin. Moreover, honokiol inhibited the activation of both AKT and ERK signaling pathways, increased active caspase-3 level and reduced phosphorylation of STAT3. U-87 MG xenografts in nude mice and in immunotolerant zebrafish yolk sac showed that honokiol inhibits tumor growth and metastasis. Altogether, results indicate that honokiol reduces tumorigenic potentials, suggesting hopes for honokiol to be useful in the clinical management of glioma/glioblastoma.

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