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Germacrone reverses Adriamycin resistance through cell apoptosis in multidrugresistant breast cancer cells

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Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major obstacle to the chemotherapeutic treatment of breast cancer. Germacrone, the main component of Rhizoma Curcuma, has been shown to possess antitumor, antiinflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of germacrone on MCF7/Adriamycin (ADR) multidrugresistant human breast cancer cells. The treatment of MCF7/ADR cells with a combination of germacrone and ADR resulted in an increase in cytotoxicity compared with that of ADR alone, as determined using an MTT assay. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that germacrone promoted cell apoptosis in a dosedependent manner, whilst treatment with germacrone plus ADR enhanced the apoptotic effect synergistically. Furthermore, the results from the western blot analysis demonstrated that augmenting ADR treatment with germacrone resulted in a reduction of antiapoptotic protein expression levels (bcl2) and enhancement of proapoptotic protein expression levels (p53 and bax) in MCF7/ADR cells compared with the levels achieved by treatment with ADR alone. In addition, germacrone significantly reduced the expression of Pglycoprotein via the inhibition of the multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) gene promoter. These findings demonstrate that germacrone has a critical role against MDR and may be a novel MDR reversal agent for breast cancer chemotherapy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310014, P.R. China

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine aims to ensure the expedient publication, in both print and electronic format, of studies relating to biology, gene therapy, infectious disease, microbiology, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. The journal welcomes studies pertaining to all aspects of molecular medicine, and studies relating to in vitro or in vivo experimental model systems relevant to the mechanisms of disease are also included.

    All materials submitted to this journal undergo the appropriate review via referees who are experts in this field. All materials submitted follow international guidelines with regard to approval of experiments on humans and animals.
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