Blockade of the SRC/STAT3/BCL-2 Signaling Axis Sustains the Cytotoxicity in Human Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines Induced by Dehydroxyhispolon Methyl Ether

Ya Chu Hsieh, Yuan Chang Dai, Kur Ta Cheng, Wei Ting Yang, Modukuri V. Ramani, Gottumukkala V. Subbaraju, Yi Ju Chen, Chia Che Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prevalent human cancer globally. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)-based systemic chemotherapy is the primary strategy for advanced CRC treatment, yet is limited by poor response rate. Deregulated activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is fundamental to driving CRC malignant transformation and a poor prognostic marker for CRC, underscoring STAT3 as a promising CRC drug target. Dehydroxyhispolon methyl ether (DHME) is an analog of Hispolon, an anticancer polyphenol abundant in the medicinal mushroom Phellinus linteus. Previously, we have established DHME’s cytotoxic effect on human CRC cell lines by eliciting apoptosis through the blockade of WNT/β-catenin signaling, a preeminent CRC oncogenic pathway. Herein, we unraveled that compared with 5-FU, DHME is a more potent killer of CRC cells while being much less toxic to normal colon epithelial cells. DHME suppressed both constitutive and interleukin 6 (IL-6)-induced STAT3 activation represented by tyrosine 705 phosphorylation of STAT3 (p-STAT3 (Y705)); notably, DHME-induced CRC apoptosis and clonogenicity limitation were abrogated by ectopic expression of STAT3-C, a dominant-active STAT3 mutant. Additionally, we proved that BCL-2 downregulation caused by DHME-mediated STAT3 blockage is responsible for DHME-induced CRC cell apoptosis. Lastly, DHME inhibited SRC activation, and v-src overexpression restored p-STAT3 (Y705) levels along with lowering the levels of apoptosis in DHME-treated CRC cells. We conclude DHME provokes CRC cell apoptosis by blocking the SRC/STAT3/BCL-2 axis besides thwarting WNT/β-catenin signaling. The notion that DHME targets two fundamental CRC signaling pathways underpins the potential of DHME as a CRC chemotherapy agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2530
JournalBiomedicines
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • BCL-2
  • colorectal cancer
  • cytotoxicity
  • dehydroxyhispolon methyl ether
  • hispolon
  • SRC
  • STAT3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology

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