Destruxin B suppresses drug-resistant colon tumorigenesis and stemness is associated with the upregulation of miR-214 and downregulation of mTOR/β-catenin pathway

Szu Yuan Wu, Yan Jiun Huang, Yew Min Tzeng, Chi Ying F. Huang, Michael Hsiao, Alexander T.H. Wu, Tse Hung Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Drug resistance represents a major challenge for treating patients with colon cancer. Accumulating evidence suggests that Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-associated signaling promotes colon tumorigenesis and cancer stemness. Therefore, the identification of agents, which can disrupt cancer stemness signaling, may provide improved therapeutic efficacy. Methods: Mimicking the tumor microenvironment, we treated colon cancer cells with exogenous IGF1. The increased stemness of IGF1-cultured cells was determined by ALDH1 activity, side-population, tumor sphere formation assays. Destruxin B (DB) was evaluated for its anti-tumorigenic and stemness properties using cellular viability, colony-formation tests. The mimic and inhibitor of miR-214 were used to treat colon cancer cells to show its functional association to DB treatment. In vivo mouse models were used to evaluate DB’s ability to suppress colon tumor-initiating ability and growth inhibitory function. Results: IGF1-cultured colon cancer cells showed a significant increase in 5-FU resistance and enhanced stemness properties, including an increased percentage of ALDH1+, side-population cells, tumor sphere generation in vitro, and increased tumor initiation in vivo. In support, using public databases showed that increased IGF1 expression was significantly associated with a poorer prognosis in patients with colon cancer. DB, a hexadepsipeptide mycotoxin, was able to suppress colon tumorigenic phenotypes, including colony and sphere formation. The sequential treatment of DB, followed by 5-FU, synergistically inhibited the viability of colon cancer cells. In vivo studies showed that DB suppressed the tumorigenesis by 5-FU resistant colon cells, and in a greater degree when combined with 5-FU. Mechanistically, DB treatment was associated with decreased the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and β-catenin expression and an increased miR-214 level. Conclusion: We provided evidence of DB as a potential therapeutic agent for overcoming 5-FU resistance induced by IGF1, and suppressing cancer stem-like properties in association with miR-214 regulation. Further investigation is warranted for its translation to clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number353
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018


  • 5-FU resistance
  • Cancer stem-like cells
  • Colon cancer
  • Destruxin B
  • mTOR/β-catenin signaling and miR-214

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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