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Chemistry - Oncology - Pharmacology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Monascuspiloin Enhances the Radiation Sensitivity of Human Prostate Cancer Cells by Stimulating Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Inducing Autophagy
Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Author: Hui-Wen Chiu et al.

by Hui-Wen Chiu, Wen-Hung Fang, Yen-Lin Chen, Ming-Der Wu, Gwo-Fang Yuan, Sheng-Yow Ho, Ying-Jan Wang

Prostate cancer is a very common cancer among males. Traditional treatments for prostate cancer have limited efficacy; therefore, new therapeutic strategies and/or new adjuvant drugs must be explored. Red yeast rice (RYR) is a traditional food spice made in Asia by fermenting white rice with Monascus purpureus Went yeast. Accumulating evidence indicates that RYR has antitumor activity. In this study, PC-3 cells (human prostate cancer cells) were used to investigate the anti-cancer effects of ionizing radiation (IR) combined with monascuspiloin (MP, a yellow pigment isolated from Monascus pilosus M93-fermented rice) and to determine the underlying mechanisms of these effects in vitro and in vivo. We found that IR combined with MP showed increased therapeutic efficacy when compared with either treatment alone in PC-3 cells. In addition, the combined treatment enhanced DNA damage and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. The combined treatment induced primarily autophagy in PC-3 cells, and the cell death that was induced by the combined treatment was chiefly the result of inhibition of the Akt/mTOR signaling pathways. In an in vivo study, the combination treatment showed greater anti-tumor growth effects. These novel findings suggest that the combined treatment could be a potential therapeutic strategy for prostate cancer.