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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Hematology - Molecular Biology - Oncology

Icariside II Induces Apoptosis in U937 Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells: Role of Inactivation of STAT3-Related Signaling
Published: Friday, April 06, 2012
Author: Sang-Hun Kang et al.

by Sang-Hun Kang, Soo-Jin Jeong, Sun-Hee Kim, Ji-Hyun Kim, Ji Hoon Jung, Wonil Koh, Jung Hyo Kim, Dae Keun Kim, Chang-Yan Chen, Sung-Hoon Kim

Background

The aim of this study is to determine anti-cancer effect of Icariside II purified from the root of Epimedium koreanum Nakai on human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell line U937.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Icariside II blocked the growth U937 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In this anti-proliferation process, this herb compound rendered the cells susceptible to apoptosis, manifested by enhanced accumulation of sub-G1 cell population and increased the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells. Icariside II was able to activate caspase-3 and cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in a time-dependent manner. Concurrently, the anti-apoptotic proteins, such as bcl-xL and survivin in U937 cells, were downregulated by Icariside II. In addition, Icariside II could inhibit STAT3 phosphorylation and function and subsequently suppress the activation of Janus activated kinase 2 (JAK2), the upstream activators of STAT3, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Icariside II also enhanced the expression of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) SH2 domain-containing phosphatase (SHP)-1, and the addition of sodium pervanadate (a PTP inhibitor) prevented Icariside II-induced apoptosis as well as STAT3 inactivation in STAT3 positive U937 cells. Furthermore, silencing SHP-1 using its specific siRNA significantly blocked STAT3 inactivation and apoptosis induced by Icariside II in U937 cells.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results demonstrated that via targeting STAT3-related signaling, Icariside II sensitizes U937 cells to apoptosis and perhaps serves as a potent chemotherapeutic agent for AML.

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