Berberine retarded the growth of gastric cancer xenograft tumors.

PMID: World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2022 Apr 15; 14 (4): 842-857. PMID: 35582103 Abstract Title: Berberine retarded the growth of gastric cancer xenograft tumors by targeting hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α. Abstract: BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the world and ranks second in incidence and mortality of cancers in China. Despite advances in prevention, diagnosis, and therapy, the absolute number of cases is increasing every year due to aging and the growth of high-risk populations, and gastric cancer is still a leading cause of cancer-related death. Gastric cancer is a consequence of the complex interaction of microbial agents, with environmental and host factors, resulting in the dysregulation of multiple oncogenic and tumor-suppressing signaling pathways. Global efforts have been made to investigate in detail the genomic and epigenomic heterogeneity of this disease, resulting in the identification of new specific and sensitive predictive and prognostic biomarkers. Trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody against the HER2 receptor, is approved in the first-line treatment of patients with HER2 + tumors, which accounts for 13% -23% of the gastric cancer population. Ramucirumab, a monoclonal antibody against VEGFR2, is currently recommended in patients progressing after first-line treatment. Several clinical trials have also tested novel agents for advanced gastric cancer but mostly with disappointing results, such as anti-EGFR and anti-MET monoclonal antibodies. Therefore, it is still of great significance to screen specific molecular targets for gastric cancer and drugs directed against the molecular targets.AIM: To investigate the effect and mechanism of berberine against tumor growth in gastric cancer xenograft models and to explore the role of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) -WNT5a / β-catenin pathways played in the antitumor effects of berberine.METHODS: MGC803 and SGC7901 subcutaneous xenograft models were established. The control group was intragastrically administered with normal saline, and the berberine group was administered intragastrically with 100 mg / kg / d berberine. The body weight of nude mice during the experiment was measured to assess whether berberine has any adverse reaction. The volume of subcutaneous tumors during this experiment was recorded to evaluate the inhibitory effect of berberine on the growth of MGC803 and SGC7901 subcutaneous transplantation tumors. Polymerase chain reaction assays were conducted to evaluate the alteration of transcriptional expression of HNF4α, WNT5a and β-catenin in tumor tissues and liver tissues from the MGC803 and SGC7901 xenograft models. Western blotting and IHC were performed to assess the protein expression of HNF4α, WNT5a and β-catenin in tumor tissues and liver tissues from the MGC803 and SGC7901 xenograft models.RESULTS: In both MGC803 and SGC7901 xenograft tumor models, berberine significantly reduced tum. and weight and thus retarded the growth rate of tumors. In the SGC7901 and MGC803 subcutaneously transplanted tumor models, berberine down-regulated the expression of HNF4α, WNT5a and β-catenin in tumor tissues from both transcription and protein levels. Besides, berberine also suppressed the protein expression of HNF4α, WNT5a and β-catenin in liver tissues.CONCLUSION: Berberine retarded the growth of MGC803 and SGC7901 xenograft model tumors, and the mechanism behind these anti-growth effects might be the downregulation of the expression of HNF4α-WNT5a / β-catenin signaling pathways both in tumor tissues and liver tissues of the xenograft models.

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