Aberrant AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation is often observed in various human cancers. Both AKT and ERK are important in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/ERK signaling pathways, which play vital roles in cell proliferation, differentiation and survival. Compounds that are able to block these pathways have therefore a promising use in cancer treatment and prevention. The present study revealed that AKT and ERK are activated in esophageal cancer TE1 cells. Aloe-emodin, an anthraquinone present in aloe latex, can suppress TE1 cell proliferation and anchor-independent cell growth. Aloe-emodin can also reduce the number of TE1 cells in S phase. Protein analysis indicated that aloe-emodin inhibits the phosphorylation of AKT and ERK in a dose-dependent manner. Overall, the present data indicate that aloe-emodin can suppress TE1 cell growth by inhibiting AKT and ERK phosphorylation, and suggest its clinical use for cancer therapy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The present study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Beijing, China; grant nos. 81372269 and U1304813), the Science Foundation of the Henan Province of China (Zhengzhou, China; grant nos. 112106000039, 13HASTIT022, 2011A310009, 12B310022, 13A310553 and 14A310006) and the Key Science and Technology Program of Zhengzhou City (Zhengzhou, China; grant no. 141PPTGG449).
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- Esophageal cancer
- Signal transduction pathway