4‑Acetylantroquinonol B enhances cell death and inhibits autophagy by downregulating the PI3K/Akt/MDR1 pathway in gemcitabine‑resistant pancreatic cancer cells
- Ying-Yin Chen
- Sheng-Yi Chen
- Tsung-Ju Li
- Ting-Wei Lin
- Chin-Chu Chen
- Gow-Chin Yen
Affiliations: Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan, R.O.C., Biotech Research Institute, Grape King Bio Ltd., Taoyuan 32542, Taiwan, R.O.C.
- Published online on: February 18, 2022 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2022.13248
Copyright: © Chen
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Gemcitabine (GEM) is a typical chemotherapeutic drug used to treat pancreatic cancer, but GEM resistance develops within weeks after chemotherapy. Hence, the development of a new strategy to overcome drug resistance is urgent. 4‑Acetylantroquinonol B (4‑AAQB), a ubiquinone derived from Taiwanofungus camphoratus, has hepatoprotective, anti‑obesity, and antitumor activities. However, the role of 4‑AAQB in enhancing GEM sensitivity is unclear. This study aimed to determine the underlying mechanisms by which 4‑AAQB enhances cytotoxicity and GEM sensitivity. Cell viability was dramatically reduced by 4‑AAQB (2 and 5 µM) treatment in the MiaPaCa‑2 and GEM‑resistant MiaPaCa‑2 (MiaPaCa‑2GEMR) human pancreatic cancer cells. 4‑AAQB led to cell cycle arrest, upregulated the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), promoted apoptosis, and inhibited autophagy, which subsequently enhanced GEM chemosensitivity by suppressing the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)/high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1)‑initiated PI3K/Akt/multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) signaling pathway in both cell lines. Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) expression, cell migration, and invasion were also inhibited by the 4‑AAQB incubation. Overall, this combination treatment strategy might represent a novel approach for GEM‑resistant pancreatic cancer.