Crocetin may increase autophagic cell death in fluorouracil-treated breast cancer cells. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Crocetin shifts autophagic cell survival to death of breast cancer cells in chemotherapy.
Tumour Biol. 2017 Mar ;39(3):1010428317694536. PMID: 28351329
The chemotherapy with fluorouracil is not always effective, in which some breast cancer cells may survive the fluorouracil treatment through enhanced autophagy. Crocetin is the major constituent of saffron, a Chinese traditional herb, which has recently found to have multiple pharmacological effects, including anticancer. However, the effects of Crocetin on the outcome of fluorouracil therapy for breast cancer have not been studied. Here, we showed that fluorouracil treatment inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells, in either a Cell Counting Kit-8 assay or an MTT assay. Inhibition of autophagy further suppressed breast cancer cell growth, suggesting that the breast cancer cells increased autophagic cell survival during fluorouracil treatment. However, Crocetin significantly increased the suppressive effects of fluorouracil on breast cancer cell growth, without affecting either cell apoptosis or autophagy. Inhibition of autophagy at the presence of Crocetin partially abolished the suppressive effects on breast cancer cell growth, suggesting that Crocetin may increase autophagic cell death in fluorouracil-treated breast cancer cells. Furthermore, Crocetin decreased Beclin-1 levels but increased ATG1 levels in fluorouracil-treated breast cancer cells. Together, these data suggest that Crocetin may shift autophagic cell survival to autophagic cell death in fluorouracil-treated breast cancer cells, possibly through modulation of the expression of ATG1 and Beclin-1.