Parthenolide inhibits the growth of non-small cell lung cancer by targeting epidermal growth factor receptor.
Cancer Cell Int. 2020 Nov 23 ;20(1):561. Epub 2020 Nov 23. PMID: 33292235
BACKGROUND: EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been developed for the treatment of EGFR mutated NSCLC. Parthenolide, a natural product of parthenolide, which belongs to the sesquiterpene lactone family and has a variety of biological and therapeutic activities, including anti-cancer effects. However, its effect on non-small cell lung cancer is little known.
METHODS: The CCK8 assay and colony formation assays were used to assess cell viability. Flow cytometry was used to measure the cell apoptosis. In silico molecular docking was used to evaluate the binding of parthenolide to EGFR. Network pharmacology analysis was was used to evaluate the key gene of parthenolide target NSCLC. Western blotting was used to evaluate the key proteins involved apoptosis and EGFR signalling. The effect of parthenolide treatment in vivo was determined by using a xenograft mouse model.
RESULTS: In this study, parthenolide could induce apoptosis and growth inhibition in the EGFR mutated lung cancer cells. Parthenolide also reduces the phosphorylation of EGFR as well as its downstream signaling pathways MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt. Molecular docking analysis of EGFR binding site with parthenolide show that the anti-cancer effect of parthenolide against NSCLC is mediated by a strong binding to EGFR. Network pharmacology analysis show parthenolide suppresses NSCLC via inhibition of EGFR expression. In addition, parthenolide inhibits the growth of H1975 xenografts in nude mice, which is associated with the inhibition of the EGFR signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these results demonstrate effective inhibition of parthenolide in NSCLC cell growth by targeting EGFR through downregulation of ERK and AKT expression, which could be promisingly used for patients carrying the EGFR mutation.