Tanshinone Suppresses Arecoline-Induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Oral Submucous Fibrosis by Epigenetically Reactivating the p53 Pathway.
Oncol Res. 2018 Apr 10 ;26(3):483-494. Epub 2017 May 21. PMID: 28550687
Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) induced by chewing of the areca nut has been considered to be a precancerous lesion with a high probability of developing oral squamous cell carcinoma. Tanshinone (TSN) is the main component extracted from, a traditional Chinese medicine, which was found to have diverse pharmacological effects, such as anti-inflammatory and antitumor. In the current study, we aimed to identify the inhibitory effects and the underlying mechanism of TSN on OSF progress. We found that treatment with TSN inhibited the arecoline-mediated proliferation of primary human oral mucosal fibroblasts and reversed the promotive effects of arecoline on the EMT process. By RNA deep sequencing, we screened two possible targets for TSN: LSD1 and p53. We confirmed that p53 is much lower in OSF than in normal mucous tissues. In addition, p53 and its downstream molecules were decreased by arecoline treatment in oral mucosal fibroblasts, which was reversed by treatment with TSN in a dose-dependent manner. Our results also revealed that arecoline stimulation resulted in hypermethylation of the promoter ofand subsequent downregulation of p53 levels, which was reversed by TSN. Furthermore, we identified that LSD1 could epigenetically activateby recruiting H3K27me1 and H3K4m2 to its promoter. Our findings provide new insights into the mechanism by which TSN influences arecoline-induced OSF and rationale for the development of clinical intervention strategies for OSF and even oral squamous cell carcinoma.