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Cellular and molecular targets of silibinin, a natural flavonoid, in colorectal cancer prevention and therapy

Abstract : Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause for cancer-related deaths in Europe and in the USA. Because of the limited efficacy and considerable toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents, new approaches are needed. The hepatoprotective flavonolignan silibinin is the major biologically active compound of the milk thistle (Silybum marianum).The molecular mechanisms of the anticancer properties of silibinin in CRC were studied in an in vitro model of cancer progression consisting of the adenocarcinoma cell line SW480 and its derived metastatic cell line SW620. Its chemopreventive effects were assessed in an in vivo model of azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis in the rat. Silibinin induced apoptotic cell death with activation of caspase-3 in both cell lines. The expression of death receptors was upregulated, and caspase-8 was activated. The potential of the mitochondrial membrane was perturbed permitting the release of cytochrome c and the activation of caspase-9. Besides the activation of the extrinsic and the intrinsic apoptotic pathway, silibinin induced an autophagic response. Combination of silibinin and TRAIL, a promising anticancer agent selectively inducing apoptosis in cancer cells, induced synergistic cell death in both cell lines. Synergy in cell death induction was also observed by the combination of silibinin and the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors TSA and SAHA. In the preclinical model in the rat, silibinin administration was able to reduce by half the number of preneoplastic lesions present in the colon. In conclusion, silibinin is a promising natural agent for colon cancer chemoprevention and for combination therapy with TRAIL/HDAC inhibitors.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 21, 2012 - 11:03:31 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 3:30:32 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, March 22, 2013 - 3:46:51 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-00768301, version 1



Henriette Kauntz. Cellular and molecular targets of silibinin, a natural flavonoid, in colorectal cancer prevention and therapy. Human health and pathology. Université de Strasbourg, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012STRAJ052⟩. ⟨tel-00768301⟩



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