• 1 College of Biomedical Engineering & Instrument Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, P.R. China
  • 2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States of America
  • 3 A College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, P.R. China
  • 4 College of Biomedical Engineering & Instrument Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, P.R. China.
Sci Rep, 2018 06 22;8(1):9566.
PMID: 29934599 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27724-3


Chalocomoracin (CMR), one of the major secondary metabolites found in fungus-infected mulberry leaves, is a potent anticancer agent. However, its anticancer mechanism remains elusive. Here, we demonstrated the potent anti-tumor activity and molecular mechanism of CMR both in vitro and in vivo. We showed for the first time that CMR treatment markedly promoted paraptosis along with extensive cytoplasmic vacuolation derived from the endoplasmic reticulum, rather than apoptosis, in PC-3 and MDA-MB-231cell lines. Additional studies revealed that ectopic expression of Myc-PINK1 (PTEN-induced kinase 1), a key regulator of mitophagy, rendered LNCap cells susceptible to CMR-induced paraptosis, suggesting that the mitophagy-dependent pathway plays a crucial role in inducing paraptosis by activating PINK1. CMR treatment directly upregulated PINK1 and downregulated Alix genes in MDA-MB-231 and PC-3 cell lines. Furthermore, mitophagy signaling and paraptosis with cytoplasmic vacuolation could be blocked by antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC), indicating the novel pathway was triggered by reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. An in vivo MDA-MB-231 xenograft tumor model revealed that CMR suppressed tumor growth by inducing vacuolation production through the same signal changes as those observed in vitro. These data suggest that CMR is a potential therapeutic entity for cancer treatment through a non-apoptotic pathway.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.