Glioblastoma, the most aggressive and malignant form of glioma, appears to be resistant to various chemotherapeutic agents. Hence, approaches have been intensively investigated to targeti specific molecular pathways involved in glioblastoma development and progression. Aloe emodin is believed to modulate the expression of several genes in cancer cells. We aimed to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effect of Aloe emodin on gene expression profiles in the human U87 glioblastoma cell line utilizing microarray technology. The gene expression analysis revealed that a total of 8,226 gene alterations out of 28,869 genes were detected after treatment with 58.6 μg/ml for 24 hours. Out of this total, 34 genes demonstrated statistically significant change (p<0.05) ranging from 1.07 to 1.87 fold. The results revealed that 22 genes were up-regulated and 12 genes were down-regulated in response to Aloe emodin treatment. These genes were then grouped into several clusters based on their biological functions, revealing induction of expression of genes involved in apoptosis (programmed cell death) and tissue remodelling in U87 cells (p<0.01). Several genes with significant changes of the expression level e.g. SHARPIN, BCAP31, FIS1, RAC1 and TGM2 from the apoptotic cluster were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). These results could serve as guidance for further studies in order to discover molecular targets for the cancer therapy based on Aloe emodin treatment.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.