In previous study, n-butylidenephthalide (BP), a natural compound from Angelica sinensis, has anti-glioblastoma multiform (GBM) cell effects. In this study, we modified BP structure to increase anti-GBM cell effects. The anti-GBM cell effects of one derivative of BP, (Z)-N-(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl)-2-(3-((3-oxoisobenzofuran-1(3H)-ylidene)methyl)phenoxy)acetamide (PCH4) were tested in vitro and in vivo.
MTT assay and PI/Annexin V assay were performed to evaluate the anti-GBM effects of PCH4. The Nur77 expression and translocation were assayed by RT-PCR and Western blot. The Nur77 siRNA was used to downregulate the Nur77 expression. The JNK inhibitor (SP600125) was used to block the JNK pathway.
The anti-GBM effect of PCH4 is four times more than BP. The IC50 of PCH4 on DBTRG-05MG cells was 50 µg/ml. Nur77 expression and translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm were important in PCH4-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, the downregulation of PCH4-induced Nur77 expression by Nur77 siRNA reduced PCH4-induced apoptosis. In addition, PCH4-induced apoptosis was associated with the JNK pathway. The JNK inhibitor, SP600125, inhibited Nur77 mRNA expression and reduced PCH4-induced apoptosis.
In conclusion, PCH4, a derivative of BP, induced Nur77-mediated apoptosis via the JNK pathway and this mechanism, which is different from that of BP, may explain the increase in the anti-tumor effects on GBM. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011; 103:442–450. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.