Back to Journals » Cancer Management and Research » Volume 11

Micheliolide Inhibits Liver Cancer Cell Growth Via Inducing Apoptosis And Perturbing Actin Cytoskeleton

Authors Yu L, Chen W, Tang Q, Ji KY

Received 23 May 2019

Accepted for publication 3 September 2019

Published 29 October 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 9203—9212


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Eileen O'Reilly

Lili Yu,1,2,* Wancheng Chen,2,* Qingshuang Tang,2,* Kai-Yuan Ji1

1The Eighth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518033, People’s Republic of China; 2Cancer Research Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Cancer Immunotherapy, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Kai-Yuan Ji
The Eighth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518033, People’s Republic of China
Tel +8675515625055871

Purpose: Micheliolide (MCL) is an effector compound of the flower which has been traditionally used to treat inflammation and cancer patients in oriental medicine. MCL has killing effects on several cancer and immune cells by modulating apoptosis, cell cycle, and metabolism. However, the detail of the mechanisms of anti-cancer activity remains to be elucidated and the effect on liver cancer cells is unknown.
Methods: Cell proliferation was determined by CCK8 and clone formation assay. The xenograft liver cancer model formed by injecting Huh7 cells into NUDE mice was used to evaluate the effects of MCL on liver cancer cells in vivo. We evaluated the stemness of cells with spheroid formation assay and flow cytometry assay. The apoptosis was determined by Annexin V assay. F-actin staining and ROS were performed to detect the impairment of the F-actin cytoskeleton and mitochondria.
Results: Here, we first show that MCL inhibits liver cancer cells both in vivo and in vitro by triggering apoptosis which was reduced by anti-oxidant, but not cell-cycle arrest. In addition, MCL induces mitochondrial ROS and caspase-3 activation. Also, we found that the aggregation of mitochondria and the perturbation of F-actin fibers in the MCL-treated liver cancer cells coincidently occurred before the induction of apoptosis and mitochondrial ROS.
Conclusion: These results suggest that F-actin perturbation is involved in impaired mitochondria and apoptosis. Therefore, MCL can be a potent therapeutic reagent for liver cancer, primarily targeting the actin cytoskeleton.

Keywords: Micheliolide, liver cancer, apoptosis, ROS, actin cytoskeleton

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]