Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
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Growth Inhibition of Refractory Human Gallbladder Cancer Cells by Retinol, and Its Mechanism of Action
Chuan LiMasahiko ImaiShinya HasegawaMasahiro YamasakiNoriko Takahashi
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2017 Volume 40 Issue 4 Pages 495-503


Among the constituents of the essential nutrient vitamin A, retinol is a potent suppressor of refractory cancer cell growth linked to tumor progression, showing greater efficacy than retinoic acid (RA). However, the mechanisms of retinol action on human refractory cancer are not known well. In the current study, we examined the actions of retinol on proliferation of human gallbladder cancer NOZ C-1 cells. Retinol and RA inhibited the proliferation of human NOZ C-1 cells in dose-dependent manner, while RA was less potent than retinol. Cell incorporation of RA was approximately two-fold higher than retinol and was not correlated with anti-proliferative activity. Retinol did not affect caspase-3 activity or mRNA expression of Bax and Bcl-2, which are associated with apoptosis. In addition, protein expression of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK)/ERK and p-Akt/Akt were not significantly changed by retinol treatment. In contrast, retinol treatment significantly increased the mRNA expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress factors (heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP), 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), and DnaJ (Hsp40) homolog, subfamily B, member 9 (DNAJB9)). Furthermore, the number of cells in the G0/G1 phase was increased, while the number of cells in the S phase were decreased by retinol treatment. Retinol increased expression of the autophagy-associated protein, LC3-II. These results indicate that retinol is a potent suppressor of gallbladder cancer cell growth by mechanisms that involve ER stress, which results in autophagy and cell cycle delay. This suggests that retinol might be useful for anticancer prevention and therapy in the clinic.

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© 2017 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
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