Emodin suppresses the nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells by targeting the chloride channels.Biomed Pharmacother 2017; 90:615-625BP
Emodin is a natural anthraquinone derivative isolated from the Rheum palmatum. Recent studies demonstrated that emodin has anti-cancer activity in different kinds of human cancer cell lines. However, the underlying mechanism has not been very well studied. Our previous studies showed chloride channels is an important target of anti-cancer drugs. Therefore, the purpose of this research was aimed to explore the role of chloride channels involving in the anti-cancer activity of emodin. The proliferation, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of poorly differentiated human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (CNE-2Z) and normal nasopharyngeal epithelial cells (NP69-SV40T) were detected by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl) -2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide(MTT)and flow cytometry. The results indicated that emodin inhibited the CNE-2Z cell growth more significantly than NP69-SV40T cells and induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in CNE-2Z cells but not in NP69-SV40T cells. Chloride channel blocker 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylprop ylamino)-benzoate (NPPB) or tamoxifen both can prevent the apoptosis of CNE-2Z cells induced by emodin. Optical microscope and atomic force microscope (AFM) demonstrated that emodin can induce apoptotic volume decrease (AVD) and ultrastructure changes in CNE-2Z cell and inhibited by chloride channel blocker. These data could be a further evidence of chloride channel for preventing CNE-2Z cells from apoptosis induced by emodin. Whole cell patch clamp study also demonstrated that emodin can activate chloride channel in CNE-2Z cells but not in NP69-SV40T cells. Furthermore, the activated chloride currents can also be inhibited by chloride channel blockers indicating that chloride channel may be the potential target molecular of emodin exerting its anti-tumor efficiency in CNE-2Z cells.