YAP Inhibition by Nuciferine via AMPK-Mediated Downregulation of HMGCR Sensitizes Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Gemcitabine.Biomolecules 2019; 9(10)B
Nuciferine, a major aporphine alkaloid constituent of lotus leaves, is a raw material for obesity treatment. Extensive studies have revealed that obesity is associated with pancreatic cancer (PC). However, it has not been clarified whether nuciferine could be used in PC treatment or prevention. Here, we show that nuciferine could enhance the sensitivity of PC cells to gemcitabine in both cultured cells and the xenograft mouse model. The mechanism study demonstrated that nuciferine induced YAP Ser127 phosphorylation [pYAP(Ser127)] through AMPK-mediated 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coA reductase (HMGCR) downregulation. Remarkably, wild-type YAP overexpression or YAP Ser127 mutant could resist to nuciferine and no longer sensitize PC cells to gemcitabine. Knockdown of AMPK attenuated pYAP(Ser127) induced by nuciferine. Moreover, knockdown of AMPK reversed nuciferine-mediated HMGCR downregulation. Notably, HMGCR inhibiting could restrain YAP by phosphorylation Ser 127, and therefore enhance the efficiency of gemcitabine in PC cells. In line with this consistent, overexpression of HMGCR reduced growth inhibition caused by nuciferine and/or gemcitabine treatment in PC cells. In summary, these results provide an effective supplementary agent and suggest a therapeutic strategy to reduce gemcitabine resistance in PC.