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Trichosanthin (TCS), or Tin Hua Fen, is a renowned traditional Chinese medicine and is still used in Chinese clinics for midterm abortion and the treatment of choriocarcinoma. Many studies have demonstrated that TCS has anti-tumour action as a type I ribosome-inactivating protein. We hypothesized that there is another pathway of the anti-tumour activity of TCS. cDNA array analysis was applied to profile changes in gene expression of human CaSki in response to TCS stimulation. Smac, a mitochondrial protein, was identified as the highly upregulated protein in response to TCS treatment. The mRNA and protein levels of Smac were determined by real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting respectively. We analysed the methylation status of Smac using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and indicates that TCS promotes Smac demethylation and increases its expression in cervical CaSki cells. Tumour cells develop resistance to TCS during prolonged treatment, as with other classic chemotherapeutic agents. Smac expression was downregulated and Twist was upregulated in TCS-resistant cells. These results indicate that TCS has demethylating activity and that Smac is involved in both TCS response and TCS resistance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Lei Cui, Jian Song, Liting Wu, Liming Huang, Yanlin Wang, Yingdi Huang, Han Yu, Yiling Huang, C C You, Jiayou Ye. Smac is another pathway in the anti-tumour activity of Trichosanthin and reverses Trichosanthin resistance in CaSki cervical cancer cells. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomédecine & pharmacothérapie. 2015 Feb;69:119-24

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PMID: 25661347

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