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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 390957, 13 pages
Research Article

Inhibition of Hypoxia Inducible Factor Alpha and Astrocyte-Elevated Gene-1 Mediates Cryptotanshinone Exerted Antitumor Activity in Hypoxic PC-3 Cells

1Cancer Preventive Material Development Research Center, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-Dong, Dongdaemun-Gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2BA/DDS Program, College of Arts and Science, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
3Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin 449-701, Republic of Korea

Received 2 October 2012; Accepted 5 November 2012

Academic Editor: Jang-Hern Lee

Copyright © 2012 Hyo-Jeong Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although cryptotanshinone (CT) was known to exert antitumor activity in several cancers, its molecular mechanism under hypoxia still remains unclear. Here, the roles of AEG-1 and HIF-1α in CT-induced antitumor activity were investigated in hypoxic PC-3 cells. CT exerted cytotoxicity against prostate cancer cells and suppressed HIF-1α accumulation and AEG-1 expression in hypoxic PC-3 cells. Also, AEG-1 was overexpressed in prostate cancer cells. Interestingly, HIF-1α siRNA transfection enhanced the cleavages of caspase-9,3, and PAPR and decreased expression of Bcl-2 and AEG1 induced by CT in hypoxic PC-3 cells. Of note, DMOG enhanced the stability of AEG-1 and HIF-1α during hypoxia. Additionally, CT significantly reduced cellular level of VEGF in PC-3 cells and disturbed tube formation of HUVECs. Consistently, ChIP assay revealed that CT inhibited the binding of HIF-1α to VEGF promoter. Furthermore, CT at 10 mg/kg suppressed the growth of PC-3 cells in BALB/c athymic nude mice by 46.4% compared to untreated control. Consistently, immunohistochemistry revealed decreased expression of Ki-67, CD34, VEGF, carbonic anhydrase IX, and AEG-1 indices in CT-treated group compared to untreated control. Overall, our findings suggest that CT exerts antitumor activity via inhibition of HIF-1α, AEG1, and VEGF as a potent chemotherapeutic agent.