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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 974313, 11 pages
Research Article

Activation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase and Extracelluar Signal-Regulated Kinase Mediates CB-PIC-Induced Apoptosis in Hypoxic SW620 Colorectal Cancer Cells

1College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, University of Science and Technology, 52 Uendong, Yuseonggu, Daejon 305-806, Republic of Korea
3Cancer Preventive Material Development Research Center, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 15 November 2012; Accepted 26 February 2013

Academic Editor: MinKyun Na

Copyright © 2013 Sung-Yun Cho 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.


Here, antitumor mechanism of cinnamaldehyde derivative CB-PIC was elucidated in human SW620 colon cancer cells. CB-PIC significantly exerted cytotoxicity, increased sub-G1 accumulation, and cleaved PARP with apoptotic features, while it enhanced the phosphorylation of AMPK alpha and ACC as well as activated the ERK in hypoxic SW620 cells. Furthermore, CB-PIC suppressed the expression of HIF1 alpha, Akt, and mTOR and activated the AMPK phosphorylation in hypoxic SW620 cells. Conversely, silencing of AMPKα blocked PARP cleavage and ERK activation induced by CB-PIC, while ERK inhibitor PD 98059 attenuated the phosphorylation of AMPKα in hypoxic SW620 cells, implying cross-talk between ERK and AMPKα. Furthermore, cotreatment of CB-PIC and metformin enhanced the inhibition of HIF1α and Akt/mTOR and the activation of AMPKα and pACC in hypoxic SW620 cells. In addition, CB-PIC suppressed the growth of SW620 cells inoculated in BALB/c athymic nude mice, and immunohistochemistry revealed that CB-PIC treatment attenuated the expression of Ki-67, CD34, and CAIX and increased the expression of pAMPKα in CB-PIC-treated group. Interestingly, CP-PIC showed better antitumor activity in SW620 colon cancer cells under hypoxia than under normoxia, since it may be applied to chemoresistance. Overall, our findings suggest that activation of AMPKα and ERK mediates CB-PIC-induced apoptosis in hypoxic SW620 colon cancer cells.