Tetrandrine, a compound common in Chinese traditional medicine, preferentially kills breast cancer tumor initiating cells (TICs) in vitro

Wei Xu, Bisrat G. Debeb, Lara Lacerda, Jessica Li, Wendy A. Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Tetrandrine is a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid found in Stephania tetrandra, a Chinese medicine commonly used as an anti-inflammatory. It has extensive pharmacological activity, including positive ion channel blockade and inhibition of multiple drug resistance proteins. These activities are very similar to that of salinomycin, a known drug targeting breast cancer initiation cells (TICs). Herein, we tested tetrandrine targeting of breast cancer TICs. SUM-149, an inflammatory breast cancer cell line and SUM-159, a non-inflammatory metaplastic breast cancer cell line were used in these studies. In proliferation assays using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS), we found that the IC50 for inhibition of proliferation is 15.3 ± 4.1 μM for SUM-149 and 24.3 ± 2.1 μM for SUM-159 cells. Tetrandrine also inhibited mammosphere formation, a surrogate for breast cancer TICs growth in vitro with IC50 around 1 μM for SUM-149 and around 2 μM for SUM-159 cells. Tetrandrine has similar effects on the mammosphere formation from cells isolated from fresh patient sample. Moreover, tetrandrine decreases the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) positive population in SUM-159 by 45% ± 5.45% P = 0.005. In summary, tetrandrine demonstrates significant efficacy against in vitro surrogates for inflammatory and aggressive breast cancer TICs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2274-2285
Number of pages12
JournalCancers
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

Fingerprint

tetrandrine
Neoplastic Stem Cells
Chinese Traditional Medicine
Breast Neoplasms
Inflammatory Breast Neoplasms
Inhibitory Concentration 50
Stephania tetrandra
Benzylisoquinolines
Cell Line
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
Multiple Drug Resistance
Drug Delivery Systems
In Vitro Techniques
Ion Channels
Alkaloids

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Tetrandrine
  • Tumor-initiating cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Tetrandrine, a compound common in Chinese traditional medicine, preferentially kills breast cancer tumor initiating cells (TICs) in vitro. / Xu, Wei; Debeb, Bisrat G.; Lacerda, Lara; Li, Jessica; Woodward, Wendy A.

In: Cancers, Vol. 3, No. 2, 01.06.2011, p. 2274-2285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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