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Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.)

3,3'-diindolylmethane enhances the efficacy of butyrate in colon cancer prevention through down-regulation of survivin.


PMID 19470789

Abstract

Butyrate is an inhibitor of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and has been extensively evaluated as a chemoprevention agent for colon cancer. We recently showed that mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene confer resistance to HDAC inhibitor-induced apoptosis in colon cancers. Here, we show that APC mutation rendered colon cancer cells resistant to butyrate-induced apoptosis due to the failure of butyrate to down-regulate survivin in these cells. Another cancer-preventive agent, 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), was identified to be able to down-regulate survivin in colon cancers expressing mutant APC. DIM inhibited survivin mRNA expression and promoted survivin protein degradation through inhibition of p34(cdc2)-cyclin B1-mediated survivin Thr(34) phosphorylation. Pretreatment with DIM enhanced butyrate-induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells expressing mutant APC. DIM/butyrate combination treatment induced the expression of proapoptotic Bax and Bak proteins, triggered Bax dimerization/activation, and caused release of cytochrome c and Smac proteins from mitochondria. Whereas overexpression of survivin blocked DIM/butyrate-induced apoptosis, knocking down of survivin by small interfering RNA increased butyrate-induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells. We further showed that DIM was able to down-regulate survivin and enhance the effects of butyrate in apoptosis induction and prevention of familial adenomatous polyposis in APC(min/+) mice. Thus, the combination of DIM and butyrate is potentially an effective strategy for the prevention of colon cancer.