Chemico-biological interactions

Tryptanthrin induces growth inhibition and neuronal differentiation in the human neuroblastoma LA-N-1 cells.

PMID 23500671


Neuroblastoma is one of the most common extracranial solid cancers found in young children. The prognosis of neuroblastoma patients in advanced stages having N-myc amplification remains poor despite intensive multimodal therapy. Agents that trigger neuroblastoma cells to undergo cellular differentiation and thereby stop proliferation have attracted considerable interest as an alternative therapy. Tryptanthrin (12-dihydro-6,12-dioxoindolo-(2,1-b)-quinazoline) is a weakly basic alkaloid isolated from the dried roots of medicinal indigo plants known as Banlangen. It has been shown to possess various biological activities, such as anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities. However, its effects and mechanism(s) of action on human neuroblastoma cells remain poorly understood. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the effects of tryptanthrin on the growth and differentiation of human neuroblastoma LA-N-1 cells with N-myc amplification. Our results show that tryptanthrin inhibited the growth of the human neuroblastoma cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Mechanistic studies indicated that tryptanthrin induced cell cycle arrest of the human neuroblastoma LA-N-1 cells at the G0/G1 phase. Tryptanthrin also induced neuronal differentiation of LA-N-1 cells, as assessed by morphological criteria, enhancement of acetylcholine esterase activity and up-regulation of various differentiation markers. Moreover, tryptanthrin treatment led to the significant reduction of N-myc expression in LA-N-1 cells while siRNA directed against N-myc induced morphological differentiation of LA-N-1 cells. These results, when taken together, suggest that tryptanthrin suppressed the growth and induced neuronal differentiation in the human neuroblastoma LA-N-1 cells and might be exploited as a potential therapeutic candidate for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastomas with N-myc-amplification.

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Tryptanthrin, ≥98% (HPLC)