PloS one

Concerted suppression of STAT3 and GSK3β is involved in growth inhibition of non-small cell lung cancer by Xanthatin.

PMID 24312384


Xanthatin, a sesquiterpene lactone purified from Xanthium strumarium L., possesses prominent anticancer activity. We found that disruption of GSK3β activity was essential for xanthatin to exert its anticancer properties in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), concurrent with preferable suppression of constitutive activation of STAT3. Interestingly, inactivation of the two signals are two mutually exclusive events in xanthatin-induced cell death. Moreover, we surprisingly found that exposure of xanthatin failed to trigger the presumable side effect of canonical Wnt/β-Catenin followed by GSK3β inactivation. We further observed that the downregulation of STAT3 was required for xanthatin to fine-tune the risk. Thus, the discovery of xanthatin, which has ability to simultaneously orchestrate two independent signaling cascades, may have important implications for screening promising drugs in cancer therapies.