Molecular medicine reports

Cbl participates in shikonin-induced apoptosis by negatively regulating phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B signaling.

PMID 25815461


Shikonin, a naturally occurring naphthoquinone, exhibits anti-tumorigenic activity. However, its precise mechanisms of action have remained elusive. In the present study, the involvement in the action of shikonin of the ubiquitin ligases Cbl-b and c-Cbl, which are negative regulators of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activation, was investigated. Shikonin was observed to reduce cell viability and induce apoptosis and G2/M phase arrest in lung cancer cells. In addition, shikonin increased the protein levels of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)-associated X and p53 and reduced those of Bcl-2. Additionally, shikonin inhibited PI3k/Akt activity and upregulated Cbl protein expression. In addition, a specific inhibitor of PI3K, LY294002, was observed to have a synergistic effect on the proliferation inhibition and apoptotic induction of A549 cells with shikonin. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggested that Cbl proteins promote shikonin-induced apoptosis by negatively regulating PI3K/Akt signaling in lung cancer cells.