JOURNAL OF NATURAL MEDICINES, vol.69, no.4, pp.543-554, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
Cancer and stem cells exhibit similar features, including self-renewal, differentiation and immortality. The expression of stem-cell-related genes in cancer cells is demonstrated to be potentially correlated with cancer cell behaviour, affecting both drug response and tumor recurrence. There is an emerging body of evidence that subpopulations of tumors carry a distinct molecular sign and are selectively resistant to chemotherapy. Therefore, it is important to find novel therapeutic agents that could suppress the stem-like features of cancer cells while inhibiting their proliferation. Myrtucommulone-A (MC-A) is an active compound of a nonprenylated acylphloroglucinol isolated from the leaves of myrtle. Here we have investigated the potential of MC-A in inhibiting the expression of self-renewal regulatory factors and cancer stem cell markers in a bladder cancer cell line HTB-9. We used RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry and western blotting to examine the expression of pluripotency- and multipotency-associated markers with or without treatment with MC-A. Treatment with MC-A not only decreased cancer cell viability and proliferation but also resulted in a decrease in the expression of pluripotency- and multipotency-associated markers such as NANOG, OCT-4, SOX-2, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60, CD90, CD73 and CD44. MC-A treatment was also observed to decrease the sphere-forming ability of HTB-9 cells. In summary, this study provides valuable information on the presence of stem-cell marker expression in HTB-9 cells and our results imply that MC-A could be utilized to target cancer cells with stem-like characteristics.