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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 2021 Vol.22 No.3 P.190-203


Traditional Chinese medicines and their active ingredients sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis

Author(s):  Bingyu SUN, Yongqiang LIU, Danhua HE, Jinke LI, Jiawei WANG, Wulin WEN, Ming HONG

Affiliation(s):  Institute of Advanced Diagnostic and Clinical Medicine, Zhongshan People's Hospital, Guangzhou University & Zhongshan People's Hospital Joint Biomedical Institute, Zhongshan 528400, China; more

Corresponding email(s):   richard8207@126.com, hongming530@126.com

Key Words:  Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), Cancer therapy, Chinese medicine, Apoptosis

Bingyu SUN, Yongqiang LIU, Danhua HE, Jinke LI, Jiawei WANG, Wulin WEN, Ming HONG. Traditional Chinese medicines and their active ingredients sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 2021, 22(3): 190-203.

@article{title="Traditional Chinese medicines and their active ingredients sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis",
author="Bingyu SUN, Yongqiang LIU, Danhua HE, Jinke LI, Jiawei WANG, Wulin WEN, Ming HONG",
journal="Journal of Zhejiang University Science B",
publisher="Zhejiang University Press & Springer",

%0 Journal Article
%T Traditional Chinese medicines and their active ingredients sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis
%A Bingyu SUN
%A Yongqiang LIU
%A Danhua HE
%A Jinke LI
%A Jiawei WANG
%A Wulin WEN
%A Ming HONG
%J Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B
%V 22
%N 3
%P 190-203
%@ 1673-1581
%D 2021
%I Zhejiang University Press & Springer
%DOI 10.1631/jzus.B2000497

T1 - Traditional Chinese medicines and their active ingredients sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis
A1 - Bingyu SUN
A1 - Yongqiang LIU
A1 - Danhua HE
A1 - Jinke LI
A1 - Jiawei WANG
A1 - Wulin WEN
A1 - Ming HONG
J0 - Journal of Zhejiang University Science B
VL - 22
IS - 3
SP - 190
EP - 203
%@ 1673-1581
Y1 - 2021
PB - Zhejiang University Press & Springer
ER -
DOI - 10.1631/jzus.B2000497

The rapidly developing resistance of cancers to chemotherapy agents and the severe cytotoxicity of such agents to normal cells are major stumbling blocks in current cancer treatments. Most current chemotherapy agents have significant cytotoxicity, which leads to devastating adverse effects and results in a substandard quality of life, including increased daily morbidity and premature mortality. The death receptor of apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)%29&ck%5B%5D=abstract&ck%5B%5D=keyword'>tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) can sidestep p53-dependent pathways to induce tumor cell apoptosis without damaging most normal cells. However, various cancer cells can develop resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis via different pathways. Therefore, it is critical to find an efficient TRAIL sensitizer to reverse the resistance of tumor cells to TRAIL, and to reinforce TRAIL's ability to induce tumor cell apoptosis. In recent years, traditional chinese medicines and their active ingredients have shown great potential to trigger apoptotic cell death in TRAIL-resistant cancer cell lines. This review aims to collate information about chinese medicines that can effectively reverse the resistance of tumor cells to TRAIL and enhance TRAIL's ability to induce apoptosis. We explore the therapeutic potential of TRAIL and provide new ideas for the development of TRAIL therapy and the generation of new anti-cancer drugs for human cancer treatment. This study involved an extensive review of studies obtained from literature searches of electronic databases such as Google Scholar and PubMed. “TRAIL sensitize” and “chinese medicine” were the search keywords. We then isolated newly published studies on the mechanisms of TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The name of each plant was validated using certified databases such as The Plant List. This study indicates that TRAIL can be combined with different chinese medicine components through intrinsic or extrinsic pathways to promote cancer cell apoptosis. It also demonstrates that the active ingredients of traditional chinese medicines enhance the sensitivity of cancer cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. This provides useful information regarding traditional chinese medicine treatment, the development of TRAIL-based therapies, and the treatment of cancer.




Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


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