Pristimerin induces apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer by targeting thioredoxin reductase

Announcing a new publication for Acta Materia Medica journal. Elevated cellular oxidative stress is a common marker of cancer cell dysregulation caused by malignant transformation.

Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR, encoded by TXNRD) is a crucial enzyme that regulates cellular oxidative stress and the survival of many types of cancer cells. Therefore, targeting TrxR may lead to selective cell death in cancer cells. Pristimerin, a plant triterpenoid, increases the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells, but its specific regulatory mechanism is unclear. The authors of this article found that pristimerin selectively targets TrxR and subsequently induces apoptosis in human non-small cell lung cancer cells, and inhibits tumor growth in vivo with low toxicity to normal cells. Pristimerin was found to inhibit cancer cell growth primarily by inhibiting cellular TrxR, thereby compromising TrxR's antioxidant function in cells and resulting in the accumulation of oxidized Trx. Furthermore, excessive ROS accumulation stimulated by pristimerin triggered tumor-specific amplification of oxidative stress in cancer cells and ultimately led to targeted destruction of cancer cells.

This data may support the development of potential therapeutic molecules as selective anticancer agents targeting highly enriched TrxR in cancer cells.

Journal reference:

Chu, Y., et al. (2024). Pristimerin inhibits thioredoxin reductase in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Acta Materia Medica.


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