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Herbal formula Zuo Jun Wan makes gastric cancer cells more susceptible to cisplatin treatments


In this study, researchers from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine evaluated the effects of an herbal formula called zuo jin wan (ZJW) on gastric cancer (GC) cells and examined its mechanism of action. The results of their study were published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines.

  • In human gastric cancer cases, treatment failure is usually caused by resistance to cisplatin (DDP)-based chemotherapy. Hence, search is ongoing for potential drugs that can re-sensitize GC cells to DDP.
  • In their previous study, the researchers showed that ZJW can increase mitochondrial apoptosis via cofilin-1 in an immortalized cell line SGC-7901/DDP.
  • To continue their evaluation of ZJW, the researchers constructed a GC cell model using samples derived from patients and used immunofluorescent staining for the identification of GC cells.
  • They also used Western blot, Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), and flow cytometry analysis to detect protein expression, evaluate cell proliferation and assess cell apoptosis, respectively.
  • The researchers reported that ZJW inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in primary DDP-resistant GC cells. Apoptosis was mediated by induction of cofilin-1 mitochondrial translocation, followed by down-regulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of Bax expression.
  • The researchers also found that DDP-resistant GC cells had higher levels of p-AKT protein than DDP-sensitive GC cells, and that activation of AKT could attenuate ZJW-induced sensitivity to DDP.
  • These results suggest that ZJW can increase the chemosensitivity of DDP-resistant primary GC cells by inducing mitochondrial apoptosis and AKT inactivation.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that combining chemotherapy with ZJW is an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with chemoresistant GC.

Journal Reference:

Sun MY, Wang DD, Sun J, Zhao XH, Cai S, Wu QX, Jie T, Ni ZH, Sun JY, Tang QF. THE ZUO JIN WAN FORMULA INCREASES CHEMOSENSITIVITY OF HUMAN PRIMARY GASTRIC CANCER CELLS BY AKT MEDIATED MITOCHONDRIAL TRANSLOCATION OF COFILIN-1. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines. March 2019;17(3):198–208. DOI: 10.1016/s1875-5364(19)30022-6



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