Pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis and very low survival rate over the world. Because pancreatic cancer probably is diagnosed at a late stage, aggressive local invasion, and poor response to chemotherapy. Gemcitabine was the standard treatment for advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer patients, but it is associated with multiple adverse effects-fever, fatigue, nausea, and drug resistance. Whether cucurbitacin D has any efficacy against human pancreatic cancer was examined in cell culture system. In vitro, cell viability was measured by MTT assay to recognize of cell cytotoxicity. Consequently, cytotoxicity was observed at a low concentration of cucurbitacin D. Wound healing assay and clonogenic assay indicated that cucurubitacin D inhibited the growth of cell growth through cyclins and CDKs regulation, and decreased colony-forming ability. Also, this compound down-regulated expression level of anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2, up-regulated of pro-apoptotic molecule Bax, and activated caspase-8, caspase-3 cascade extrinsic pathway. Additionally, PARP, caspase-3 substrate, protein was cleaved by cucurbitacin D treatment. Overall, our study suggest that cucurbitacin D could be a clinical medicine for the treatment of pancreatic cancers.

Citation Format: Myeong-Sun Kim, Ji Hye Kim, Jin Mo Ku, Se Hyang Hong, Kangwook Lee, Hyeong Sim Choi, Sang Mi Woo, Jee Yun Chang, Tai Young Kim, Seong Gyu Ko Ko. Cyclins and CDKs regulation and caspase cascade activation by cucurbitacin D induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in pancreatic tumor. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2016 Apr 16-20; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2016;76(14 Suppl):Abstract nr 3522.