Cucurbitacin-E inhibits multiple cancer cells proliferation through attenuation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling

Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2014 Jun;29(5):210-4. doi: 10.1089/cbr.2014.1614. Epub 2014 Jun 2.


Recent studies suggest that the use of cucurbitacins could inhibit cancer cell progression. In the current study, the authors analyzed the effect of cucurbitacin-E (CuE) in cancer cells using A549, Hep3B, and SW480 cells. The authors found that CuE inhibited cell proliferation and modulated the expression of cell cycle regulators in these cells. Moreover, the authors found that CuE inhibited Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation through upregulation of tumor suppressor Menin. Indeed, ablation of Menin using small interfering RNA (siRNA) oligos attenuated the antiproliferative roles of CuE. Taken together, the results of this study provide a novel mechanism that may contribute to the antineoplastic effects of CuE in cancer cells.

Keywords: Menin; Wnt/β-catenin signaling; cell proliferation; cucurbitacin-E.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / drug effects*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Triterpenes
  • Wnt Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • cucurbitacin E