Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer, and it has the lowest 5-year survival rates. It is necessary to develop more potent anti-pancreatic cancer drugs to overcome the fast metastasis and resistance to surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and combinations of these. We have identified several diarylheptanoids as anti-pancreatic cancer agents from Alpinia officinarum (lesser galangal) and Alnus japonica. These diarylheptanoids suppressed cell proliferation and induced the cell cycle arrest of pancreatic cancer cells (PANC-1). Among them, the most potent compounds 1 and 7 inhibited the shh-Gli-FoxM1 pathway and their target gene expression in PANC-1 cells. Furthermore, they suppressed the expression of the cell cycle associated genes that were rescued by the overexpression of exogenous FoxM1. Taken together, (E)-7-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1-phenylhept-4-en-3-one (1) from Alpinia officinarum (lesser galangal) and platyphyllenone (7) from Alnus japonica inhibit PANC-1 cell proliferation by suppressing the shh-Gli-FoxM1 pathway, and they can be potential candidates for anti-pancreatic cancer drug development.
Keywords: (E)-7-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1-phenylhept-4-en-3-one; Alnus japonica; Alpinia officinarum; Diarylheptanoids; FoxM1; Gli; PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cell; Platyphyllenone.