Background: The Solanum species herbs have been used to treat cancer for centuries; however, the underlying mechanisms and effectiveness in vivo remain unclear. Objectives: SR-T100, extracted from the Solanum incanum, contains solamargine alkaloid as the main active ingredient. Here, we investigated the apoptosis-inducing effects of SR-T100 for targeting squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in vitro and in vivo. Methods: We elucidated the mechanism by which SR-T100 induces apoptosis of human SCCs (A431, SCC4, SCC9, and SCC25) cells. The efficacy and safety issues were addressed regarding topical treatment of SR-T100 on UVB-induced cutaneous SCC of hairless mice and actinic keratoses (AKs) of human. Results: SR-T100 induces apoptosis in human SCCs cell lines by up-regulating the expressions of tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFRs) and Fas, and downstream adaptors FADD/TRADD of the TNF-α and Fas ligand signaling cascades. SR-T100 also triggered the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, as up-regulated cytochrome c and Bax, down-regulated Bcl-XL. Animal experiments showed that all papillomas (35/35) and 27 of 30 UVB-induced microinvasive SCCs in hairless mice disappeared within 10 weeks after once-daily application of topical SR-T100. Furthermore, 13 patients, who suffered with 14 AKs, were treated with once-daily topical SR-T100 gel and 10 AKs cured after 16 weeks, showing negligible discomforts. Conclusion: Our studies indicate that SR-T100 induces apoptosis of SCC cells via death receptors and the mitochondrial death pathway. The high efficacy of SR-T100 in our preclinical trial suggests that SR-T100 is a highly promising herb for AKs and related disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology