J Gastric Cancer.  2011 Mar;11(1):16-22.

Eupatilin Inhibits Gastric Cancer Cell Growth by Blocking STAT3-Mediated VEGF Expression

  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jhcheong@yuhs.ac
  • 2Seoul St. Mary's Hospital Convergent Research Consortium for Immunologic Disease, Seoul, Korea.


Eupatilin is an antioxidative flavone and a phytopharmaceutical derived from Artemisia asiatica. It has been reported to possess anti-tumor activity in some types of cancer including gastric cancer. Eupatilin may modulate the angiogenesis pathway which is part of anti-inflammatory effect demonstrated in gastric mucosal injury models. Here we investigated the anti-tumor effects of eupatilin on gastric cancer cells and elucidated the potential underlying mechanism whereby eupatilin suppresses angiogenesis and tumor growth.
The impact of eupatilin on the expression of angiogenesis pathway proteins was assessed using western blots in MKN45 cells. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we tested whether eupatilin affects the recruitment of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) to the human VEGF promoter. To investigate the effect of eupatilin on vasculogenesis, tube formation assays were conducted using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The effect of eupatilin on tumor suppression in mouse xenografts was assessed.
Eupatilin significantly reduced VEGF, ARNT and STAT3 expression prominently under hypoxic conditions. The recruitment of STAT3, ARNT and HIF-1alpha to the VEGF promoter was inhibited by eupatilin treatment. HUVECs produced much foreshortened and severely broken tubes with eupatilin treatment. In addition, eupatilin effectively reduced tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model.
Our results indicate that eupatilin inhibits angiogenesis in gastric cancer cells by blocking STAT3 and VEGF expression, suggesting its therapeutic potential in the treatment of gastric cancer.


Eupatilin; Stomach neoplasms; Angiogenesis; STAT3; Vascular endothelial growth factor A
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