Biomol Ther.  2022 May;30(3):257-264. 10.4062/biomolther.2022.008.

Urushiol V Suppresses Cell Proliferation and Enhances Antitumor Activity of 5-FU in Human Colon Cancer Cells by Downregulating FoxM1

  • 1Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Republic of Korea


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignant tumor. 5-FU is commonly used for the treatment of CRC. However, the development of drug resistance in tumor chemotherapy can seriously reduce therapeutic efficacy of 5-FU. Recent data show that FoxM1 is associated with 5-FU resistance in CRC. FoxM1 plays a critical role in the carcinogenesis and drug resistance of several malignancies. It has been reported that urushiol V isolated from the cortex of Rhus verniciflua Stokes is cytotoxic to several types of cancer cells. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms for its antitumor activity and its potential to attenuate the chemotherapeutic resistance in CRC cells remain unknown. Here, we found that urushiol V could inhibit the cell proliferation and induced S-phase arrest of SW480 colon cancer cells. It inhibited protein expression level of FoxM1 through activation of AMPK. We also investigated the combined effect of urushiol V and 5-FU. The combination treatment reduced FoxM1 expression and consequently reduced cell growth and colony formation in 5-FU resistant colon cancer cells (SW480/5-FUR). Taken together, these result suggest that urushiol V from Rhus verniciflua Stokes can suppress cell proliferation by inhibiting FoxM1 and enhance the antitumor capacity of 5-FU. Therefore, urushiol V may be a potential bioactive compound for CRC therapy.


Urushiol V; FoxM1; Colorectal cancer; 5-FU; Drug resistance; Antitumor
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