Crocin enhances the sensitivity to paclitaxel in human breast cancer cells by reducing BIRC5 expression


Chem Biol Drug Des. 2024 Feb;103(2):e14467. doi: 10.1111/cbdd.14467.


Paclitaxel (PTX) is one of the first-line chemotherapeutic agents for treating breast cancer. However, PTX resistance remains a major hurdle in breast cancer therapy. Crocin, the main chemical constituent of saffron, shows anti-cancer activity against various types of cancer. However, the effect of crocin on the resistance of PTX in breast cancer is still unknown. CCK-8 and TUNEL assays were employed to detect cell viability and apoptosis, respectively. The targets of crocin were predicted using HERB database and the targets associated with breast cancer were acquired using GEPIA database. The Venn diagram was utilized to identify the common targets between crocin and breast cancer. Baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis repeat containing 5 (BIRC5) expression was detected by qRT-PCR and western blot analysis. The correlation between BIRC5 expression and survival was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier plotter and PrognoScan databases. Our data suggested that crocin aggravated PTX-induced decrease of viability and increase of apoptosis in MCF-7 and MCF-7/PTX cells. BIRC5 was identified as the target of crocin against breast cancer. Crocin inhibited BIRC5 expression in MCF-7 and MCF-7/PTX cells. BIRC5 is overexpressed in breast cancer tissues, as well as PTX-sensitive and PTX-resistant breast cancer cells. BIRC5 expression is related to the poor survival of patients with breast cancer. Depletion of BIRC5 strengthened PTX-induced viability reduction and promotion of apoptosis in MCF-7 and MCF-7/PTX cells. Moreover, BIRC5 overexpression reversed the inhibitory effect of crocin on PTX resistance in breast cancer cells. In conclusion, crocin enhanced the sensitivity of PTX in breast cancer cells partially through inhibiting BIRC5 expression.

PMID:38661582 | DOI:10.1111/cbdd.14467