Mechanistic Insights into the Antileukemic Activity of Hyperforin

Author(s): C. Billard, F. Merhi, B. Bauvois.

Journal Name: Current Cancer Drug Targets

Volume 13 , Issue 1 , 2013

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Hyperforin is a prenylated phloroglucinol present in the medicinal plant St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum). The compound has many biological properties, including antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antitumor activities. This review focuses on the in vitro antileukemic effects of purified hyperforin and related mechanisms in chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) – conditions that are known for their resistance to chemotherapy. Hyperforin induces apoptosis in both CLL and AML cells. In AML cell lines and primary AML cells, hyperforin directly inhibits the kinase activity of the serine/threonine protein kinase B/AKT1, leading to activation of the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family protein Bad through its non-phosphorylation by AKT1. In primary CLL cells, hyperforin acts by stimulating the expression of the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member Noxa (possibly through the inhibition of proteasome activity). Other hyperforin targets include matrix metalloproteinase-2 in AML cells and vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in CLL cells – two mediators of cell migration and angiogenesis. In summary, hyperforin targets molecules involved in signaling pathways that control leukemic cell proliferation, survival, apoptosis, migration and angiogenesis. Hyperforin also downregulates the expression of P-glycoprotein, a protein that is involved in the resistance of leukemia cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Lastly, native hyperforin and its stable derivatives show interesting in vivo properties in animal models. In view of their low toxicity, hyperforin and its derivatives are promising antileukemic agents and deserve further investigation in vivo.

Keywords: Apoptosis, drug resistance, hyperforin, leukemia, proliferation, signaling

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [1 - 10]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/1568009611309010001

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