Scoparone exerts anti-tumor activity against DU145 prostate cancer cells via inhibition of STAT3 activity

Jeong Kook Kim, Joon Young Kim, Han Jong Kim, Keun Gyu Park, Robert A. Harris, Won Jea Cho, Jae Tae Lee, In Kyu Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Scoparone, a natural compound isolated from Artemisia capillaris, has been used in Chinese herbal medicine to treat neonatal jaundice. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) contributes to the growth and survival of many human tumors. This study was undertaken to investigate the anti-tumor activity of scoparone against DU145 prostate cancer cells and to determine whether its effects are mediated by inhibition of STAT3 activity. Scoparone inhibited proliferation of DU145 cells via cell cycle arrest in G 1 phase. Transient transfection assays showed that scoparone repressed both constitutive and IL-6-induced transcriptional activity of STAT3. Western blot and quantitative real-time PCR analyses demonstrated that scoparone suppressed the transcription of STAT3 target genes such as cyclin D1, c-Myc, survivin, Bcl-2, and Socs3. Consistent with this, scoparone decreased phosphorylation and nuclear accumulation of STAT3, but did not reduce phosphorylation of janus kinase 2 (JAK2) or Src, the major upstream kinases responsible for STAT3 activation. Moreover, transcriptional activity of a constitutively active mutant of STAT3 (STAT3C) was inhibited by scoparone, but not by AG490, a JAK2 inhibitor. Furthermore, scoparone treatment suppressed anchorage-independent growth in soft agar and tumor growth of DU145 xenografts in nude mice, concomitant with a reduction in STAT3 phosphorylation. Computational modeling suggested that scoparone might bind the SH2 domain of STAT3. Our findings suggest that scoparone elicits an antitumor effect against DU145 prostate cancer cells in part through inhibition of STAT3 activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere80391
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 15 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Kim, J. K., Kim, J. Y., Kim, H. J., Park, K. G., Harris, R. A., Cho, W. J., Lee, J. T., & Lee, I. K. (2013). Scoparone exerts anti-tumor activity against DU145 prostate cancer cells via inhibition of STAT3 activity. PLoS ONE, 8(11), [e80391].