Isoalantolactone exerts anti-melanoma effects via inhibiting PI3K/AKT/mTOR and STAT3 signaling in cell and mouse models

Jun-Kui Li, Xiao-Li Jiang, Zhu Zhang, Wen-Qing Chen, Jun-Jie Peng, Bin Liu*, Pei-Li Zhu*, Ken-Kin-Lam Yung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Background and Aim: Although the anti-cancer activity of isoalantolactone (IATL) has been extensively studied, the anti-melanoma effects of IATL are still unknown. Here, we have investigated the anti-melanoma effects and mechanism of action of IATL. MTT and crystal violet staining assays were performed to detect the inhibitory effect of IATL on melanoma cell viability. Apoptosis and cell cycle arrest induced by IATL were examined using flow cytometry. The molecular mechanism of IATL was explored by Western blotting, confocal microscope analysis, molecular docking, and cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA). A B16F10 allograft mouse model was constructed to determine the anti-melanoma effects of IATL in vivo. The results showed that IATL exerted anti-melanoma effects in vitro and in vivo. IATL induced cytoprotective autophagy in melanoma cells by inhibiting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling. Moreover, IATL inhibited STAT3 activation both in melanoma cells and allograft tumors not only by binding to the SH2 domain of STAT3 but also by suppressing the activity of its upstream kinase Src. These findings demonstrate that IATL exerts anti-melanoma effects via inhibiting the STAT3 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways, and provides a pharmacological basis for developing IATL as a novel phytotherapeutic agent for treating melanoma clinically.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling
  • STAT3 signaling
  • apoptosis and autophagy
  • isoalantolactone
  • melanoma


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