Targeting of AKT/ERK/CTNNB1 by DAW22 as a potential therapeutic compound for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor

Xiao Xiao Li, Shi Jie Zhang, Amy P. Chiu, Lilian H. Lo, Jian Huang, Dewi K. Rowlands, Jinhui Wang, Vincent W. Keng (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are an aggressive form of soft tissue neoplasm with extremely poor prognosis and no effective medical options currently available. MPNSTs can occur either sporadically or in association with the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) syndrome. Importantly, activation of RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK, PI3K/AKT/mTOR, and WNT/CTNNB1 signaling pathways has been reported in both NF1-related and late-stage sporadic MPNSTs. In this study, we found that DAW22, a natural sesquiterpene coumarin compound isolated from Ferula ferulaeoides (Steud.) Korov., could inhibit cell proliferation and colony formation in five established human MPNST cancer cell lines. Further molecular mechanism exploration indicated that DAW22 could target the main components in the MPNST tumorigenic pathways: namely suppress phosphorylation of AKT and ERK, and reduce levels of non-phospho (active) CTNNB1. Using the xenograft mouse model transplanted with human MPNST cancer cell line, daily treatment with DAW22 for 25 days was effective in reducing tumor growth. These results support DAW22 as an alternative therapeutic compound for MPNST treatment by affecting multiple signaling transduction pathways in its disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4791-4800
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • AKT
  • apoptosis
  • DAW22
  • ERK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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