Andrographolide, an herbal medicine, inhibits interleukin-6 expression and suppresses prostate cancer cell growth

Jae Yeon Chun, Ramakumar Tummala, Nagalakshmi Nadiminty, Wei Lou, Chengfei Liu, Joy Yang, Christopher P Evans, Qinghua Zhou, Allen C Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6), a major mediator of the inflammatory response, has been implicated in androgen receptor (AR) activation, cellular growth and differentiation, plays important roles in the development and progression of prostate cancer, and is a potential target in cancer therapy. Through drug screening using human prostate cancer cells expressing IL-6 autocrine loop, we found that andrographolide, a diterpenoid lactone isolated from a traditional Chinese and Indian medicinal plant Andrographis paniculata, could inhibit IL-6 expression and suppress IL-6-mediated signals. Andrographolide inhibits IL-6 expression at both mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. Andrographolide suppresses both IL-6 autocrine loop-and paracrine loop-induced cell signaling including Stat3 and Erk phosphorylation. Furthermore, andrographolide inhibits cell viability and induces apoptotic cell death in both androgen-stimulated and castration-resistant human prostate cancer cells without causing significant toxicity to normal immortalized prostate epithelial cells. Moreover, treatment of andrographolide to mice bearing castration-resistant DU145 human prostate tumors that express constitutive IL-6 autocrine loop significantly suppresses tumor growth. Taken together, these results demonstrate that andrographolide could be developed as a therapeutic agent to treat both androgen-stimulated and castration-resistant prostate cancer possibly by suppressing IL-6 expression and IL-6-induced signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-876
Number of pages9
JournalGenes and Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2010


  • Andrographolide
  • Interleukin-6
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Andrographolide, an herbal medicine, inhibits interleukin-6 expression and suppresses prostate cancer cell growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this