Xu, YH (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, 320 Yue Yang Rd, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
beta-Elemene, a natural plant drug extracted from Curcuma wenyujin, has been used as an antitumor drug for different tumors, including glioblastoma. However, the mechanism of its anti-tumor effect is largely unknown. Here we report that anti-proliferation of glioblastoma cells induced by beta-elemene was dependent on p38 MAPK activation. Treatment of glioblastoma cell lines with beta-elemene, led to phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, cell-cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase and inhibition of proliferation of these cells. Inhibition of p38 MAPK reversed beta-elemene-mediated anti-proliferation effect. Furthermore, the growth of glioblastoma cell-transplanted tumors in nude mice was inhibited by intraperitoneal injection of beta-elemene. Taken together, our findings indicate that activation of p38 MAPK is critical for the anti-proliferation effect of P-elemene and that p38 MAPK might be a putative pharmacological target for glioblastoma therapy. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.