Statins Induce Apoptosis and Inhibit Proliferation in Cholangiocarcinoma Cells

keywords_en.jpgStatin, Apoptosis, Cholangiocarcinoma 

division_en.jpg Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter Department of Molecular Biotechnology

position_en.jpgAssociate Professor



Given the poor prognosis for cholangiocarcinoma, new and
effective treatments are urgently needed. HMG-CoA reductase
inhibitors (statins) reportedly exert anticancer effects in a variety
of diseases, but there have been no reports of these effects in

Research Summary

Proliferation suppression by pitavastatin and atorvastatin was
investigated in the human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines
HuCCT1 and YSCCC while changes in the cell cycle and
intracellular signals were examined by FACS and Western
blotting, respectively. Additive proliferation suppression by
statins and pre-existing anticancer drugs was also investigated.


HuCCT1 and YSCCC cell proliferation was dramatically
suppressed by incubation with statins for 72 h or longer. Cell cycle analysis revealed a reduction in the G2M fraction
and an increase in the sub-G1 fraction in statin-treated cells, while Western blotting showed increased levels of
cleaved caspase-3 and a reduction in p-ERK. Furthermore, statins in combination with gemcitabine, cisplatin and 5-FU
showed additive proliferation suppression.

For Application

Competitive Advances

In this study, treatment of human cholangiocarcinoma cells with statins induced apoptosis via suppression of the
classical MAPK pathway. Together, these results suggest that statins may be a new cholangiocarcinoma treatment
option that could potentially enhance the anticancer effect of pre-existing anticancer drugs.


Int J Oncol. 2011 Sep; 39(3): 561-8.