School of Medicine Publications and Presentations


Plumbagin Inhibits Prostate Carcinogenesis in Intact and Castrated PTEN Knockout Mice via Targeting PKCε, Stat3, and Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Markers

Document Type


Publication Date



Prostate cancer continues to remain the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in American males. The Pten deletions and/or mutations are frequently observed in both primary prostate cancers and metastatic prostate tissue samples. Pten deletion in prostate epithelium in mice results in prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), followed by progression to invasive adenocarcinoma. The Pten conditional knockout mice [(Pten-loxp/loxp:PB-Cre4(+)) (Pten-KO)] provide a unique preclinical model to evaluate agents for efficacy for both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer. We present here for the first time that dietary plumbagin, a medicinal plant-derived naphthoquinone (200 or 500 ppm) inhibits tumor development in intact as well as castrated Pten-KO mice. Plumbagin has shown no signs of toxicity at either of these doses. Plumbagin treatment resulted in a decrease expression of PKCε, AKT, Stat3, and COX2 compared with the control mice. Plumbagin treatment also inhibited the expression of vimentin and slug, the markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in prostate tumors. In summary, the results indicate that dietary plumbagin inhibits growth of both primary and castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in Pten-KO mice, possibly via inhibition of PKCε, Stat3, AKT, and EMT markers (vimentin and slug), which are linked to the induction and progression of prostate cancer.


Publication Title

Cancer Prevention Research



Academic Level


Mentor/PI Department

Immunology and Microbiology