Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(5):1072-1079. doi:10.7150/ijbs.31277

Research Paper

Cryptotanshinone Suppresses Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer via microRNA-146a-5p/EGFR Axis

Pengfei Qi1*, Yanli Li1*, Xiaomin Liu1, Fatemeh A. Jafari1, Xinju Zhang1, Qiangling Sun2✉, Zhongliang Ma1✉

1. Lab for Noncoding RNA & Cancer, School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China
2. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Chest Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
*Co-first authors with equal contribution to the manuscript

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Qi P, Li Y, Liu X, Jafari FA, Zhang X, Sun Q, Ma Z. Cryptotanshinone Suppresses Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer via microRNA-146a-5p/EGFR Axis. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(5):1072-1079. doi:10.7150/ijbs.31277. Available from

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Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a cancer-driven gene, plays an important role in tumorigenesis of lung cancer. Cryptotanshinone (CT) is the main constituent of salia miltiorrhiza and has been found to affect tumor progression. However, the mechanism of CT on lung cancer is still not clear. Here we found that CT could suppress the proliferation of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by inhibiting EGFR. We further confirmed that knockdown of EGFR also suppressed cell proliferation and arrested cell cycle progression. Furthermore, we evaluated EGFR was a direct target gene of miR-146a-5p which was upregulated by CT. In general, our results proved that CT could restrain NSCLC via miR-146a-5p/EGFR axis. CT and miR-146a-5p have the potential to be positive candidates in drug development of NSCLC.

Keywords: NSCLC, cryptotanshinone, EGFR, miR-146a-5p