Diosgenin, a naturally occurring steroid saponin found abundantly in legumes and yams, is a precursor of various synthetic steroidal drugs. Diosgenin is studied for the mechanism of its action in apoptotic pathway in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Based on DAPI staining, diosgenin-treated cells manifested nuclear shrinkage, condensation, and fragmentation. Treatment of HepG2 cells with 40 μM diosgenin resulted in activation of the caspase-3, -8, -9 and cleavage of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and the release of cytochrome c. In the upstream, diosgenin increased the expression of Bax, decreased the expression of Bid and Bcl-2, and augmented the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Diosgenin-induced, dose-dependent induction of apoptosis was accompanied by sustained phosphorylation of JNK, p38 MAPK and apoptosis signal-regulating kinase (ASK)-1, as well as generation of the ROS. NAC administration, a scavenger of ROS, reversed diosgene-induced cell death. These results suggest that diosgenin-induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells through Bcl-2 protein family-mediated mitochndria/caspase-3-dependent pathway. Also, diosgenin strongly generated ROS and this oxidative stress might induce apoptosis through activation of ASK1, which are critical upstream signals for JNK/p38 MAPK activation in HepG2 cancer cells.
Embelin is a small-molecule inhibitor extracted from plants of the Myrsinaceae family demonstrating specific inhibition of the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) to affect the proliferation and apoptosis of various types of tumor cells. However, the mechanism of action for this effect remains unclear. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of the mitochondrial pathway in embelin-induced HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cell apoptosis and the effect of embelin on the cell cycle. HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells were treated with different doses of embelin. The MTT method was used to determine cell viability, and flow cytometry was used to assess the rate of apoptosis and the changes in mitochondrial membrane potential; the cell cycle was also analyzed. Western blot analysis was performed to determine the expression levels of the apoptosis-associated proteins Bax, Bcl-2 and the caspase family. The results revealed that embelin induced the apoptosis of the HepG2 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In addition, embelin caused changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that embelin caused blockade of the HepG2 cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle.
embelin; XIAP; mitochondria; apoptosis; human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells
Thymoquinone (TQ) and diosgenin (DG), the active ingredients obtained from black cumin (Nigella sativa) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum), respectively, exert potent bioactivity, including anticancer effects. This study investigated the antineoplastic activity of these agents against squamous cell carcinoma in vitro and sarcoma 180–induced tumors in vivo. TQ and DG inhibited cell proliferation and induced cytotoxicity in A431 and Hep2 cells. These agents induced apoptosis by increasing the sub-G1 population, LIVE/DEAD cytotoxicity, chromatin condensation, DNA laddering and TUNEL-positive cells significantly (P<0.05). Increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, activation of caspases and cleavage of poly ADP ribose polymerase were observed in treated cells. These drugs inhibited Akt and JNK phosphorylations, thus inhibiting cell proliferation while inducing apoptosis. In combination, TQ and DG had synergistic effects, resulting in cell viability as low as 10%. In a mouse xenograft model, a combination of TQ and DG significantly (P<0.05) reduced tumor volume, mass and increased apoptosis. TQ and DG, alone and in combination, inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in squamous cell carcinoma. The combination of TQ and DG is a potential antineoplastic therapy in this common skin cancer.
The present study aimed to examine the antiproliferative potentiality of an extract derived from the medicinal plant ginger (Zingiber officinale) on growth of breast cancer cells. Ginger treatment suppressed the proliferation and colony formation in breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. Meanwhile, it did not significantly affect viability of nontumorigenic normal mammary epithelial cell line (MCF-10A). Treatment of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 with ginger resulted in sequences of events marked by apoptosis, accompanied by loss of cell viability, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, activation of caspase 3, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. At the molecular level, the apoptotic cell death mediated by ginger could be attributed in part to upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2 proteins. Ginger treatment downregulated expression of prosurvival genes, such as NF-κB, Bcl-X, Mcl-1, and Survivin, and cell cycle-regulating proteins, including cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase-4 (CDK-4). On the other hand, it increased expression of CDK inhibitor, p21. It also inhibited the expression of the two prominent molecular targets of cancer, c-Myc and the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). These findings suggested that the ginger may be a promising candidate for the treatment of breast carcinomas.
AIM: To investigate the signaling pathways implicated in phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)-induced apoptosis of human hepatoma HepG2 cells.
METHODS: Inhibitory effects of PE on human hepatoma HepG2 cells were detected by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Cell cycle, apoptosis and mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm) were analyzed by flow cytometry. Immunocytochemical assay and Western blotting were used to examine Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3 protein levels in HepG2 cells treated with PE.
RESULTS: PE inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells in a dose- and time- dependent manner. It did not affect the cell cycle, but induced apoptosis. PE significantly decreased δΨm at 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mmol/L, respectively, suggesting that PE induces cell apoptosis by decreasing the mitochondrial transmembrane potential. The Bcl-2 expression level induced by different concentrations of PE was lower than that in control groups. However, the Bax expression level induced by PE was higher than that in the control group. Meanwhile, PE increased the caspase-3 expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner.
CONCLUSION: Exogenous PE induces apoptosis of human hepatoma HepG2 cells via the bcl-2/bax pathway.
Apoptosis; Bcl-2; Bax; Caspase-3; Phosphatidylethanolamine; Human hepatoma HepG2 cell
Efficacy of chemotherapy in advanced stages of colorectal tumours is limited. The quinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin was recently shown to inhibit growth and to induce apoptosis in human bladder carcinomas cells. We investigated the effect of ciprofloxacin on colon carcinoma lines in vitro. CC-531, SW-403 and HT-29 colon carcinoma and HepG2 hepatoma cells (control cells) were exposed to ciprofloxacin. Proliferation was assessed by bromodeoxyuridine-incorporation into DNA and apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry after propidium iodide or JC-1 staining. Expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and pro-apoptotic Bax was analyzed by semiquantitative Western blot analysis and activity of caspases 3, 8 and 9 by substrate-cleavage assays. Ciprofloxacin suppressed DNA synthesis of all colon carcinoma cells time- and dose-dependently, whereas the hepatoma cells remained unaffected. Apoptosis reached its maximum between 200 and 500 μg ml−1. This was accompanied by an upregulation of Bax and of the activity of caspases 3, 8 and 9, and paralleled by a decrease of the mitochondrial membrane potential. Ciprofloxacin decreases proliferation and induces apoptosis of colon carcinoma cells, possibly in part by blocking mitochondrial DNA synthesis. Therefore, qualification of ciprofloxacin as adjunctive agent for colorectal cancer should be evaluated.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 443–448. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600079 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 The Cancer Research Campaign
apoptosis; cell cycle; ciprofloxacin; colorectal cancer; proliferation; caspase
The Litchi (Litchi chinensis) fruit products possess rich amounts of flavanoids and proanthocyanidins. Its pericarp has been shown to inhibit breast and liver cancer cell growth. However, the anticolorectal cancer effect of Litchi seed extract has not yet been reported. In this study, the effects of polyphenol-rich Litchi seed ethanol extract (LCSP) on the proliferation, cell cycle, and apoptosis of two colorectal cancer cell lines Colo320DM and SW480 were examined. The results demonstrated that LCSP significantly induced apoptotic cell death in a dose-dependent manner and arrested cell cycle in G2/M in colorectal carcinoma cells. LCSP also suppressed cyclins and elevated the Bax : Bcl-2 ratio and caspase 3 activity. This study provides in vitro evidence that LCSP serves as a potential chemopreventive agent for colorectal cancer.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known to induce apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells, including colon, prostate, breast and leukemia. Among them, aspirin, a classical NSAID, shows promise in cancer therapy in certain types of cancers. We hypothesized that aspirin might affect the growth of liver cancer cells since liver is the principal site for aspirin metabolism. Therefore, we investigated the effects of aspirin on the HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line in vitro and the HepG2 cell xenograft model in BALB/c nude mice. We found that treatment with aspirin inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis involving both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways as measured by DNA ladder formation, alteration in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, activation of the caspase activities and related protein expressions. In vivo antitumor activity assay also showed that aspirin resulted in significant tumor growth inhibition compared to the control. Oral administration of aspirin (100 mg/kg/day) caused a significant reduction in the growth of HepG2 tumors in nude mice. These findings suggest that aspirin may be used as a promising anticancer agent against liver cancer.
aspirin; hepatocellular carcinoma; apoptosis; xenograft model
Carvacrol is one of the members of monoterpene phenol and is present in the volatile oils of Thymus vulgaris, Carum copticum, origanum and oregano. It is a safe food additive commonly used in our daily life, and few studies have indicated that carvacrol has anti-hepatocarcinogenic activities. The rationale of the study was to examine whether carvacrol affects apoptosis of human hepatoma HepG2 cells. In this study, we showed that carvacrol inhibited HepG2 cell growth by inducing apoptosis as evidenced by Hoechst 33258 stain and Flow cytometric (FCM) analysis. Incubation of HepG2 cells with carvacrol for 24 h induced apoptosis by the activation of caspase-3, cleavage of PARP and decreased Bcl-2 gene expression. These results demonstrated that a significant fraction of carvacrol treated cells died by an apoptotic pathway in HepG2 cells. Moreover, carvacrol selectively altered the phosphorylation state of members of the MAPK superfamily, decreasing phosphorylation of ERK1/2 significantly in a dose-dependent manner, and activated phosphorylation of p38 but not affecting JNK MAPK phosphorylation. These results suggest that carvacrol may induce apoptosis by direct activation of the mitochondrial pathway, and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway may play an important role in the antitumor effect of carvacrol. These results have identified, for the first time, the biological activity of carvacrol in HepG2 cells and should lead to further development of carvacrol for liver disease therapy.
Carvacrol; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Apoptosis; Mitochondrial pathway; Mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway
Tumor necrosis factor–related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has been shown to induce mitochondrial apoptotic signaling that can be negatively regulated by prosurvival Bcl-2 proteins. ABT-737 is a small-molecule BH3 mimetic that binds to and antagonizes Bcl-2/Bcl-xL but not Mcl-1. We show that ABT-737 can synergistically enhance TRAIL-mediated cytotoxicity in human pancreatic cancer cell lines. ABT-737 was shown to enhance TRAIL-induced apoptosis as shown by DNA fragmentation, activation of caspase-8 and Bid, and cleavage of caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. A Bax conformational change induced by TRAIL was enhanced by ABT-737. ABT-737 disrupted the interaction of Bak with Bcl-xL in both cell lines. Furthermore, ABT-737 untethered the proapoptotic BH3-only protein Bim from its sequestration by Bcl-xL or Bcl-2. Bim small hairpin RNA (shRNA) was shown to attenuate caspase-3 cleavage and to reduce the cytotoxic effects of TRAIL plus ABT-737 compared with shRNA control cells. Finally, Mcl-1 shRNA potentiated caspase-3 cleavage by ABT-737 and enhanced its cytotoxic effects. Taken together, ABT-737 augments TRAIL-induced cell killing by unsequestering Bim and Bak and enhancing a Bax conformational change induced by TRAIL. These findings suggest a novel strategy to enhance cross-talk between the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways to improve therapeutic efficacy against pancreatic cancer.
Apoptosis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of viral infections. In this study, we investigated the cell death processes during productive HHV-6A infection and the underlying mechanisms. Annexin V-PI staining and electron microscopy indicated that HHV-6A is a strong inducer of apoptosis. HHV-6A infection decreased mitochondrial transmembrane potential and led to morphological changes of mitochondria. The cell death was associated with activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of DNA repair enzyme poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, which is known to be an important substrate for activated caspase-3. Caspase-9 was activated significantly in HHV-6A-infected cells, whereas caspase-8 was not activated obviously. Moreover, HHV-6A infection upregulated Bax and downregulated Bcl-2. This is the first demonstration of mitochondrion-mediated, caspase-dependent apoptosis in HHV-6A-infected cells.
human herpesvirus 6; apoptosis; caspase; mitochondrion-mediated
β-catenin is a multifunctional protein that is involved in cellular structure and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is believed to be an inducer of cell proliferation in different tumors. However, in certain physiological contexts β-catenin also promotes apoptosis. High levels of β-catenin are found in a number of cancer cell types. Recent studies have shown that β-catenin may be correlated with carcinogenesis. Its effects and interaction with interferon (IFN)γ signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells remains unknown. In the present study, high levels of β-catenin did not induce antiproliferative effects or apoptosis and did not lead to changes in the levels of caspases or activated STATs. However, high levels of β-catenin did cause positive p53 accumulation and Bcl-XL downregulation in HepG2 cells, a HCC cell line. When treated with IFNγ, apoptosis was induced more rapidly compared with cells with low β-catenin levels (P<0.05), whereas caspases 3, 8 and 9 were markedly activated. The caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK and the STAT3 inhibitor blocked this IFNγ-induced apoptosis. Therefore, we report that high levels of β-catenin promote IFNγ-induced apoptosis in HCC in a caspase- and STAT3-dependent manner, and facilitate the activation of executor caspases, possibly via regulation of p53 and Bcl-XL levels. These findings may provide foundations for the development of new IFN-based therapies against liver cancer.
β-catenin; interferon-γ; apoptosis; hepatocellular carcinoma
Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a pivotal proinflammatory cytokine. To investigate the mechanism of IL-1β-induced cell death in human malignant melanoma A375-S2 cells, MTT assay, photomicroscopical observation, DNA agarose gel electrophoresis, radioimmunoassay and Western blot analysis were carried out. IL-1β did not only induce nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation, but also increased degradation of two substrates of caspase-3, poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase (ICAD). Simultaneously, release of precursor of IL-1β (pro-IL-1β) and endogenous IL-1β production were involved in the apoptotic process. IL-1β enhanced the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and Bax/Bcl-xL expression and up-regulated apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) expression, which required the activation of downstream caspases. These results suggest that IL-1β induces endogenous IL-1β production, enhances cleavage of caspase downstream substrates and promotes mitochondria mediated apoptosis in A375-S2 cells.
Interleukin-1; Human melanoma Cells; Apoptosis; Caspases; Mitochondria
Rotaviruses are the leading cause of infantile viral gastroenteritis worldwide. Mature enterocytes of the small intestine infected by rotavirus undergo apoptosis, and their replacement by less differentiated dividing cells probably leads to defective absorptive function of the intestinal epithelium, which, in turn, contributes to osmotic diarrhea and rotavirus pathogenesis. Here we show that infection of MA104 cells by the simian rhesus rotavirus strain RRV induced caspase-3 activation, DNA fragmentation, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase; all three phenomena are features of apoptosis. RRV induced the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to the cytosol, indicating that the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway was activated. RRV infection of MA104 cells activated Bax, a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, as revealed by its conformational change. Most importantly, Bax-specific small interfering RNAs partially inhibited cytochrome c release in RRV-infected cells. Thus, mitochondrial dysfunction induced by rotavirus is Bax dependent. Apoptosis presumably leads to impaired intestinal functions, so our findings contribute to improving our understanding of rotavirus pathogenesis at the cellular level.
Norcantharidin, the demethylated analog of cantharidin derived from a traditional Chinese medicine, Mylabris, has been used in the treatment of anti-cancer effects. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying this process are generally unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of NCTD-induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells.
The cytotoxicity was measured by MTT assay for cellular viability and by flow cytometry. The mitochondrial membrane potential and reactive oxygen species production was evaluated by flow cytometry analysis. The role of caspase activities were assayed using caspase apoptosis detection kit . Western blot analysis was used to evaluate the level of Cyto-C, Bcl-2, Bax, Bid, caspase 3, -9, -8 and PARP expression
After treatment with NCTD, a decrease in the viability of HepG2 cells and increase in apoptosis were observed. NCTD-induced apoptosis was accompanied by an increase in ROS production, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c(cyto-c) from the mitochondria to the cytosol and down-regulation of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 levels with concurrent up-regulation in pro-apoptotic protein Bax levels. However, another pro-apoptotic molecule, Bid, showed no change in such same treatment. NCTD-increased activity of caspase 9,caspase 3 and the subsequent cleavage caspase substrate PARP were also observed. The expression levels of pro-caspase-8 were not changed after NCTD treatment.
These results indicate that NCTD induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells by apoptosis, which is mediated through ROS generation and mitochondrial pathway.
Benzothiazole derivatives are known for various biological activities, and their potency in cancer therapy has received considerable attention in recent years. YLT322, a novel synthesized benzothiazole derivative, exhibits potent anti-tumor activity via inducing apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we found that YLT322 showed growth inhibition against a broad spectrum of human cancer cells and induced apoptosis of HepG2 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The occurrence of its apoptosis was associated with activation of caspases-3 and -9, but not caspase-8. YLT322 increased the expression of Bax, decreased the expression of Bcl-2, and induced the release of cytochrome c which activates the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. The down-regulation of phosphorylated p42/44 MAPK and phosphorylated Akt was also observed. Moreover, YLT322 suppressed the growth of established tumors in xenograft models in mice without obvious side effects. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses revealed an increase in TUNEL and caspase-3-positive cells and a decrease in Ki67-positive cells upon YLT322. These results suggest that YLT322 may be a potential candidate for cancer therapy.
Alkylating DNA damage induces a necrotic type of programmed cell death through the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARP) and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). Following PARP activation, AIF is released from mitochondria and translocates to the nucleus, where it causes chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation. By employing a large panel of gene knockout cells, we identified and describe here two essential molecular links between PARP and AIF: calpains and Bax. Alkylating DNA damage initiated a p53-independent form of death involving PARP-1 but not PARP-2. Once activated, PARP-1 mediated mitochondrial AIF release and necrosis through a mechanism requiring calpains but not cathepsins or caspases. Importantly, single ablation of the proapoptotic Bcl-2 family member Bax, but not Bak, prevented both AIF release and alkylating DNA damage-induced death. Thus, Bax is indispensable for this type of necrosis. Our data also revealed that Bcl-2 regulates N-methyl-N′-nitro-N′-nitrosoguanidine-induced necrosis. Finally, we established the molecular ordering of PARP-1, calpains, Bax, and AIF activation, and we showed that AIF downregulation confers resistance to alkylating DNA damage-induced necrosis. Our data shed new light on the mechanisms regulating AIF-dependent necrosis and support the notion that, like apoptosis, necrosis could be a highly regulated cell death program.
As we previously demonstrated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells, ethanol at low concentration triggers the Fas apoptotic pathway. However, its role in other intracellular signaling pathways remains unknown. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of low concentration of ethanol on different intracellular signaling pathways. For this purpose, HepG2 cells were treated with 1 mM ethanol for 10 min and the phosphorylation state of protein kinases was determined. In addition, the mRNA levels of transcription factors and genes associated with the Fas apoptotic pathway were determined. Our data demonstrated that ethanol-induced phosphorylation of protein kinases modulates both anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic mechanisms in HepG2 cells. Pro-apoptosis resulted mainly from the strong inhibition of the G-protein couple receptor signaling pathway. Moreover, the signal transduction initiated by ethanol-induced protein kinases phosphorylation lead to increased expression of the transcription factors with subsequent expression of genes associated with the Fas apoptotic pathway (Fas receptor, Fas ligand, FADD and caspase 8). These results indicate that low concentration of ethanol exert their effect by predominant activation of pro-apoptotic events that can be divided in two phases. An early phase characterized by a rapid transient effect on protein kinases phosphorylation, after 10 min exposure, with subsequent increased expression of transcription factors for up to 6 hr. This early phase is followed by a second phase associated with increased gene expression that began after 6 hr and persisted for more than 24 hr. This information provided a novel insight into the mechanisms of action of ethanol (1mM) in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Ethanol; HepG2 cells; protein kinases; signal transduction; transcription factors; gene expression
Objective: To investigate the effects of curcumin on release of cytochrome c and expressions of Bcl-2, Bax, Bad, Bcl-xL, caspase-3, poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), and survivin of HT-29 cells. Methods: HT-29 cells were treated with curcumin (0~80 μmol/L) for 24 h. The release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria and the apoptosis-related proteins Bax, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bad, caspase-3, PARP, and survivin were determined by Western blot analysis and their mRNA expressions by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results: Curcumin significantly induced the growth inhibition and apoptosis of HT-29 cells. A decrease in expressions of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and survivin was observed after exposure to 10~80 μmol/L curcumin, while the levels of Bax and Bad increased in the curcumin-treated cells. Curcumin also induced the release of cytochrome c, the activation of caspase-3, and the cleavage of PARP in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusion: These data suggest that curcumin induced the HT-29 cell apoptosis possibly via the mitochondria-mediated pathway.
Curcumin; Apoptosis; Mitochondrial pathway; HT-29 cells
AIM: To investigate whether Melatonin has synergistic effects with Doxorubicin in the growth-inhibition and apoptosis-induction of human hepatoma cell lines HepG2 and Bel-7402.
METHODS: The synergism of Melatonin and Doxorubicin inhibited the cell growth and induced cell apoptosis in human hepatoma cell lines HepG2 and Bel-7402. Cell viability was analyzed by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Cell apoptosis was evaluated using TUNEL method and flow cytometry. Apoptosis-related protein Bax, Bcl-2 and caspase-3 expressions were measured by immunohistochemical staining.
RESULTS: Treatment with Melatonin (10-8-10-5 mol/L) alone had a dose-related inhibitory effect on cell proliferation but no cytotoxic effect on hepatoma cell lines HepG2 and Bel-7402. Interestingly, when combined with Doxorubicin, Melatonin significantly increased the effects of cell growth inhibition and cell apoptosis. Furthermore, TUNEL staining and flow cytometry revealed that cooperative apoptosis induction was associated with decreased expression of Bcl-2 as well as increased expression of Bax and Caspase3.
CONCLUSION: The synergism of Melatonin and Doxorubicin inhibits hepatoma cell growth and induces cell apoptosis.
Melatonin; Doxorubicin; Human hepatoma cell line; Apoptosis
β,β-Dimethylacrylshikonin, one of the active components in the root extracts of Lithospermum erythrorhizon, posses antitumor activity. In this study, we discussed the molecular mechanisms of β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin in the apoptosis of SGC-7901 cells. β,β-Dimethylacrylshikonin reduced the cell viability of SGC-7901 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner and induced cell apoptosis. β,β-Dimethylacrylshikonin treatment in SGC-7901 cells down-regulated the expression of XIAP, cIAP-2, and Bcl-2 and up-regulated the expression of Bak and Bax and caused the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c. Additionally, β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin treatment led to activation of caspases-9, 8 and 3, and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), which was abolished by pretreatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK. β,β-Dimethylacrylshikonin induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in SGC-7901 cells. U0126, a specific MEK inhibitor, blocked the ERK activation by β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin and abrogated β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin -induced apoptosis. Our results demonstrated that β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin inhibited growth of gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells by inducing ERK signaling pathway, and provided a clue for preclinical and clinical evaluation of β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin for gastric cancer therapy.
Icaritin, a compound from Epimedium Genus, has selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulating activities, and posses anti-tumor activity. Here, we examined icaritin effect on cell growth of human endometrial cancer Hec1A cells and found that icaritin potently inhibited proliferation of Hec1A cells. Icaritin-inhibited cell growth was associated with increased levels of p21 and p27 expression and reduced cyclinD1 and cdk 4 expression. Icaritin also induced cell apoptosis accompanied by activation of caspases as evidenced by the cleavage of endogenous substrate Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and cytochrome c release, which was abrogated by pretreatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk. Icaritin treatment also induced expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax with a concomitant decrease of Bcl-2 expression. Furthermore, icaritin induced sustained phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (the MAPK/ ERK1/2) in Hec1A cells and U0126, a specific MAP kinase kinase (MEK1/2) inhibitor, blocked the ERK1/2 activation by icaritin and abolished the icaritin-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis. Our results demonstrated that icaritin induced sustained ERK 1/2 activation and inhibited growth of endometrial cancer Hec1A cells, and provided a rational for preclinical and clinical evaluation of icaritin for endometrial cancer therapy.
Swainsonine (1, 2, 8-trihyroxyindolizidine, SW), a natural alkaloid, has been reported to exhibit anti-cancer activity on several mouse models of human cancer and human cancers in vivo. However, the mechanisms of SW-mediated tumor regression are not clear. In this study, we investigated the effects of SW on several human lung cancer cell lines in vitro. The results showed that SW significantly inhibited these cells growth through induction of apoptosis in different extent in vitro. Further studies showed that SW treatment up-regulated Bax, down-regulated Bcl-2 expression, promoted Bax translocation to mitochondria, activated mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway, which in turn caused the release of cytochrome c, the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, and the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), resulting in A549 cell apoptosis. However, the expression of Fas, Fas ligand (FasL) or caspase-8 activity did not appear significant changes in the process of SW-induced apoptosis. Moreover, SW treatment inhibited Bcl-2 expression, promoted Bax translocation, cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activity in xenograft tumor cells, resulting in a significant decrease of tumor volume and tumor weight in the SW-treated xenograft mice groups in comparison to the control group. Taken together, this study demonstrated for the first time that SW inhibited A549 cancer cells growth through a mitochondria-mediated, caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway in vitro and in vivo.
swainsonine; apoptosis; caspase; mitochondrial pathway; A549 cells
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents approximately 80% of total lung cancer cases. The use of non-toxic dietary phytochemicals can be considered as a chemotherapeutic strategy for the management of the NSCLC. Here, we report that grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) induce apoptosis of NSCLC cells, A549 and H1299, in vitro which is mediated through increased expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, decreased expression of anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl2 and Bcl-xl, disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential, and activation of caspases 9, 3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Pre-treatment of A549 and H1299 cells with the caspase-3 inhibitor (z-DEVD-fmk) significantly blocked the GSPs-induced apoptosis of these cells confirmed that GSPs-induced apoptosis is mediated through activation of caspases-3. Treatments of A549 and H1299 cells with GSPs resulted in an increase in G1 arrest. G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle is known to be controlled by cyclin dependent kinases (Cdk), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (Cdki) and cyclins. Our western blot analyses showed that GSPs-induced G1 cell cycle arrest was mediated through the increased expression of Cdki proteins (Cip1/p21 and Kip1/p27), and a simultaneous decrease in the levels of Cdk2, Cdk4, Cdk6 and cyclins. Further, administration of 50, 100 or 200 mg GSPs/kg body weight of mice by oral gavage (5 d/week) markedly inhibited the growth of s.c. A549 and H1299 lung tumor xenografts in athymic nude mice, which was associated with the induction of apoptotic cell death, increased expression of Bax, reduced expression of anti-apoptotic proteins and activation of caspase-3 in tumor xenograft cells. Based on the data obtained in animal study, human equivalent dose of GSPs was calculated, which seems affordable and attainable. Together, these results suggest that GSPs may represent a potential therapeutic agent for the non-small cell lung cancer.
The effects of the expression of the human Bcl-2 family proteins Bax, Bak, Bcl-2, and Bcl-XL were examined in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and compared with Bax-induced cell death in mammalian cells. Expression of the proapoptotic proteins Bax and Bak conferred a lethal phenotype in this yeast, which was strongly suppressed by coexpression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL. Bcl-2 also partially abrogated Bax-mediated cytotoxicity in S. pombe, whereas a mutant of Bcl-2 (Gly145Ala) that fails to heterodimerize with Bax or block apoptosis in mammalian cells was inactive. However, other features distinguished Bax- and Bak-induced death in S. pombe from animal cell apoptosis. Electron microscopic analysis of S. pombe cells dying in response to Bax or Bak expression demonstrated massive cytosolic vacuolization and multifocal nuclear chromatin condensation, thus distinguishing this form of cell death from the classical morphological features of apoptosis seen in animal cells. Unlike Bax-induced apoptosis in 293 cells that led to the induction of interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE)/CED-3-like protease activity, Bax- and Bak-induced cell death in S. pombe was accompanied neither by internucleosomal DNA fragmentation nor by activation of proteases with specificities similar to the ICE/CED-3 family. In addition, the baculovirus protease inhibitor p35, which is a potent inhibitor of ICE/CED-3 family proteases and a blocker of apoptosis in animal cells, failed to prevent cell death induction by Bax or Bak in fission yeast, whereas p35 inhibited Bax-induced cell death in mammalian cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that Bcl-2 family proteins may retain an evolutionarily conserved ability to regulate cell survival and death but also indicate differences in the downstream events that are activated by overexpression of Bax or Bak in divergent cell types.