Goniothalamin (GN), a styryl-lactone isolated from Goniothalamus andersonii, has been demonstrated to possess antirestenostic properties by inducing apoptosis on coronary artery smooth muscle cells (CASMCs). In this study, the molecular mechanisms of GN-induced CASMCs apoptosis were further elucidated. Apoptosis assessment based on the externalization of phosphatidylserine demonstrated that GN induces CASMCs apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. The GN-induced DNA damage occurred with concomitant elevation of p53 as early as 2 h, demonstrating an upstream signal for apoptosis. However, the p53 elevation in GN-treated CASMCs was independent of NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 and Mdm-2 expression. An increase in hydrogen peroxide and reduction in free thiols confirmed the role for oxidative stress in GN treatment. Pretreatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl ketone (z-VAD-FMK) that significantly abrogated GN-induced CASMCs apoptosis suggested the involvement of caspase(s). The role of apical caspase-2, -8, and -9 was then investigated, and sequential activation of caspase-2 and -9 but not caspase-8 leading to downstream caspase-3 cleavage was observed in GN-treated CASMCs. Reduction of ATP level and decrease in oxygen consumption further confirmed the role of mitochondria in GN-induced apoptosis in CASMCs. The mitochondrial release of cytochrome c was seen without mitochondrial membrane potential loss and was independent of cardiolipin. These data provide insight into the mechanisms of GN-induced apoptosis, which may have important implications in the development of drug-eluting stents.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.