J. Biochem. Mol. Biol., 2003 May 31;36(3):269-74.
PMID: 12787481


In the fight against cancer, novel chemotherapeutic agents are constantly being sought to complement existing drugs. Various studies have presented evidence that the apoptosis that is induced by these anticancer agents is implicated in tumor regression, and Bcl-2 family genes play a part in apoptosis following treatment with various stimuli. Here, we present data that a styrylpyrone derivative (SPD) that is extracted from the plant Goniothalamus sp. showed cytotoxic effects on the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. SPD significantly increased apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, as visualized by phase contrast microscopy and evaluated by the Tdt-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling assay and nuclear morphology. Western blotting and immunostaining revealed up-regulation of the proapoptotic Bax protein expression. SPD, however, did not affect the expression of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2. These results, therefore, suggest SPD as a potent cytotoxic agent on MCF-7 cells by inducing apoptosis through the modulation of Bax levels.

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