Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common human malignant tumors worldwide. Arising from the transformation of epithelial cells in the colon and/or rectum into malignant cells, the foundation of CRC pathogenesis lies in the progressive accumulation of mutations in oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes, such as APC and KRAS. Resistance to apoptosis is one of the key mechanisms in the development of CRC as it is for any other kind of cancer. Natural products have been shown to induce the expression of apoptosis regulators that are blocked in cancer cells. In the present study, a series of in vitro assays were employed to study the apoptosis inducing attributes of Isoledene rich sub-fraction (IR-SF) collected from the oleo-gum resin of M. ferrea. Data obtained, shows that IR-SF inhibited cell proliferation and induced typical apoptotic changes in the overall morphology of all the CRC cell lines tested. Fluorescent staining assays revealed characteristic nuclear condensation, and marked decrease in mitochondrial outer membrane potential in treated cells. In addition, an increment in the levels of ROS, caspase-8,-9 and -3 was observed. Proteomic analysis revealed that IR-SF up-regulated the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins, i.e., Bid, Bid and cytochrome c. Cytochrome c in turn activated caspases cascade resulting in the induction of apoptosis. Moreover, IR-SF significantly down-regulated Bcl-2, Bcl-w, survivin, xIAP and HSPs pro-proteins and induced DNA fragmentation and G0/G1-phase arrest in HCT 116 cells. Chemical characterization of IR-SF by GC-MS and HPLC methods identified Isoledene as one of the major compounds. Altogether, the results of the present study demonstrate that IR-SF may induce apoptosis in human colorectal carcinoma cells through activation of ROS-mediated apoptotic pathways.
Goniothalamin (GTN) isolated from Goniothalamus sp. has been demonstrated to induce apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell lines including Jurkat T leukemia cells. However, the mechanism of GTN-induced apoptosis upstream of mitochondria is still poorly defined. In this study, GTN caused a decrease in GSH with an elevation of reactive oxygen species as early as 30 min and DNA damage as assessed by Comet assay. Analysis using topoisomerase II processing of supercoiled pBR 322 DNA showed that GTN caused DNA damage via a topoisomerase II-independent pathway suggesting that cellular oxidative stress may contribute to genotoxicity. A 12-fold increase of caspase-2 activity was observed in GTN-treated Jurkat cells after 4h treatment and this was confirmed using Western blotting. Although the caspase-2 inhibitor Z-VDVAD-FMK inhibited the proteolytic activity of caspase-2, apoptosis ensued confirming that caspase-2 activity was not crucial for GTN-induced apoptosis. However, GTN-induced apoptosis was completely abrogated by N-acetylcysteine further confirming the role of oxidative stress. Since cytochrome c release was observed as early as 1h without any appreciable change in Bcl-2 protein expression, we further investigated whether overexpression of Bcl-2 confers resistance in GTN-induced cytotoxicity. Using a panel of Jurkat Bcl-2 transfectants, GTN cytotoxicity was not abrogated in these cells. In conclusion, GTN induces DNA damage and oxidative stress resulting in apoptosis which is independent of both caspase-2 and Bcl-2.
Plant styryl-lactone derivatives isolated from Goniothalamus sp. are potential compounds for cancer chemotherapy. In this study, we have examined the mechanisms of apoptosis induced by altholactone, a stryl-lactone isolated from the Malaysian plant G. malayanus on human HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells. Flow cytometric analysis of the externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) using the annexin V/PI method on altholactone treated HL-60 cells showed a concentration-dependent increase of apoptosis from concentrations ranging from 10.8 (2.5 microg/ml) to 172.4 microM (40 microg/ml). Pre-treatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (1 mM) completely abrogated apoptosis induced by altholactone, suggesting for the involvement of oxidative stress. Further flow cytometric assessment of the level of intracellular peroxides using the fluorescent probe 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) confirmed that altholactone induced an increase in cellular oxidative stress in HL-60 cells which was suppressed by N-acetylcysteine. In summary, our results demonstrate for the first time that altholactone induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells occurs via oxidative stress.
Goniothalamin, a styryllactone, has been shown to induce cytotoxicity via apoptosis in several tumor cell lines. In this study, we have examined the potential role of several genes, which were stably transfected into T-cell lines and which regulate apoptosis in different ways, on goniothalamin-induced cell death. Overexpression of full-length receptor for activated protein C-kinase 1 (RACK-1) and pc3n3, which up-regulates endogenous RACK-1, in both Jurkat and W7.2 T cells resulted in inhibition of goniothalamin-induced cell death as assessed by MTT and clonogenic assays. However, overexpression of rFau (antisense sequence to Finkel-Biskis-Reilly murine sarcoma virus-associated ubiquitously expressed gene) in W7.2 cells did not confer resistance to goniothalamin-induced cell death. Etoposide, a clinically used cytotoxic agent, was equipotent in causing cytotoxicity in all the stable transfectants. Assessment of DNA damage by Comet assay revealed goniothalamin-induced DNA strand breaks as early as 1 h in vector control but this effect was inhibited in RACK-1 and pc3n3 stably transfected W7.2 cells. This data demonstrate that RACK-1 plays a crucial role in regulating cell death signalling pathways induced by goniothalamin.
In this study whole blood cholinesterase activities were determined (tintometric method) of agricultural pesticide users exposed to organophosphorus compounds in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Analysis of the data demonstrated a universal relationship between cholinesterase levels and the time between the last exposure to organophosphorus compounds and the day of blood collection for cholinesterase determination. It is suggested that it takes approximately 5 days before whole blood cholinesterase levels revert to their normal values. No relationship between whole blood cholinesterase levels and the sex of pesticide users was demonstrated except in Sri Lanka where female sprayers had lower values. It is suggested that these lower values are associated with the anaemic status of female agricultural workers. No relationship between whole blood cholinesterase level and age was demonstrated. The measurement of pre-exposure cholinesterase values is essential for comparison of values after pesticide application.
Lead is a toxin of great public health concern affecting the young and aging population. Several factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, dose, and genetic makeup result in interindividual variations to lead toxicity mainly due to variations in metabolic consequences. Hence, the present study aimed to examine dose-dependent lead-induced systemic changes in metabolism using rat model by administering specific doses of lead such as 10 (low lead; L-Pb), 50 (moderate lead; M-Pb), and 100 mg/kg (high lead; H-Pb) body weight for a period of one month. Biochemical and haematological analysis revealed that H-Pb was associated with low body weight and feed efficiency, low total protein levels (p ≤ 0.05), high blood lead (Pb-B) levels (p ≤ 0.001), low ALAD (δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase) activity (p ≤ 0.0001), high creatinine (p ≤ 0.0001) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) (p ≤ 0.01) levels, elevated RBC and WBC counts, reduced haemoglobin and blood cell indices compared to control. Spatial learning and memory test revealed that H-Pb exposed animals presented high latency to the target quadrant and escape platform compared to other groups indicating H-Pb alters cognition function in rats. Histopathological changes were observed in liver and kidney as they are the main target organs of lead toxicity. LC-MS analysis further revealed that Butyryl-L-carnitine (p ≤ 0.01) and Ganglioside GD2 (d18:0/20:0) (p ≤ 0.05) levels were significantly reduced in H-Pb group compared to all groups. Further, pathway enrichment analysis revealed abundance and significantly modulated metabolites associated with oxidative stress pathways. The present study is the first in vivo model of dose-dependent lead exposure for serum metabolite profiling.
The effects of bisphenol A and nonylphenol on pubertal development in the intact juvenile/peripubertal male Sprague-Dawley rats was observed in this study from PND23-52/53. Two groups of rats were administered orally with either 100 mg/kg body weight of nonylphenol or bisphenol A. Another group of rats were administered orally with a mixture of 100 mg/kg body weight of nonylphenol and bisphenol A. Control group was administered with the vehicle of Tween-80 with corn oil (1:9 v/v). Observations made in this study included growth, age at preputial separation, thyroid, liver, testis and kidney weight and histology, epididymal and seminal vesicle plus coagulation gland weight. Nonylphenol and bisphenol A have been observed to cause delay in puberty onset as well as testicular damage in the treatment groups when compared to the control; spermatogenesis was affected in most treated rats. Bisphenol A also caused the enlargement of the kidney and hydronephrosis. Administration of nonylphenol and bisphenol A as a mixture has caused less than additive effects.