Flavokawain C (FKC) is a naturally occurring chalcone which can be found in Kava (Piper methysticum Forst) root. The present study evaluated the effect of FKC on the growth of various human cancer cell lines and the underlying associated mechanisms. FKC showed higher cytotoxic activity against HCT 116 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner in comparison to other cell lines (MCF-7, HT-29, A549 and CaSki), with minimal toxicity on normal human colon cells. The apoptosis-inducing capability of FKC on HCT 116 cells was evidenced by cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation and increased phosphatidylserine externalization. FKC was found to disrupt mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in the release of Smac/DIABLO, AIF and cytochrome c into the cytoplasm. Our results also revealed that FKC induced intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis via upregulation of the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins (Bak) and death receptors (DR5), while downregulation of the levels of anti-apoptotic proteins (XIAP, cIAP-1, c-FlipL, Bcl-xL and survivin), resulting in the activation of caspase-3, -8 and -9 and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). FKC was also found to cause endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as suggested by the elevation of GADD153 protein after FKC treatment. After the cells were exposed to FKC (60μM) over 18hrs, there was a substantial increase in the phosphorylation of ERK 1/2. The expression of phosphorylated Akt was also reduced. FKC also caused cell cycle arrest in the S phase in HCT 116 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and with accumulation of cells in the sub-G1 phase. This was accompanied by the downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK2 and CDK4), consistent with the upregulation of CDK inhibitors (p21Cip1 and p27Kip1), and hypophosphorylation of Rb.
The development of metal-based agents has had a tremendous role in the present progress in cancer chemotherapy. One well-known example of metal-based agents is Schiff based metal complexes, which hold great promise for cancer therapy. Based on the potential of Schiff based complexes for the induction of apoptosis, this study aimed to examine the cytotoxic and apoptotic activity of a CdCl2(C14H21N3O2) complex on HT-29 cells. The complex exerted a potent suppressive effect on HT-29 cells with an IC50 value of 2.57 ± 0.39 after 72 h of treatment. The collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential and the elevated release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol indicate the involvement of the intrinsic pathway in the induction of apoptosis. The role of the mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway was further proved by the significant activation of the initiator caspase-9 and the executioner caspases-3 and -7. In addition, the activation of caspase-8, which is associated with the suppression of NF-κB translocation to the nucleus, also revealed the involvement of the extrinsic pathway in the induced apoptosis. The results suggest that the CdCl2(C14H21N3O2) complex is able to induce the apoptosis of colon cancer cells and is a potential candidate for future cancer studies.
Two new synthesized and characterized quinazoline Schiff bases 1 and 2 were investigated for anticancer activity against MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line. Compounds 1 and 2 demonstrated a remarkable antiproliferative effect, with an IC50 value of 6.246×10(-6) mol/L and 5.910×10(-6) mol/L, respectively, after 72 hours of treatment. Most apoptosis morphological features in treated MCF-7 cells were observed by AO/PI staining. The results of cell cycle analysis indicate that compounds did not induce S and M phase arrest in cell after 24 hours of treatment. Furthermore, MCF-7 cells treated with 1 and 2 subjected to apoptosis death, as exhibited by perturbation of mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c release as well as increase in ROS formation. We also found activation of caspases-3/7, -8, and -9 in compounds 1 and 2. Moreover, inhibition of NF-κB translocation in MCF-7 cells treated by compound 1 significantly exhibited the association of extrinsic apoptosis pathway. Acute toxicity results demonstrated the nontoxic nature of the compounds in mice. Our results showed significant activity towards MCF-7 cells via either intrinsic or extrinsic mitochondrial pathway and are potential candidate for further in vivo and clinical breast cancer studies.
Jatropha meal produced from the kernel of Jatropha curcas Linn. grown in Malaysia contains phorbol esters (PEs). The potential benefits of PEs present in the meal as anticancer agent are still not well understood. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the cytotoxic effects and mode of actions of PEs isolated from Jatropha meal against breast (MCF-7) and cervical (HeLa) cancer cell lines. Isolated PEs inhibited cells proliferation in a dose-dependent manner of both MCF-7 and HeLa cell lines with the IC₅₀ of 128.6 ± 2.51 and 133.0 ± 1.96 µg PMA equivalents/mL respectively, while the values for the phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) as positive control were 114.7 ± 1.73 and 119.6 ± 3.73 µg/mL, respectively. Microscopic examination showed significant morphological changes that resemble apoptosis in both cell lines when treated with PEs and PMA at IC₅₀ concentration after 24 h. Flow cytometry analysis and DNA fragmentation results confirmed the apoptosis induction of PEs and PMA in both cell lines. The PEs isolated from Jatropha meal activated the PKC-δ and down-regulated the proto-oncogenes (c-Myc, c-Fos and c-Jun). These changes probably led to the activation of Caspase-3 protein and apoptosis cell death occurred in MCF-7 and HeLa cell lines upon 24 h treatment with PEs and PMA. Phorbol esters of Jatropha meal were found to be promising as an alternative to replace the chemotherapeutic drugs for cancer therapy.
Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is known to potentiate the progression of inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and atherosclerosis. IFN-γ has been found to disrupt the barrier integrity of epithelial and endothelial cell both in vivo and in vitro. However, the mechanisms of IFN-γ underlying increased endothelial cell permeability have not been extensively elucidated. We reported that IFN-γ exhibits a biphasic nature in increasing endothelial permeability. The changes observed in the first phase (4-8 h) involve cell retraction and rounding in addition to condensed peripheral F-actin without a significant change in the F-/G-actin ratio. However, cell elongation, stress fiber formation, and an increased F-/G-actin ratio were noticed in the second phase (16-24 h). Consistent with our finding from the permeability assay, IFN-γ induced the formation of intercellular gaps in both phases. A delayed phase of increased permeability was observed at 12 h, which paralleled the onset of cell elongation, stress fiber formation, and increased F-/G-actin ratio. In addition, IFN-γ stimulated p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphorylation over a 24 h period. Inhibition of p38 MAP kinase by SB203580 prevented increases in paracellular permeability, actin rearrangement, and increases in the F-/G-actin ratio caused by IFN-γ. Our results suggest that p38 MAP kinase is activated in response to IFN-γ and causes actin rearrangement and altered cell morphology, which in turn mediates endothelial cell hyperpermeability. The F-/G-actin ratio might be involved in the regulation of actin distribution and cell morphology rather than the increased permeability induced by IFN-γ.
CYP2C9 enzyme contributes to the metabolism of several pharmaceuticals and xenobiotics and yet displays large person-to-person and interethnic variation. Understanding the mechanisms of CYP2C9 variation is thus of immense importance for personalized medicine and rational therapeutics. A genetic variant of P450 (cytochrome) oxidoreductase (POR), a CYP450 redox partner, is reported to influence CYP2C9 metabolic activity in vitro. We investigated the impact of a common variant, POR*28, on CYP2C9 metabolic activity in humans. 148 healthy Swedish and 146 healthy Korean volunteers were genotyped for known CYP2C9 defective variant alleles (CYP2C9*2, *3). The CYP2C9 phenotype was determined using a single oral dose of 50 mg losartan. Excluding oral contraceptive (OC) users and carriers of 2C9*2 and *3 alleles, 117 Korean and 65 Swedish were genotyped for POR*5, *13 and *28 using Taqman assays. The urinary losartan to its metabolite E-3174 metabolic ratio (MR) was used as an index of CYP2C9 metabolic activity. The allele frequency of the POR*28 variant allele in Swedes and Koreans was 29% and 44%, respectively. POR*5 and *13 were absent in both study populations. Considering the CYP2C9*1/*1 genotypes only, the CYP2C9 metabolic activity was 1.40-fold higher in carriers of POR*28 allele than non-carriers among Swedes (p = 0.02). By contrast, no influence of the POR*28 on CYP2C9 activity was found in Koreans (p = 0.68). The multivariate analysis showed that ethnicity, POR genotype, and smoking were strong predictors of CYP2C9 MR (p < 0.05). This is the first report to implicate the importance of POR*28 genetic variation for CYP2C9 metabolic activity in humans. These findings contribute to current efforts for global personalized medicine and using medicines by taking into account pharmacogenetic and phenotypic variations.
Kinetics of production of biodiesel by enzymatic methanolysis of vegetable oils using lipase has been investigated. A mathematical model taking into account the mechanism of the methanolysis reaction starting from the vegetable oil as substrate, rather than the free fatty acids, has been developed. The kinetic parameters were estimated by fitting the experimental data of the enzymatic reaction of sunflower oil by two types of lipases, namely, Rhizomucor miehei lipase (RM) immobilized on ion-exchange resins and Thermomyces lanuginosa lipase (TL) immobilized on silica gel. There was a good agreement between the experimental results of the initial rate of reaction and those predicted by the proposed model equations, for both enzymes. From the proposed model equations, the regions where the effect of alcohol inhibition fades, at different substrate concentrations, were identified. The proposed model equation can be used to predict the rate of methanolysis of vegetable oils in a batch or a continuous reactor and to determine the optimal conditions for biodiesel production.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most leading death-causing cancers in the world. Vernodalin, a cytotoxic sesquiterpene, has been reported to possess anticancer properties against human breast cancer cells. We aimed to examine the anticancer mechanism of vernodalin on human colon cancer cells. Vernodalin was used on human colon cancer cells, HT-29 and HCT116. The cytotoxicity of vernodalin on human colon cancer cells was determined through in vitro 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay. Small interfering RNA was used to analyze the cascade activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in HT-29, and HCT116 cells against vernodalin treatment. The protein expressions of caspase 3, Bcl-2, and Bax were examined through Western blot analysis. Immunoblot analysis on the JNK, ERK, and p38 MAPK pathways showed increased activation due to vernodalin treatment. It was proven from the JNK and p38 inhibition test that both pathways are significantly activated by vernodalin to induce apoptosis. Our results, collectively, showed the apoptosis-induced anticancer mechanism of vernodalin on human colon cancer cells that was mediated through the activation of JNK pathway and apoptotic regulator proteins. These results suggest that vernodalin could be developed as a potent chemotherapeutic agent for human colorectal cancer treatment.
A series of hexahydro-1,6-naphthyridines were synthesized in good yields by the reaction of 3,5-bis[(E)-arylmethylidene]tetrahydro-4(1H)-pyridinones with cyanoacetamide in the presence of sodium ethoxide under simple mixing at ambient temperature for 6-10 minutes and were assayed for their acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity using colorimetric Ellman's method. Compound 4e with methoxy substituent at ortho-position of the phenyl rings displayed the maximum inhibitory activity with IC50 value of 2.12 μM. Molecular modeling simulation of 4e was performed using three-dimensional structure of Torpedo californica AChE (TcAChE) enzyme to disclose binding interaction and orientation of this molecule into the active site gorge of the receptor.
Goniothalamin is a biologically active styrylpyrone derivative isolated from various Goniothalamus species. The ability of goniothalamin to induce apoptosis via caspase-3 activation against hepatoblastoma (HepG2) and normal liver cells (Chang cells) was studied using morphological and biochemical evaluations. HepG2 and Chang cells were treated with goniothalamin for 72 h and analysed by TUNEL and Annexin-V/PI staining. Furthermore, the post-mitochondrial caspase-3 was quantified using ELISA. In view of our results, goniothalamin induced apoptosis on treated cells via alteration of cellular membrane integrity and cleavage of DNA. On the other hand, post-mitochondrial caspase-3 activity was significantly elevated in HepG2 cells treated with goniothalamin after 72 h. These findings suggest that goniothalamin induced apoptosis on HepG2 liver cancer cells via induction of caspase-3 with less sensitivity on the cell line of Chang cells.
The glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) fluorescent spot test (FST) is a useful screening test for G6PD deficiency, but is unable to detect heterozygote G6PD-deficient females. We sought to identify whether reporting intermediate fluorescence in addition to absent and bright fluorescence on FST would improve identification of mildly deficient female heterozygotes.
A total of 1266 cord blood samples (705 male, 561 female) were screened for G6PD deficiency using FST (in-house method) and a quantitative enzyme assay. Fluorescence intensity of the FST was graded as either absent, intermediate or normal. Samples identified as showing absent or intermediate fluorescence on FST were analysed for the presence of G6PD mutations using TaqMan@SNP genotyping assays and direct nucleotide sequencing.
Of the 1266 samples, 87 samples were found to be intermediate or deficient by FST (49 deficient, 38 intermediate). Of the 49 deficient samples, 48 had G6PD enzyme activity of ≤ 9.5 U/g Hb and one sample had normal enzyme activity. All 38 intermediate samples were from females. Of these, 21 had G6PD activity of between 20% and 60%, and 17 samples showed normal G6PD activity. Twenty-seven of the 38 samples were available for mutation analysis of which 13 had normal G6PD activity. Eleven of the 13 samples with normal G6PD activity had identifiable G6PD mutations.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase heterozygote females cannot be identified by FST if fluorescence is reported as absent or present. Distinguishing samples with intermediate fluorescence from absent and bright fluorescence improves detection of heterozygote females with mild G6PD deficiency. Mutational studies confirmed that 85% of intermediate samples with normal enzyme activity had identifiable G6PD mutations.
In this study, a new apoptotic monoterpenoid indole alkaloid, subditine (1), and four known compounds were isolated from the bark of Nauclea subdita. Complete (1)H- and (13)C- NMR data of the new compound were reported. The structures of isolated compounds were elucidated with various spectroscopic methods such as 1D- and 2D- NMR, IR, UV and LCMS. All five compounds were screened for cytotoxic activities on LNCaP and PC-3 human prostate cancer cell-lines. Among the five compounds, the new alkaloid, subditine (1), demonstrated the most potent cell growth inhibition activity and selective against LNCaP with an IC50 of 12.24±0.19 µM and PC-3 with an IC50 of 13.97±0.32 µM, compared to RWPE human normal epithelial cell line (IC50 = 30.48±0.08 µM). Subditine (1) treatment induced apoptosis in LNCaP and PC-3 as evidenced by increased cell permeability, disruption of cytoskeletal structures and increased nuclear fragmentation. In addition, subditine (1) enhanced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, as reflected by increased expression of glutathione reductase (GR) to scavenge damaging free radicals in both prostate cancer cell-lines. Excessive ROS could lead to disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), release of cytochrome c and subsequent caspase 9, 3/7 activation. Further Western blot analyses showed subditine (1) induced down-regulation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl expression, whereas p53 was up-regulated in LNCaP (p53-wild-type), but not in PC-3 (p53-null). Overall, our data demonstrated that the new compound subditine (1) exerts anti-proliferative effect on LNCaP and PC-3 human prostate cancer cells through induction of apoptosis.
Latent polyphenol oxidase (LPPO), an enzyme responsible for the browning reaction of sago starches during processing and storage, was investigated. The enzyme was effectively extracted and partially purified from the pith using combinations of nonionic detergents. With Triton X-114 and a temperature-induced phase partitioning method, the enzyme showed a recovery of 70% and purification of 4. 1-fold. Native PAGE analysis of the partially purified LPPO revealed three activity bands when stained with catechol and two bands with pyrogallol. The molecular masses of the enzymes were estimated by SDS-PAGE to be 37, 45, and 53 kDa. The enzyme showed optimum pH values of 4.5 with 4-methylcatechol as a substrate and 7.5 with pyrogallol. The LPPO was highly reactive toward diphenols and triphenols. The activity of the enzyme was greatly enhanced in the presence of trypsin, SDS, ethanol, and linoleic acid.
Chrysin is a natural flavonoid currently under investigation due to its important biological anti-cancer properties. In most of the cancer cells tested, chrysin has shown to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis, and is more potent than other tested flavonoids in leukemia cells, where chrysin is likely to act via activation of caspases and inactivation of Akt signaling in the cells. Moreover, structure-activity relationships have revealed that the chemical structure of chrysin meets the key structural requirements of flavonoids for potent cytotoxicity in leukemia cells. It is possible that combination therapy or modified chrysin could be more potent than single-agent use or administration of unmodified chrysin. This study may help to develop ways of improving the effectiveness of chrysin in the treatment of leukemia and other human cancers in vitro.
The use of lipase in hydrophilic solvent is usually hampered by inactivation. The solvent stability of a recombinant solvent stable lipase isolated from thermostable Bacillus sp. strain 42 (Lip 42), in DMSO and methanol were studied at different solvent-water compositions. The enzymatic activities were retained in up to 45% v/v solvent compositions. The near-UV CD spectra indicated that tertiary structures were perturbed at 60% v/v and above. Far-UV CD in methanol indicated the secondary structure in Lip 42 was retained throughout all solvent compositions. Fluorescence studies indicated formations of molten globules in solvent compositions of 60% v/v and above. The enzyme was able to retain its secondary structures in the presence of methanol; however, there was a general reduction in beta-sheet and an increase in alpha-helix contents. The H-bonding arrangements triggered in methanol and DMSO, respectively, caused different forms of tertiary structure perturbations on Lip 42, despite both showing partial denaturation with molten globule formations.
Goniothalamin, a plant styrylpyrone derivative isolated from Goniothalamus andersonii, induced apoptosis in Jurkat T-cells as assessed by the externalisation of phosphatidylserine. Immunoblotting showed processing of caspases-3 and -7 with the appearance of their catalytically active large subunits of 17 and 19 kDa, respectively. Activation of these caspases was further evidenced by detection of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage (PARP). Pre-treatment with the caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp fluoromethyl ketone (Z-VAD.FMK) blocked apoptosis and the resultant cleavage of these caspases and PARP. Our results demonstrate that activation of at least two effector caspases is a key feature of goniothalamin-induced apoptosis in Jurkat T-cells.
We report the degradation of quorum sensing N-acylhomoserine lactone molecules by a bacterium isolated from a Malaysian marine water sample. MALDI-TOF and phylogenetic analysis indicated this isolate BM1 clustered closely to Labrenzia sp. The quorum quenching activity of this isolate was confirmed by using a series of bioassays and rapid resolution liquid chromatography analysis. Labrenzia sp. degraded a wide range of N-acylhomoserine lactones namely N-(3-hexanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone (C6-HSL), N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C6-HSL) and N-(3-hydroxyhexanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone (3-hydroxy-C6-HSL). Re-lactonisation bioassays confirmed Labrenzia sp. BM1 degraded these signalling molecules efficiently via lactonase activity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documentation of a Labrenzia sp. capable of degrading N-acylhomoserine lactones and confirmation of its lactonase-based mechanism of action.
Thymoquinone (TQ), a bioactive constituent of Nigella sativa Linn (N. sativa) has demonstrated several neuropharmacological attributes. In the present study, the neuroprotective properties of TQ were investigated by studying its anti-apoptotic potential to diminish β-amyloid peptide 1-40 sequence (Aβ1-40)-induced neuronal cell death in primary cultured cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs). The effects of TQ against Aβ1-40-induced neurotoxicity, morphological damages, DNA condensation, the generation of reactive oxygen species, and caspase-3, -8, and -9 activation were investigated. Pretreatment of CGNs with TQ (0.1 and 1 μM) and subsequent exposure to 10 μM Aβ1-40 protected the CGNs against the neurotoxic effects of the latter. In addition, the CGNs were better preserved with intact cell bodies, extensive neurite networks, a loss of condensed chromatin and less free radical generation than those exposed to Aβ1-40 alone. TQ pretreatment inhibited Aβ1-40-induced apoptosis of CGNs via both extrinsic and intrinsic caspase pathways. Thus, the findings of this study suggest that TQ may prevent neurotoxicity and Aβ1-40-induced apoptosis. TQ is, therefore, worth studying further for its potential to reduce the risks of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Nanofiber membrane chromatography integrates liquid membrane chromatography and nanofiber filtration into a single-step purification process. Nanofiber membrane can be functionalised with affinity ligands for promoting binding specificity of membrane. Dye molecules are a good affinity ligand for nanofiber membrane due to their low cost and high binding affinity. In this study, a dye-affinity nanofiber membrane (P-Chitosan-Dye membrane) was prepared by using polyacrylonitrile nanofiber membrane modified with chitosan molecules and immobilized with dye molecules. Reactive Orange 4, commercially known as Procion Orange MX2R, was found to be the best dye ligand for membrane chromatography. The binding capacity of P-Chitosan-Dye membrane for lysozyme was investigated under different operating conditions in batch mode. Furthermore, desorption of lysozyme using the P-Chitosan-Dye membrane was evaluated systematically. The recovery percentage of lysozyme was found to be ~100%. The optimal conditions obtained from batch-mode study were adopted to develop a purification process to separate lysozyme from chicken egg white. The process was operated continuously using the membrane chromatography and the characteristic of the breakthrough curve was evaluated. At a lower flow rate (i.e., 0.1 mL/min), the total recovery of lysozyme and purification factor of lysozyme were 98.59% and 56.89 folds, respectively.
The unique ability of tumour cells to proliferate indefinitely is crucial to neoplastic progression as it allows these cells to express the aggressive properties of cancer without the censure of physiological ageing. This is in contrast to normal somatic cells which are subject to a "mitotic clock," a phenomenon that has been linked to telomeric shortening after each round of cell replication, so that eventually the loss of genetic material reaches a critical stage and the cells undergo senescence and cell death. A study was conducted to investigate the role of telomerase, an RNA-containing enzyme that restores the telomere length, in the neoplastic cell immortalization and progression process. Fresh human tissue samples taken from excision specimens received by the Department of Pathology, University of Malaya Medical Centre, were investigated for telomerase activity using a commercial Telomerase PCR-ELISA kit (Boehringer Mannheim). Specimens comprised 33 breast lesions (10 infiltrating breast adenocarcinoma, 13 fibroadenoma and 10 non-neoplastic breast tissue), 27 colonic lesions (17 colonic adenocarcinoma and 10 non-neoplastic colonic mucosa) and 42 cervical lesions (20 cervical carcinoma and 22 non-neoplastic cervical tissues). Telomerase activity was found in 6 (60%) of 10 breast carcinomas, 6 (46%) of 13 fibroadenomas, none of the 10 nonneoplastic breast samples, 3 (17.6%) of 17 colon carcinomas and none of the 10 non-neoplastic colonic mucosal samples, 12 (60%) of 20 cervical carcinoma and 3 (13.6%) of 22 non-neoplastic cervical samples. 5/10 (50%) Stage I, 4/7 (57%) Stage II, 2/2 (100%) Stage III and 1/1 (100%) Stage IV cervical carcinomas showed telomerase activity. These findings support a contributory role for telomerase in tumourigenesis with activation occurring from neoplastic transformation and increasing with tumour progression.