Tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. White tea is made from the buds and young leaves of the tea plant which are steamed and dried, whilst undergoing minimal oxidation. The MTT assay was used to test the extract on the effect of the proliferation of the colorectal cancer cell line, HT-29. The extract inhibited the proliferation of HT-29 cells with an IC50 of 87μg/ml. The extract increased the levels of caspase-3, -8, and -9 activity in the cells. DNA damage in 3T3-L1 normal cells was detected by using the comet assay. The extract protected 3T3-L1 cells against H2O2-induced DNA damage. The results from this study show that white tea has antioxidant and antiproliferative effects against cancer cells, but protect normal cells against DNA damage. Regular intake of white tea can help to maintain good health and protect the body against disease.
Biochemical evidence of a caspase-like execution pathway has been demonstrated in a variety of protozoan parasites, including Blastocystis spp. The distinct differences in the phenotypic characterization reported previously have prompted us to compare the rate of apoptosis in Blastocystis spp. isolated from individuals who were symptomatic and asymptomatic. In the current study, we analysed the caspase activation involved in PCD mediated by a cytotoxic drug, (metronidazole) in both symptomatic & asymptomatic isolates.
Styryl-lactones such as goniothalamin represent a new class of compounds with potential anti-cancer properties. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of goniothalamin (GTN), a plant styryl-lactone induced apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. This plant extract resulted in apoptosis in HL-60 cells as assessed by the externalisation of phosphatidylserine. Using the mitochondrial membrane dye (DIOC(6)) in conjunction with flow cytometry, we found that GTN treated HL-60 cells demonstrated a loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Deltapsi(m)). Further immunoblotting on these cells showed activation of initiator caspase-9 and the executioner caspases-3 and -7. Pretreatment with the pharmacological caspase inhibitor, benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp fluoromethyl ketone (Z-VAD.FMK) abrogated apoptosis as assessed by all of the apoptotic features in this study. In summary, our results demonstrate that goniothalamin-induced apoptosis occurs via the mitochondrial pathway in a caspase dependent manner.
Cardamonin is a natural chalcone that has been shown to exhibit high anticancer activity. In an attempt to discover analogues of cardamonin with enhanced anticancer activity, 19 analogues were synthesized and tested against A549 and HK1 cell lines. Results of the MTS cell viability assay showed that several derivatives possessed cytotoxic activities that were several-fold more potent than cardamonin. SAR analysis showed the importance of the ketone and alkene groups for bioactivity, while substituting cardamonin's phenolic groups with more polar moieties resulted in activity enhancement. As part of the SAR study and further exploration of chemical space, the effect of metal coordination on cytotoxicity was also investigated, but it was only possible to successfully obtain the Cu (II) complex of cardamonin (19). Compound 19 was the most active analogue possessing IC50 values of 13.2μM and 0.7μM against A549 and HK1 cells, corresponding to a 5- and 32-fold increase in activity, respectively. It was also able to significantly inhibit the migration of A549 and HK1 cells. Further mode of action studies have shown that the most active analogue, 19, induced DNA damage resulting in G2/M-phase cell- cycle arrest in both cell lines. These events further led to the induction of apoptosis by the compound via caspase-3/7 and caspase-9 activation, PARP cleavage and downregulation of Mcl-1 expression. Moreover, 19 inhibited the expression levels of p-mTOR and p-4EBP1, which indicated that it exerted its anticancer activity, at least in part, via inhibition of the mTOR signalling pathway.
4-Chloro-1,2-phenylenediamine (4-Cl-o-PD) is a halogenated aromatic diamine that was used as a precursor for manufacturing permanent hair dyes. Despite its well-documented mutagenic and carcinogenic effects in a number of in vitro and in vivo models, its cytotoxicity and mode of action have not received similar attention. Here, we investigated the effect of 4-Cl-o-PD on Mardin-Darby canine kidney cells. It induced apoptosis and the evidence suggests its initiation by reactive oxygen species (ROS). The results of various assays used show a dose-dependent (i) decrease in cell viability, (ii) increase in cells at sub-G1 phase and the G0/G1 phase arrested in cell cycle, (iii) increase in intracellular ROS accompanied by depletion of glutathione, and (iv) that apoptotic cell death probably involves activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways.
Nigella sativa, commonly referred as black cumin, is a popular spice that has been used since the ancient Egyptians. It has traditionally been used for treatment of various human ailments ranging from fever to intestinal disturbances to cancer. This study investigated the apoptotic, antimetastatic, and anticancer activities of supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) extracts of the seeds of N. sativa Linn. against estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells (MCF-7). Twelve extracts were prepared from N. sativa seeds using the SC-CO2 extraction method by varying pressure and temperature. Extracts were analyzed using FTIR and UV-Vis spectrometry. Cytotoxicity of the extracts was evaluated on various human cancer and normal cell lines. Of the 12 extracts, 1 extract (A3) that was prepared at 60°C and 2500 psi (~17.24 MPa) showed selective antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 cells with an IC50 of 53.34±2.15 μg/mL. Induction of apoptosis was confirmed by evaluating caspases activities and observing the cells under a scanning electron microscope. In vitro antimetastatic properties of A3 were investigated by colony formation, cell migration, and cell invasion assays. The elevated levels of caspases in A3 treated MCF-7 cells suggest that A3 is proapoptotic. Further nuclear condensation and fragmentation studies confirmed that A3 induces cytotoxicity through the apoptosis pathway. A3 also demonstrated remarkable inhibition in migration and invasion assays of MCF-7 cells at subcytotoxic concentrations. Thus, this study highlights the therapeutic potentials of SC-CO2 extract of N. sativa in targeting breast cancer.
Glaucoma is now regarded as a neurodegenerative disorder. A number of theories including the mechanical and vascular models have been used to explain the pathogenesis of glaucoma. However, there is now increasing evidence of biochemical molecules which may play a part in it's causation. These biochemical mechanisms include the role of excitatory aminoacids, caspases, protein kinases, oxygen free radicals, nitric oxide, TNF-alpha, neurotrophins and metalloproteins. This paper reviews these new developments which form the biochemical basis of glaucomatous neural degeneration. How to cite this article: Ahmad SS, Ghani SA, Rajagopal TH. Current Concepts in the Biochemical Mechanisms of Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration. J Current Glau Prac 2013;7(2):49-53.
Goniothalamin is a natural occurring styryl-lactone compound isolated from Goniothalamus macrophyllus. It had been demonstrated to process promising anticancer activity on various cancer cell lines. However, little study has been carried out on oral cancer. The aim of this study was to determine the cytotoxic effects of goniothalamin against H400 oral cancer cells and its underlying molecular pathways. Results from MTT assay demonstrated that goniothalamin exhibited selective cytotoxicity as well as inhibited cells growth of H400 in dose and time-dependent manner. This was achieved primarily via apoptosis where apoptotic bodies and membrane blebbing were observed using AO/PI and DAPI/Annexin V-FITC fluorescence double staining. In order to understand the apoptosis mechanisms induced by goniothalamin, apoptosis assessment based on mitochondrial membrane potential assay and cytochrome c enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were carried out. Results demonstrated that the depolarization of mitochondrial transmembrane potential facilitated the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into cytosol. Caspases assays revealed the activation of initiator caspase-9 and executioner caspase-3/7 in dose-dependent manners. This form of apoptosis was closely associated with the regulation on Bcl-2 family proteins, cell cycle arrest at S phase and inhibition of NF-κβ translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus. Conclusion, goniothalamin has the potential to act as an anticancer agent against human oral squamous cell carcinoma (H400 cells).
Background: Clinacanthus nutans (C.nutans) is a plant consumed as a cancer treatment in tropical Asia. Despite the availability of numerous anecdotal reports, evaluation of active anticancer effects has remained elusive. Therefore we here examined antiproliferative, reactive oxygen species (ROS)-inducing and apoptosis mechanisms of whole plant extracts in different cancer cell lines. Methods: Antiproliferative actions of five solvent extracts (hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, methanol and water) of C.nutans were tested on non-small cell lung cancer (A549), nasopharygeal cancer (CNE1) and liver cancer (HepG2) cells using MTT assay. The most potent anticancer extract was then assessed by flow cytometry to study cell cycle changes . Intracellular levels of ROS were quantified by DCFH-DA assay. Involvement of the caspase pathway in induction of apoptosis was assessed using caspase assay kits. GC-MS analysis was performed to identify phytoconstituents in the extracts. Results: Hexane and chloroform extracts were antiproliferative against all three cell lines, while the ethyl acetate extract, at 300 μg/mL, was antiproliferative in the CNE1 but not A549 and HepG2 cases. Methanol and water extracts did not inhibit cancer cell proliferation. The most potent anticancer hexane extract was selected for further testing. It induced apoptosis in all three cell lines as shown by an increase in the percentage of cell in sub-G1 phase. Dose-dependent increase in ROS levels in all three cell lines indicated apoptosis to be possibly modulated by oxidative stress. At high concentrations (>100 μg/mL), hexane extracts upregulated caspases 8, 9 and 3/7 across all three cell lines. GC-MS analysis of the hexane extract revealed abundance of 31 compounds. Conclusion : Among the five extracts of C.nutans, that with hexane extract demonstrated the highest antiproliferative activity against all three cancer cell lines tested. Action appeared to be via ion of intracellular ROS, and induction of apoptosis via intrinsic and extrinsic caspase pathways.
Phyla nodiflora L. has been used as medicinal remedies for various ailments due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-tumor activity. Previously, we found that the plant extracts induced DNA fragmentation in MCF-7. This study was to investigate the modes of action of P. nodiflora in inhibiting breast cancer cells using leaf ethyl acetate (EA leaf), stem ethyl acetate (EA stem) and stem methanol (Met stem) extracts. The MTT assay showed that the anti-proliferative effects of P. nodiflora extracts were selective towards MCF-7 with a minimal effect on MCF10A. Morphological changes such as cell shrinkage and nuclear condensation were observed in treated cells. We found that induction of apoptosis by EA leaf and EA stem was mitochondrial-dependent while loss of mitochondrial membrane potential was not found in Met stem-treated cells. In addition, the expression levels of AIFM1, CASP9, CFLAR, and IGF1R were altered after treatment. Decreased BCL-2 expression was found in treated cells while BAX and caspases' expression was upregulated or maintained. All extracts caused perturbation of cell cycle at S phase by dysregulating the expression of cell cycle regulators such as CDKs and cyclins. Our findings indicate that P. nodiflora inhibits MCF-7 cells by inducing apoptosis and perturbing cell cycle.
There has been a growing interest in naturally occurring compounds from traditional medicine with anti-cancer potential. Nigella sativa (black seed) is one of the most widely studied plants. This annual herb grows in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and India. Thymoquinone (TQ) is an active ingredient isolated from Nigella sativa. The anti-cancer effect of TQ, via the induction of apoptosis resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction, was assessed in an acute lymphocyte leukemic cell line (CEMss) with an IC50 of 1.5 µg/mL. A significant increase in chromatin condensation in the cell nucleus was observed using fluorescence analysis. The apoptosis was then confirmed by Annexin V and an increased number of cellular DNA breaks in treated cells were observed as a DNA ladder. Treatment of CEMss cells with TQ encouraged apoptosis with cell death-transducing signals by a down-regulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of Bax. Moreover, the significant generation of cellular ROS, HSP70 and activation of caspases 3 and 8 were also observed in the treated cells. The mitochondrial apoptosis was clearly associated with the S phase cell cycle arrest. In conclusion, the results from the current study indicated that TQ could be a promising agent for the treatment of leukemia.
Several chalcones were synthesized and their in vitro cytotoxicity against various human cell lines, including human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7, human lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549, human prostate cancer cell line PC3, human adenocarcinoma cell line HT-29 (colorectal cancer) and human normal liver cell line WRL-68 was evaluated. Most of the compounds being active cytotoxic agents, four of them with minimal IC₅₀ values were chosen and studied in detail with MCF-7 cells. The compounds 1, 5, 23, and 25 were capable in eliciting apoptosis in MCF-7 cells as shown by multiparameter cytotoxicity assay and caspase-3/7, -8, and -9 activities (p < 0.05). The ROS level showed 1.3-fold increase (p < 0.05) at the low concentrations used and thus it was concluded that the compounds increased the ROS level eventually leading to apoptosis in MCF-7 cells through intrinsic as well as extrinsic pathways.
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.
Cancer has been one of the leading causes of mortality in this era. Ruta angustifolia L. Pers has been traditionally used as an abortifacient, antihelmintic, emmenagogue and ophthalmic. In Malaysia and Singapore, the local Chinese community used it for the treatment of cancer.
INTRODUCTION: This study focused on PF4 effects on caspase-3,-6, -7, -8 and -9 which regulate the apopotosis process in breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Breast tumours were induced in forty 21-day-old female Sprague Dawley rats (SDRs) using MNU until tumour size reached 14.5 mm (SD: 0.5 mm). The rats were then divided into two groups: Group 1 (control injected with 0.9% saline; n = 20), and Group 2 (platelet factor 4 (PF4); n = 20). PF4 was administered through focal intralesional injection at 20 μg/lesion dose. Following 5-day treatment, the SDRs were sacrificed. Subsequently, representative sections from the tumour were obtained for haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. The expressions of caspase-3, -6, -7, -8 and -9 were evaluated using immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining.
RESULTS: The majority of breast tumour specimens were of aggressive types [ncontrol = 13 (65%); nPF4 = 12 (60%)]. Invasive ductal carcinoma not otherwise specified (IDC-NOS) was the most commonly observed breast tumour histology for control and PF4 groups (n = 8 (40%) in respective groups). PF4-treated group exhibited significant differences in the caspase-3, -6 and -8 expression levels compared to the control group (all p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in caspase-7 (p = 0.347) and caspase-9 (p = 0.373) expression levels between both groups.
CONCLUSION: This study found that PF4 acts via the caspase-mediated extrinsic apoptosis pathway without the involvement of the intrinsic pathway.
Inophyllin A (INO-A), a pyranoxanthone isolated from the roots of Calophyllum inophyllum represents a new xanthone with potential chemotherapeutic activity. In this study, the molecular mechanism of INO-A-induced cell death was investigated in Jurkat T lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Assessment of phosphatidylserine exposure confirmed apoptosis as the primary mode of cell death in INO-A-treated Jurkat cells. INO-A treatment for only 30 min resulted in a significant increase of tail moment which suggests that DNA damage is an early apoptotic signal. Further flow cytometric assessment of the superoxide anion level confirmed that INO-A induced DNA damage was mediated with a concomitant generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Investigation on the thiols revealed an early decrease of free thiols in 30 min after 50 μM INO-A treatment. Using tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester, a potentiometric dye, the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MPP) was observed in INO-A-treated cells as early as 30 min. The INO-A-induced apoptosis progressed with the simultaneous activation of caspases-2 and -9 which then led to the processing of caspase-3. Taken together, these data demonstrate that INO-A induced early oxidative stress, DNA damage and loss of MMP which subsequently led to the activation of an intrinsic pathway of apoptosis in Jurkat cells.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as a capable therapeutic modality for the treatment of cancer. PDT is a targeted cancer therapy that reportedly leads to tumor cell apoptosis and/or necrosis by facilitating the secretion of certain pro-inflammatory cytokines and expression of multiple apoptotic mediators in the tumor microenvironment. In addition, PDT also triggers oxidative stress that directs tumor cell killing and activation of inflammatory responses. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the role of PDT in facilitating tumor cell apoptosis remain ambiguous. Here, we investigated the ability of PDT in association with hypericin (HY) to induce tumor cell apoptosis by facilitating the induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secretion of Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines in human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line (HepG2) cells. To discover if any apoptotic mediators were implicated in the enhancement of cell death of HY-PDT-treated tumor cells, selected gene profiling in response to HY-PDT treatment was implemented. Experimental results showed that interleukin (IL)-6 was significantly increased in all HY-PDT-treated cells, especially in 1 μg/ml HY-PDT, resulting in cell death. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of apoptotic genes, such as BH3-interacting-domain death agonist (BID), cytochrome complex (CYT-C) and caspases (CASP3, 6, 7, 8 and 9) was remarkably higher in HY-PDT-treated HepG2 cells than the untreated HepG2 cells, entailing that tumor destruction of immune-mediated cell death occurs only in PDT-treated tumor cells. Hence, we showed that HY-PDT treatment induces apoptosis in HepG2 cells by facilitating cytotoxic ROS, and potentially recruits IL-6 and apoptosis mediators, providing additional hints for the existence of alternative mechanisms of anti-tumor immunity in hepatocellular carcinoma, which contribute to long-term suppression of tumor growth following PDT.
Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) seeds (CA) is a well known medicinal herb in Indian sub-continent. We recently reported anti-oxidant property of chloroform fraction of Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) seeds (CACF) by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced growth of human breast cancer cells. However, the active compounds in CACF have not been investigated previously.
The hydroquinone and catechol like metabolites, NCQ344 and NCQ436 respectively, of the antipsychotic remoxipride have recently been demonstrated to induce apoptosis in myeloperoxidase (MPO)-rich human bone marrow progenitor and HL-60 cells [S.M. McGuinness, R. Johansson, J. Lundstrom, D. Ross, Induction of apoptosis by remoxipride metabolites in HL-60 and CD34+/CD19- human bone marrow progenitor cells: potential relevance to remoxipride-induced aplastic anemia, Chem. Biol. Interact. 121 (1999) 253-265]. In the present study, we determined the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis induced by these remoxipride metabolites in HL-60 cells. Our results show that apoptosis was accompanied by phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure, activation of caspases-9, -3, -7 and DNA cleavage. In HL-60 cells treated with the hydroquinone NCQ344 and catechol NCQ436, the general caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp. fluoromethyl ketone (Z-VAD.FMK) blocked DNA cleavage and activation of caspases-9, -3/-7. In addition, PS exposure was significantly but not completely inhibited by Z-VAD.FMK. These results demonstrate that although Z-VAD.FMK inhibitable caspases are necessary for maximal apoptosis induced by NCQ344 and NCQ436, additional caspase-independent processes may orchestrate changes leading to PS exposure during apoptosis induced by the remoxipride polyphenolic metabolites.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), the most popular nanoparticles, possess unique properties. Achillea biebersteinii is a plant of the Asteraceae family rich in active antitumor components. The aim of this research was the characterization and investigation of the cytotoxic properties of Ag-NPs synthesized using A. biebersteinii flower extract, on a human breast cancer cell line. The Ag-NPs were synthesized after approximately 180 min of reaction at 40 °C, then they were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The anti-apoptosis effect of Ag-NPs on the MCF-7 cell line was investigated by MTT assay, DAPI and acridine orange staining and caspase activity. The transcriptional expression of bax, bcl-2, caspase-3, -8 and -9 were also evaluated by RT-PCR. The TEM images revealed that the Ag-NPs morphology had a different shape. The DLS indicated that the average hydrodynamic diameter of the biosynthesized Ag-NPs was around 12 nm. By UV-visible spectroscopy the strongest absorbance peak was observed at 460 nm. The FTIR results also showed interaction between the plant extract and Ag-NPs due to the similarity in the peak patterns. The EDS results showed that Ag-NPs display an absorption peak at 3 keV, indicating the presence of the element silver. The Ag-NPs caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability, fragmentation in nucleic acid, inhibited the proliferation and induction of apoptosis on MCF-7 by suppressing specific cell cycle genes, and simulation programmed cell dead genes. Further investigation is required to establish the potential of this novel and promising approach in cancer therapy.