Caffeic acid phenethyl ester triggers apoptosis through induction of loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in CCRF-CEM cells

  • Çığır Biray Avcı
  • Cumhur Gündüz
  • Yusuf Baran
  • Fahri Şahin
  • Sunde Yılmaz
  • Zeynep Ozlem Dogan
  • Güray SaydamEmail author
Original Paper



CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester) is one of the most valuable and investigated component of propolis which is composed by honeybees. In the current study, we aimed at examining apoptotic effects of CAPE on CCRF-CEM leukemic cells and at determining the roles of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in cell death.


Trypan blue and XTT methods were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity. Apoptosis was examined by ELISA-based oligonucleotide and acridine orange/ethidium bromide dye techniques. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential was evaluated using JC-1 dye by flow cytometric analysis and under fluorescent microscope.


We detected the time- and dose-dependent increases in cytotoxic effect of CAPE on CCRF-CEM cells. ELISA and acridine orange/ethidium bromide results showed that apoptotic cell population increased significantly in CCRF-CEM cells exposed to increasing concentrations of CAPE. On the other hand, there was significant loss of MMP determined in response to CAPE in CCRF-CEM cells.


This in vitro data by being supported with clinical data may open the way of the potential use of CAPE for the treatment of leukemia.


CAPE ALL Apoptosis Mitochondrial membrane potential Cytotoxicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Çığır Biray Avcı
    • 1
  • Cumhur Gündüz
    • 1
  • Yusuf Baran
    • 2
  • Fahri Şahin
    • 3
  • Sunde Yılmaz
    • 1
  • Zeynep Ozlem Dogan
    • 1
  • Güray Saydam
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical Biology, School of MedicineEge UniversityBornovaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biology and GeneticsIzmir Institute of TechnologyUrlaTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Hematology, School of MedicineEge UniversityBornovaTurkey

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