Furano-sesquiterpene from soft coral, Sinularia kavarittiensis: induces apoptosis via the mitochondrial-mediated caspase-dependent pathway in THP-1, leukemia cell line
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Bioassay directed fractionation and purification led to the successful isolation of a furano sesquiterpene, Methyl 5-[(1E,5E)-2,6-Dimethyl octa-1,5,7-trienyl] furan-3-carboxylate (MDTFC), a bioactive component from a soft coral, Sinularia kavarittiensis. Its structure was determined by analyzing 1H, 13C NMR and FAB-MS. The results show that MDTFC could efficiently and selectively inhibit the proliferation of several human cancer cell lines. Among all the cell lines, THP-1 was found to be most sensitive (IC50 29.59 μM), whereas the peripheral blood mononuclear cells were least effected (IC50 464.16 μM). The molecular mechanism of MDTFC mediated apoptosis was investigated for the first time. Induction of apoptosis in THP-1 cells was characterized by cell membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, and decrease in level of pro-caspases 3, 9 and increase in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Our results were further strengthened through cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential (Ψm) and cytosolic release of cytochrome c, which are key events during apoptosis. Moreover, phosphatidyl serine exposure and appearance of sub-G1 peak also demonstrated cell death, when analyzed by flow cytometry. DNA fragmentation was prevented moderately when pretreated with caspase-9 inhibitor (Z-LEHD-FMK) and largely with caspase-3 inhibitor (Z-DEVD-FMK). In summary, MDTFC mediated apoptosis involves mitochondria-dependent pathway and the present compound of marine origin might have a therapeutic value against human cancer cell lines and especially on leukemia cells.
KeywordsApoptosis Sesquiterpenes Morphology Caspases Membrane potential Leukemia cells
Authors are thankful to the Directors of Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad for providing the facilities and constant encouragement throughout the study. S. K. Arepalli, and V. Sridhar are also thankful to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India, New Delhi for the grant of senior research fellowship.
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