, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 447–455 | Cite as

Galangin induces B16F10 melanoma cell apoptosis via mitochondrial pathway and sustained activation of p38 MAPK

  • Wenjing Zhang
  • Yan Lan
  • Qilai HuangEmail author
  • Zichun HuaEmail author
Original Research


Galangin, an active flavonoid present at high concentration in Alpinia officinarum Hance and propolis, shows cytotoxicity towards several cancer cell lines, including melanoma. However, the specific cellular targets of galangin-induced cytotoxicity in melanoma are still unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of galangin in B16F10 melanoma cells and explored the possible molecular mechanisms. Galangin significantly decreased cell viability of B16F10 cells, and also induced cell apoptosis shown by Hoechst 33342 staining and Annexin V-PI double staining flow cytometric assay. Furthermore, upon galangin treatment, disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential was observed by JC-1 staining. Western blotting analysis indicated that galangin activated apoptosis signaling cascades by cleavage of procaspase-9, procaspase-3 and PARP in B16F10 cells. Moreover, galangin significantly induced activation of phosphor-p38 MAPK in a time and dose dependent manner. SB203580, an inhibitor of p38, partially attenuated galangin-induced apoptosis in B16F10 cells. Taken together, this work suggests that galangin has the potential to be a promising agent for melanoma treatment and may be further evaluated as a chemotherapeutic agent.


Galangin Apoptosis Malignant melanoma Mitochondria p38 MAPK 



This study was supported, in part, by the Science and Technology Development Fund of the Macao Special Administrative Region (071/2009/A3 and 091/2009/A), the National Key Basic Research Project from Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (2012CB967004), the Chinese National Nature Sciences Foundation (81121062, 50973046, 31070706), the Jiangsu Provincial Nature Science Foundation (BK2010046, BZ2010074, BZ2011048, BK2011228), Bureau of Science and Technology of Changzhou (CN20100016, CZ20100008, CE20115034, CZ20110028).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Chinese MedicineMacau University of Science and TechnologyTaipa MacauChina
  2. 2.Macau Institute for Applied Research in MedicineMacau University of Science and TechnologyTaipa MacauChina
  3. 3.The State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical BiotechnologyNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Changzhou High-Tech Research Institute of Nanjing UniversityChangzhouChina

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