Juglone, a major chemical constituent of Juglans mandshruica Maxim, is a promising anticancer agent that has shown a strong activity against cancer cells in vitro. Our previous study showed that juglone inhibited the proliferation of HL-60 cells with an IC50 value ∼8 μM. To further explore the proapoptotic mechanism of juglone, we investigated the role of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the apoptosis induced by juglone in HL-60 cells. The generation of ROS was about 2 to 8-fold as compared to control cell after treatment with juglone (2, 4 and 8 μM) for 24 h. The glutathione (GSH) depletion was consistent with ROS generation after treatment with juglone. Reversal of apoptosis in antioxidants (NAC and catalase) pretreated cells indicated the involvement of ROS in juglone-induced apoptosis. The cleavage of PARP and procaspase-3 and -9, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (△Ψm), and release of cytochrome c (Cyt c) and Smac induced by juglone were significantly blocked by NAC. NAC also prevented the inhibition the phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR proteins by juglone. Collectively, these results indicated that ROS played a significant role in the apoptosis induced by juglone in human leukemia cell HL-60.
"Juglone is a natural compound deriving from the Juglandaceae family, particularly Juglans nigra, whose toxic and growth-stunting effects are well known . While Juglone was reported to induce generic oxidative stress in both healthy cells and cancer cell lines , we previously highlited the cytotoxic effect of its derivative 1 in inducing apoptotic cell death on human glioma cell lines  as a result of a screening on our in-house database. Starting from the discovery of this promising lead, the synthesis of novel naphthoquinone derivatives stems out with the aim of describing and comparing structureeactivity relationship (SAR) of Juglone and the obtained compounds by evaluating their effects on glioma cell death, allowing the enlightenment of the mechanism of action and, eventually, the optimization of the lead. "
"The same process may be involved in apigenin-induced ROS production in breast cancer cells. Oxidative stress caused by exposure to other phytochemicals such as juglone and a derivative of indole-3-carbinol is responsible for inhibiting Akt phosphorylation in leukemia cells (Bai et al., 2013; Xu et al., 2012). We similarly observed hypophosphorylation of Akt in apigenin-treated triple-negative breast cancer cells; however, this apigenin-induced blockade of Akt signaling was not due to oxidative stress since Akt phosphorylation was not rescued in the presence of a ROS scavenger. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies show that fruit- and vegetable-rich diets are associated with a reduced risk of developing certain forms of cancer, including breast cancer. In this study we demonstrate that a subcytotoxic concentration of apigenin, which is a flavone found at high concentrations in parsley, onions, grapefruit, oranges, and chamomile tea, inhibited DNA synthesis in a panel of human breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MBA-MB-468, MCF-7, SK-BR-3). Decreased proliferation of MDA-MB-468 cells in the presence of apigenin was associated with G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and the production of reactive oxygen species. Apigenin-treated MDA-MB-468 cells also showed reduced phosphorylation of Akt (protein kinase B), which is an essential effector serine/threonine kinase in the phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase pathway that promotes tumor growth and progression. However, exposure to the antioxidant reduced glutathione failed to reverse apigenin-mediated inhibition of Akt phosphorylation and cell proliferation, indicating that these effects were not due to oxidative stress. Taken together, these findings suggest that low-dose apigenin has the potential to slow or prevent breast cancer progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The predominant enzymes responsible for elimination of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in cells are peroxiredoxins (Prxs), catalase, and glutathione peroxidases (GPxs). Evidence suggests that catalytic activities of certain isoforms of these H(2)O(2)-eliminating enzymes are extensively regulated via posttranslational modification. Prx I and Prx II become inactivated when phosphorylated on Thr(90) by cyclin B-dependent kinase Cdc2. In addition, the active-site cysteine of Prx I-IV undergoes a reversible sulfinylation (oxidation to cysteine sulfinic acid) in cells. Desulfinylation (reduction to cysteine) is achieved by a novel enzyme named sulfiredoxin. c-Abl and Arg nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinases associate with catalase in cells treated with H(2)O(2) by mechanisms involving the SH3 domains of the kinases and the Pro(293)PheAsnPro motif of catalase and activate catalase by phosphorylating it on Tyr(231) and Tyr(386). Similarily, GPx1 is activated by c-Abl- and Arg-mediated phosphorylation. The tyrosine phosphorylation is critical for ubiquitination-dependent degradation of catalase.
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