Bufotalin from Venenum Bufonis inhibits growth of multidrug resistant HepG2 cells through G(2)/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
ABSTRACT Venenum Bufonis, a traditional Chinese medicine, is widely used in the treatment of liver cancer in modern Chinese medical practices. In our search for anti-hepatoma constituents in Venenum Bufonis, bufotalin, bufalin, telocinobufagin and cinobufagin were obtained. Bufotalin was the most potent active compound among these four bufadienolides, and it exerted stronger inhibitory effect on the viability of doxorubicin-induced multidrug resistant liver cancer cells (R-HepG2) than that of their parent cells HepG2. Structure-activity relationship analysis indicated that the acetyl group linked to C-16 of bufadienolides might be useful for increasing anti-hepatoma activity. Further mechanistic studies revealed that bufotalin treatment induced cell cycle arrest at G(2)/M phase through down-regulation of Aurora A, CDC25, CDK1, cyclin A and cyclin B1, as well as up-regulation of p53 and p21. Bufotalin treatment also induced apoptosis which was accompanied by decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, increases in intracellular calcium level and reactive oxygen species production, activations of caspase-9 and -3, cleavage of poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) as well as changes in the expressions of bcl-2 and bax. It was also found that the inhibition of Akt expression and phosphorylation was involved in apoptosis induction, and specific Akt inhibitor LY294002 or siRNA targeting Akt can synergistically enhanced bufotalin-induced apoptosis. In vivo study showed that bufotalin significantly inhibited the growth of xenografted R-HepG2 cells, without body weight loss or marked toxicity towards the spleen. These results indicate that bufotalin has a promising potential to become a novel anti-cancer agent for the treatment of liver cancer with multidrug resistance.
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ABSTRACT: Cardiac glycosides, also known as cardiotonic steroids, are a group of natural products that share a steroid-like structure with an unsaturated lactone ring and the ability to induce cardiotonic effects mediated by a selective inhibition of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Cardiac glycosides have been used for many years in the treatment of cardiac congestion and some types of cardiac arrhythmias. Recent data suggest that cardiac glycosides may also be useful in the treatment of cancer. These compounds typically inhibit cancer cell proliferation at nanomolar concentrations, and recent high-throughput screenings of drug libraries have therefore identified cardiac glycosides as potent inhibitors of cancer cell growth. Cardiac glycosides can also block tumor growth in rodent models, which further supports the idea that they have potential for cancer therapy. Evidence also suggests, however, that cardiac glycosides may not inhibit cancer cell proliferation selectively and the potent inhibition of tumor growth induced by cardiac glycosides in mice xenografted with human cancer cells is probably an experimental artifact caused by their ability to selectively kill human cells versus rodent cells. This paper reviews such evidence and discusses experimental approaches that could be used to reveal the cancer therapeutic potential of cardiac glycosides in preclinical studies.BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:794930. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The search for novel and more efficient chemo-agents against malignant osteoblastoma is important. In this study, we examined the potential anti-osteoblastoma function of bufotalin, and studied the underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that bufotalin induced osteoblastoma cell death and apoptosis in dose- and time-dependent manners. Further, bufotalin induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress activation in osteoblastoma cells, the latter was detected by the induction of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), phosphorylation of inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1) and PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), as well as caspase-12 activation. Conversely, the ER stress inhibitor salubrinal, the caspase-12 inhibitor z-ATAD-fmk as well as CHOP depletion by shRNA significantly inhibited bufotalin-induced osteoblastoma cell death and apoptosis. Finally, by using a mice xenograft model, we demonstrated that bufotalin inhibited U2OS osteoblastoma cell growth in vivo. In summary, our results suggest that ER stress contributes to bufotalin-induced apoptosis in osteoblastoma cells. Bufotalin might be investigated as a novel anti-osteoblastoma agent.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hellebrigenin, one of bufadienolides belonging to cardioactive steroids, was found in skin secretions of toads and plants of Helleborus and Kalanchoe genera. In searching for natural constituents with anti-hepatoma activities, we found that hellebrigenin, isolated from traditional Chinese medicine Venenum Bufonis, potently reduced the viability and colony formation of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells HepG2, and went on to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms. Our results demonstrated that hellebrigenin triggered DNA damage through DNA double-stranded breaks and subsequently induced cell cycle G2/M arrest associated with up-regulation of p-ATM (Ser(1981)), p-Chk2 (Tyr(68)), p-CDK1 (Tyr(15)) and Cyclin B1, and down-regulation of p-CDC25C (Ser(216)). It was also found that hellebrigenin induced mitochondrial apoptosis, characterized by Bax translocation to mitochondria, disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome c into cytosol and sequential activation of caspases and PARP. In addition, Akt expression and phosphorylation were inhibited by hellebrigenin, whereas Akt silencing with siRNA significantly blocked cell cycle arrest but enhanced apoptosis induced by hellebrigenin. Activation of Akt by human insulin-like growth factor I (hIGF-I) could obviously attenuate hellebrigenin-induced cell death. In summary, our study is the first to report the efficacy of hellebrigenin against HepG2 and elucidated its molecular mechanisms including DNA damage, mitochondria collapse, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, which will contribute to the development of hellebrigenin into a chemotherapeutic agent in the treatment of liver cancer.Chemico-biological interactions. 06/2014;