Apoptosis in cancer: From pathogenesis to treatment

Division of Human Biology, School of Medical and Health Sciences, International Medical University, No. 126, Jalan Jalil Perkasa 19, Bukit Jalil 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 4.23). 09/2011; 30(1):87. DOI: 10.1186/1756-9966-30-87
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Apoptosis is an ordered and orchestrated cellular process that occurs in physiological and pathological conditions. It is also one of the most studied topics among cell biologists. An understanding of the underlying mechanism of apoptosis is important as it plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. In some, the problem is due to too much apoptosis, such as in the case of degenerative diseases while in others, too little apoptosis is the culprit. Cancer is one of the scenarios where too little apoptosis occurs, resulting in malignant cells that will not die. The mechanism of apoptosis is complex and involves many pathways. Defects can occur at any point along these pathways, leading to malignant transformation of the affected cells, tumour metastasis and resistance to anticancer drugs. Despite being the cause of problem, apoptosis plays an important role in the treatment of cancer as it is a popular target of many treatment strategies. The abundance of literature suggests that targeting apoptosis in cancer is feasible. However, many troubling questions arise with the use of new drugs or treatment strategies that are designed to enhance apoptosis and critical tests must be passed before they can be used safely in human subjects.

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Available from: Rebecca Shin Yee Wong, May 27, 2014
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    • "Through binding on DNA damaged structures, PARP-1 recruits repair enzymes and serves as a survival factor (Diamantopoulos et al., 2014). The caspase family and Bcl-2 family play important roles in the regulation of apoptosis (Wong, 2011). Caspases play the central role in the transduction of death receptor apoptotic signals. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous studies demonstrated that SIP-S had anti-metastatic activity and inhibited the growth of metastatic foci. Here we report the anti-tumor and immunoregulatory potential of SIP-S. SIP-S could significantly inhibit tumor growth in S180-bearing mice, and the inhibition rates was 43.7% at 30mg/kgd. Besides, SIP-S could improve the thymus and spleen indices of S180-bearing mice and the mice treated with CTX. The combination of SIP-S (15mg/kgd) with CTX (12.5mg/kgd) showed higher anti-tumor potency than CTX (25mg/kgd) alone. These results indicated that SIP-S had immunoenhancing and anticancer activity, and the immunoenhancing activity might be one mechanism for its anti-tumor activity. Flow cytometry results showed that SIP-S could induce tumor cells apoptosis. Western blot analysis indicated that SIP-S could upregulate the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins, caspase-3, -8, -9 and Bax, and downregulate the expression of anti-apoptotic protein PARP-1 in tumor cells in a dose-dependent manner. In summary, SIP-S has anti-tumor activity, which may be associated with its immunostimulating and pro-apoptotic activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Carbohydrate Polymers 04/2015; 129. DOI:10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.04.017 · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    • "So the BPF would appear to modulate the expression of anti-apoptotic members at the expense of apoptotic members, and thereby prevent intestinal cell apoptosis. An overexpression of Bax in association with an underexpression of Bcl2 leads to apoptosis in the affected cells (Wong, 2011 and Andersen and Kornbluth, 2013). This event is a protective mechanism used by cells to regulate proliferation, which occurs at a reduced rate in a healthy small intestine (Yeoh et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal mucositis induced during cancer treatment is considered a serious dose-limiting side effect of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Frequently, interruption of the cancer treatment due to this pathology leads to a reduction in cure rates, increase of treatment costs and decrease life quality of the patient. Natural products such as Bidens pilosa L. (Asteraceae), represent a potential alternative for the treatment of mucositis given its anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, B. pilosa glycolic extract was formulated (BPF) with poloxamer, a mucoadhesive copolymer, was used for treatment of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced mucositis in mice. As expected, animals only treated with 5-FU (200 mg/kg) presented marked weight loss, reduction of intestinal villi, crypts and muscular layer, which was associated with severe disruption of crypts, oedema, inflammatory infiltrate and vacuolization in the intestinal tissue, as compared to the control group and healthy animals only treated with BPF. On the other hand, the treatment of intestinal mucositis-bearing mice with BPF (75, 100 or 125 mg/kg) managed to mitigate clinical and pathologic changes, noticeably at 100 mg/Kg. This dose led to the restoration of intestinal proliferative activity through increasing Ki-67 levels; modulated the expression of Bax, Bcl2 and p53 apoptotic markers protecting intestinal cells from cell death. Moreover, this treatment regulated lipid peroxidation and inflammatory infiltration. No acute toxic effects were observed with this formulation. This work demonstrated that BPF was safe and effective against 5-FU-induced intestinal mucositis in mice. Additional studies are already in progress to further characterize the mechanisms involved in the protective effects of this technological formulation towards the development of a new medicine for the prevention and treatment of intestinal injury in patients undergoing chemotherapy/radiotherapy.
    Toxicology Reports 03/2015; 65. DOI:10.1016/j.toxrep.2015.03.003
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    • "However, a detailed investigation on anti-cancer effects of VC remains unknown. Induction of apoptosis in cancer cells is an important strategy in the development of anti-cancer agents (Wong, 2011). Chemotherapy involves the use of anti-cancer drugs for the treatment of cancer. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ethnopharmacological relevance Vernonia cinerea Less. (VC) of the family Asteraceaes is considered as the sacred plant; ‘Dasapushpam’ which is ethnopharmacologically significant to the people of Kerala in India. In fact, VC has been used in the traditional system of medicine (Ayurveda) for the treatment of various ailments including cancer. Materials and methods Cytotoxicity of the ethanolic extract of VC (VC-ET), petroleum ether fraction (VC-PET), dichloromethane fraction (VC-DCM), n-butyl alcohol fraction (VC-BT), and rest fraction (VC-R) was evaluated in cervical carcinoma (HeLa), lung adenocarcinoma (A549), breast cancer (MCF-7), and colon carcinoma (Caco-2) cells using Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay. The apoptotic effects of VC-DCM were assessed in cancer cells using Annexin V assay. The effects of VC-DCM on multi-drug resistance (MDR) transporters in HeLa, A549, MCF-7, and Caco-2 cells were evaluated using flow cytometry based functional assays. Similarly, drug uptake in cancer cells and sensitization of cancer cells towards chemotherapeutic drugs in the presence of VC-DCM were studied using Daunorubicin (DNR) accumulation assay and SRB assay, respectively. Results Cytotoxicity assay revealed that the enriched fraction of VC (VC-DCM) possessed dose-dependent cytotoxic effects in human epithelial cancer cells (HeLa, A549, MCF-7, and Caco-2). Further, treatment of cancer cells (HeLa, A549, MCF-7, and Caco-2) with VC-DCM led to a significant increase in both early and late apoptosis, indicating the induction of apoptosis. Interestingly, VC-DCM significantly inhibited functional activity of MDR transporters (ABC-B1 and ABC-G2), enhanced DNR-uptake in cancer cells, and sensitized cancer cells towards chemotherapeutic drug-mediated cytotoxicity, thus indicating the ability of VC-DCM to reverse MDR in cancer and enhance the cytotoxic effects of anticancer drugs. Conclusions A methodological investigation on the anti-cancer properties of Vernonia cinerea Less. (VC) revealed that an enriched fraction of VC (VC-DCM) possessed cytotoxic effects, triggered apoptosis, inhibited MDR transporters, enhanced drug uptake, and sensitized cancer cells towards anticancer drug-mediated cytotoxicity in human epithelial cancer cells. Thus, VC appears to be promising for an effective treatment of various drug-resistant human epithelial cancers.
    Journal of Ethnopharmacology 12/2014; 158(Part A):33-42. DOI:10.1016/j.jep.2014.10.010 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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