Bee venom in cancer therapy.
ABSTRACT Bee venom (BV) (api-toxin) has been widely used in the treatment of some immune-related diseases, as well as in recent times in treatment of tumors. Several cancer cells, including renal, lung, liver, prostate, bladder, and mammary cancer cells as well as leukemia cells, can be targets of bee venom peptides such as melittin and phospholipase A2. The cell cytotoxic effects through the activation of PLA2 by melittin have been suggested to be the critical mechanism for the anti-cancer activity of BV. The induction of apoptotic cell death through several cancer cell death mechanisms, including the activation of caspase and matrix metalloproteinases, is important for the melittin-induced anti-cancer effects. The conjugation of cell lytic peptide (melittin) with hormone receptors and gene therapy carrying melittin can be useful as a novel targeted therapy for some types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer. This review summarizes the current knowledge regarding potential of bee venom and its compounds such as melittin to induce cytotoxic, antitumor, immunomodulatory, and apoptotic effects in different tumor cells in vivo or in vitro. The recent applications of melittin in various cancers and a molecular explanation for the antiproliferative properties of bee venom are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Honeybee (Apis melifera) venom (HBV), which includes melittin and lipid-soluble ingredients (chrysin and pinocembrin), elicited increases in the CD4(+)/CD8(+) T lymphocyte ratio, relative mRNA expression levels of the T helper type 1 (Th 1) cytokines (interferon-γ and IL-12) and reinforced viral clearance of an experimental porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus infection in our previous study. On the basis of that previous study, we have now developed poly-d,l-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA)-encapsulated HBV nanoparticles (P-HBV) for longer sustained release of HBV. We administered P-HBV to pigs via the rectal route, and then evaluated the potential immune-enhancing and bacterial clearance effects of P-HBV against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The CD4(+)/CD8(+) lymphocyte ratio, proliferative capacity of peripheral blood lymphocytes and relative mRNA expression levels of IFN-γ and IL-12 (produced mainly by Th1 lymphocytes) were significantly increased in the P-HBV group up to 2 weeks post-administration of P-HBV. After S. Typhimurium infection, the P-HBV group showed a marked reduction in microbial burden in feces and all tissue samples (including the ileum, cecum, colon, and mesenteric lymph node (MLN)), a significant increase in Th 1 cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2, and IL-12) and a marked decrease in a Th 2 cytokine (IL-4) in all tissue samples and peripheral blood lymphocytes. Thus, P-HBV may be a promising strategy for immune enhancement and prevention of S. Typhimurium or other bacterial infections.Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 08/2014; 161(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.vetimm.2014.08.010 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study was carried out to determine the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of bee venom (BV) and/or the chemotherapeutic agent bleomycin (BLM) on healthy isolated rat lymphocytes utilizing morphometric and molecular techniques. Using the Ficoll-Histopaque density gradient centrifugation technique, lymphocytes were isolated, divided into groups, and subjected to BV and/or BLM at incubation medium concentrations of 10 or 20 μ g/mL respectively for 24 and 72 hrs. An MTT assay and fluorescent microscopy examinations were used to assess the cytotoxic effects. To determine the predominant type of BV and/or BLM-induced cell death, LDH release assay was employed beside quantitative expression analyses of the apoptosis-related genes (Caspase-3 and Bcl-2). The genotoxic effects of the tested compounds were evaluated via DNA fragmentation assay. The results of these assays demonstrated that BV potentiates BLM-induced cytotoxicity through increased LDH release and diminished cell viability. Nevertheless, BV significantly inhibited the BLM-induced DNA damage. The results verify that BV significantly attenuates the genotoxic effects of BLM on noncancerous isolated rat lymphocytes but does not diminish BLM cytotoxicity.04/2014; 2014:173903. DOI:10.1155/2014/173903
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ABSTRACT: Melittin, the major component of the bee venom, is an amphipathic, cationic peptide with a wide spectrum of biological properties that is being considered as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent. It modulates multiple cellular functions but the underlying mechanisms are not clearly understood. Here, we report that melittin activates disintegrin-like metalloproteases (ADAMs) and that downstream events likely contribute to the biological effects evoked by the peptide. Melittin stimulated the proteolysis of ADAM10 and ADAM17 substrates in human neutrophil granulocytes, endothelial cells and murine fibroblasts. In human HaCaT keratinocytes, melittin induced shedding of the adhesion molecule E-cadherin and release of TGF-α, which was accompanied by transactivation of the EGF receptor and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. This was followed by functional consequences such as increased keratinocyte proliferation and enhanced cell migration. Evidence is provided that ATP release and activation of purinergic P2 receptors are involved in melittin-induced ADAM activation. E-cadherin shedding and EGFR phosphorylation were dose-dependently reduced in the presence of ATPases or P2 receptor antagonists. The involvement of P2 receptors was underscored in experiments with HEK cells, which lack the P2X7 receptor and showed strikingly increased response to melittin stimulation after transfection with this receptor. Our study provides new insight into the mechanism of melittin function which should be of interest particularly in the context of its potential use as an anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer agent.Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2012; 287(28):23678-89. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.362756 · 4.60 Impact Factor