Ursolic Acid from Oldenlandia diffusa Induces Apoptosis via Activation of Caspases and Phosphorylation of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 Beta in SK-OV-3 Ovarian Cancer Cells
College of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon 300-716, Republic of Korea. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin
(Impact Factor: 1.83).
07/2012; 35(7):1022-8. DOI: 10.1248/bpb.b110660
Although ursolic acid isolated from Oldenlandia diffusa (Rubiaceae) was known to have anticancer activities in prostate, breast and liver cancers, the underlying mechanism of ursolic acid in ovarian cancer cells was not investigated so far. In the present study, the apoptotic mechanism of ursolic acid was elucidated in SK-OV-3 ovarian cancer cells by 2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulphophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT) assay, cell cycle analysis and Western blotting. Ursolic acid exerted cytotoxicity against SK-OV-3 and A2780 ovarian cancer cells with IC₅₀ of ca. 50 and 65 µM, respectively. Apoptotic bodies were observed in ursolic acid treated SK-OV-3 cells. Also, ursolic acid significantly increased ethidium homodimer stained cells and sub-G1 apoptotic portion in SK-OV-3 cells. Consistently, Western blotting revealed that ursolic acid effectively cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), caspase-9 and -3, suppressed the expression of survival genes such as c-Myc, Bcl-x(L) and astrocyte elevated gene (AEG)-1, and upregulated phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in SK-OV-3 cells. Interestingly, ursolic acid suppressed β-catenin degradation as well as enhanced phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK 3β). Furthermore, GSK 3β inhibitor SB216763 blocked the cleavages of caspase-3 and PARP induced by ursolic acid and proteosomal inhibitor MG132 disturbed down-regulation of β-catenin, activation of caspase-3 and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) induced by ursolic acid in SK-OV-3 cells. Overall, our findings suggest that ursolic acid induces apoptosis via activation of caspase and phosphorylation of GSK 3β in SK-OV-3 cancer cells as a potent anti-cancer agent for ovarian cancer therapy.
Available from: Yau Yan Lim
- "Another study showed that UA inhibited cell growth by inhibiting the EGFR/MAPK pathway. Against SKOV-3 ovary cancer cells, UA exerted cytotoxicity with IC50 of 50 μM. Apoptotic bodies were observed in treated SKOV-3 cells. "
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Our earlier study on the antiproliferative (APF) activity of leaf extracts of ten Apocynaceae species showed that leaves of Vallaris glabra possessed strong and broad-spectrum properties.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, sequential extracts of leaves, flowers and stems, and fractions and isolated compounds from dichloromethane (DCM) leaf extract of V. glabra were assessed for APF activity using the sulphorhodamine B (SRB) assay. Apoptotic effect of MDA-MB-231 cancer cells treated with DCM leaf extract of V. glabra was studied using Hoechst 33342 dye and caspase colorimetry.
Both DCM extracts of leaves and flowers possessed broad-spectrum APF activity against HT-29, MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 and SKOV-3 cancer cells. From DCM leaf extract, stearic acid (SA) and ursolic acid (UA) were isolated by column chromatography, and identified by NMR and MS analyses. APF activity of SA from DCM leaf extract displayed weak inhibitory activity and scientific literature showed UA has anticancer properties against those cancer cells used in this study. MDA-MB-231 cancer cells treated with DCM leaf extract and stained with Hoechst 33342 dye provided evidence that the extract had an apoptotic effect on the cells. Caspase colorimetry showed that the apoptotic effect involved activation of caspase-8, -9 and -3, but not caspase-6.
The potential of V. glabra as a candidate species for anticancer drugs warrants further investigation.
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ABSTRACT: Apoptosis, also known as cell suicide or programmed cell death, removes unwanted and genetically damaged cells from the body. Evasion of apoptosis is one of the major characteristic features of rapidly proliferating tumor cells. Chemopreventive agents inhibit or suppress tumor formation through apoptotic induction in target tissues. The aim of the present study was to investigate the pro-apoptotic potential of lupeol during 7,12-dimethylbenz(a) anthracene (DMBA) induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis. Topical application of 0.5% DMBA three times a week for 14 weeks in the buccal pouches of golden Syrian hamsters resulted in oral squamous cell carcinoma. The expression pattern of apoptotic markers was analyzed using immunohistochemistry (p53, Bcl-2, Bax) and ELISA reader (caspase 3 and 9). In the present study, 100% tumor formation with defects in apoptotic markerexpression pattern was noticed in hamsters treated with DMBA alone. Oral administration of lupeol at a dose of 50mg/kg bw completely prevented the formation oral tumors as well as decreased the expression p53 and Bcl-2, while increasing the expression of Bax and the activities of caspase 3 and 9. The present study thus indicated that lupeol might inhibit DMBA-induced oral tumor formation through its pro-apoptotic potential in golden Syrian hamsters.
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