Ellagic acid, a natural polyphenolic compound, induces apoptosis and potentiates retinoic acid-induced differentiation of human leukemia HL-60 cells
All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is a standard drug used for differentiation therapy in acute promyelocytic leukemia. To potentiate this therapy, we examined the effect of ellagic acid (EA), a natural polyphenolic compound with antiproliferative and antioxidant properties, on the growth and differentiation of HL-60 acute myeloid leukemia cells. EA was found to induce apoptosis, which was blocked by pan-caspase inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK. EA activated the caspase-3 pathway and enhanced the expressions of myeloid differentiation markers (CD11b, MRP-14 protein, granulocytic morphology) induced by ATRA treatment. These results indicate that EA is a potent apoptosis inducer and also effectively potentiates ATRA-induced myeloid differentiation of HL-60 cells.