Induction of apoptosis by sanguinarine in C6 rat glioblastoma cells is associated with the modulation of the Bcl-2 family and activation of caspases through downregulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Akt
Sanguinarine is a benzophenanthridine alkaloid that is derived from the root of Sanguinaria canadensis and other poppy fumaria species, and is known to have antimicrobial, antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. This study investigated the possible mechanisms through which sanguinarine exerts its antiproliferative action in cultured C6 rat glioblastoma cells. The exposure of C6 cells to sanguinarine resulted in growth inhibition and the induction of apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner, as measured by the MTT assay, fluorescence microscopy, agarose gel electrophoresis and annexin-V-based assay. The sanguinarine treatment induced the proteolytic activation of caspases and ICAD/DFF45, which was associated with the modulation of the Bcl-2 family, concomitant degradation of poly(ADP ribose) polymerase and phospholipase C-gamma1 protein, and DNA fragmentation. z-DEVD-fmk, a caspase-3-specific inhibitor, blocked poly(ADP ribose) polymerase degradation, DNA fragmentation and increased the survival rate of sanguinarine-treated C6 cells. Moreover, the activity of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Akt was downregulated in sanguinarine-treated cells, and PD98059, a specific extracellular signal-regulated kinase inhibitor, and phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase/Akt inhibitors, LY294002 and wortmanin, sensitized the cells to sanguinarine-induced apoptosis, indicating that the downregulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Akt signaling pathway may play a key role in sanguinarine-induced apoptosis in C6 cells.
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