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Bufalin Induces Mitochondria-Dependent Apoptosis in Pancreatic and Oral Cancer Cells by Downregulating hTERT Expression via Activation of the JNK/p38 Pathway


, : Bufalin Induces Mitochondria-Dependent Apoptosis in Pancreatic and Oral Cancer Cells by Downregulating hTERT Expression via Activation of the JNK/p38 Pathway. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2015: 546210-546210

Bufalin, a digoxin-like active component of the traditional Chinese medicine Chan Su, exhibits potent antitumor activities in many human cancers. Bufalin induces mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in cancer cells, but the detailed molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. hTERT, the catalytic subunit of telomerase, protects against mitochondrial damage by binding to mitochondrial DNA and reducing mitochondrial ROS production. In the present study, we investigated the effects of bufalin on the cell viability, ROS production, DNA damage, and apoptosis of CAPAN-2 human pancreatic and CAL-27 human oral cancer cells. Bufalin reduced CAPAN-2 and CAL-27 cell viability with IC50 values of 159.2 nM and 122.6 nM, respectively. The reduced cell viability was accompanied by increased ROS production, DNA damage, and apoptosis and decreased expression of hTERT. hTERT silencing in CAPAN-2 and CAL-27 cells by siRNA resulted in increased caspase-9/-3 cleavage and DNA damage and decreased cell viability. Collectively, these data suggest that bufalin downregulates hTERT to induce mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in CAPAN-2 and CAL-27 cells. Moreover, bufalin increased the phosphorylation of JNK and p38-MAPK in CAPAN-2 and CAL-27 cells, and blocking the JNK/p38-MAPK pathway using the JNK inhibitor SP600125 or the p38-MAPK inhibitor SB203580 reversed bufalin-induced hTERT downregulation. Thus, the JNK/p38 pathway is involved in bufalin-induced hTERT downregulation and subsequent induction of apoptosis by the mitochondrial pathway.

US$19.90

PMID: 26783410

DOI: 10.1155/2015/546210


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