Oridonin induces apoptosis of HeLa cells via altering expression of Bcl-2/Bax and activating caspase-3/ICAD pathway

Chun-Ling Zhang, Li-Jun Wu, Shin-Ichi Tashiro, Satoshi Onodera, Takashi Ikejima
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 2004, 25 (5): 691-8

AIM: To study the mechanisms by which oridonin inhibited HeLa cell growth in vitro.

METHODS: Viability of oridonin-induced HeLa cells was measured by MTT assay. Apoptotic cells with condensed nuclei were visualized by phase contrast microscopy. Nucleosomal DNA fragmentation was assayed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Caspase activity was assayed using fluorometric protease assay. ICAD, Bcl-2, and Bax proteins expression were detected by Western blot analysis.

RESULTS: Oridonin induced oligonucleosomal fragmentation of DNA and increased caspase-3 activity, on the other hand, reduced the expression of inhibitor of caspase-3-activated DNase (ICAD), a caspase-3 substrate, at 12 h in HeLa cells. Oridonin-induced DNA fragmentation, caspase-3 activation and down-regulation of ICAD expression were effectively inhibited by a caspase-3 inhibitor, z-DEVD-fmk (z-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-fmk). However, pretreatment with an inhibitor of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), 3, 4-dihydro-5-[4-(1-piperidinyl)butoxy]-1(2H)-isoquinolinone (DPQ), did not suppress oridonin-induced HeLa cell death. In addition, oridonin-induced apoptosis was associated with an increase in the expression of the apoptosis inducer Bax, and a significant reduction in expression of the apoptosis suppressor Bcl-2 in mitochondria.

CONCLUSION: Oridonin induces HeLa cells apoptosis by altering balance of Bcl-2 and Bax protein expression and activation of caspase-3/ICAD pathway.

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