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Acacetin-induced apoptosis of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells involves caspase cascade, mitochondria-mediated death signaling and SAPK/JNK1/2-c-Jun activation

Hye-Young Shim, Jong-Hwa Park, Hyun-Dong Paik, Seung-Yeol Nah, Darrick S H L Kim, Ye Sun Han
Molecules and Cells 2007 August 31, 24 (1): 95-104
17846503
The mechanism of acacetin-induced apoptosis of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells was investigated. Acacetin caused 50% growth inhibition (IC50) of MCF-7 cells at 26.4% 0.7% M over 24 h in the MTT assay. Apoptosis was characterized by DNA fragmentation and an increase of sub-G1 cells and involved activation of caspase-7 and PARP (poly-ADP-ribose polymerase). Maximum caspase 7 activity was observed with 100 microM acacetin for 24 h. Caspase 8 and 9 activation cascades mediated the activation of caspase 7. Acacetin caused a reduction of Bcl-2 expression leading to an increase of the Bax:Bcl-2 ratio. It also caused a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential that induced release of cytochrome c and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) into the cytoplasm, enhancing ROS generation and subsequently resulting in apoptosis. Pretreatment of cells with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduced ROS generation and cell growth inhibition, and pretreatment with NAC or a caspase 8 inhibitor (Z-IETD-FMK) inhibited the acacetin-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c and AIF. Stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun NH4-terminal kinase 1/2 (SAPK/ JNK1/2) and c-Jun were activated by acacetin but extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 (Erk1/2) nor p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were not. Our results show that acacetin-induced apoptosis of MCF-7 cells is mediated by caspase activation cascades, ROS generation, mitochondria-mediated cell death signaling and the SAPK/JNK1/2-c-Jun signaling pathway, activated by acacetin-induced ROS generation.

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