Effects of cardiotoxin III on NF-kappaB function, proliferation, and apoptosis in human breast MCF-7 cancer cells

Chien-Chih Chiu, Kuei-Li Lin, Ching-Ming Chien, Long-Sen Chang, Shinne-Ren Lin
Oncology Research 2009, 17 (7): 311-21
Cardiotoxin III (CTX III), a basic polypeptide with 60 amino acid residues isolated from Naja naja atra venom, has been reported to have anticancer activity. CTX III-induced apoptosis in human breast MCF-7 cancer cells was confirmed by sub-G1 formation, phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization, and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage with an IC50 of 2 microg/ml at 48 h. Effects of CTX III on proliferation and apoptosis correlated with upregulation of Bax, and downregulation of Bcl-XL, Bcl-2, and XIAP, with no appreciable alteration on the protein levels of Bid, Bim, and survivin. CTX III treatment also caused release of mitochondrial cytochrome c to the cytosol, which led to subsequent activation of capase-9. Moreover, CTX III inhibited the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation through inhibition of IkappaB kinase (IkappaK) activity. Overall, our results indicate that CTX III downregulates NF-kappaB in MCF-7 cells, leading to the suppression of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. These findings suggest the molecular basis for CTX III-induced apoptotic death of MCF-7 cells.

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