Down-regulation of the JAK2/PI3K-mediated signaling activation is involved in Taiwan cobra cardiotoxin III-induced apoptosis of human breast MDA-MB-231 cancer cells

Kuei-Li Lin, Jung-Chen Su, Ching-Ming Chien, Pei-Wen Chuang, Long-Sen Chang, Shinne-Ren Lin
Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology 2010 June 15, 55 (7): 1263-73
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. Exposure of MDA-MB-231 cells with 0.03, 0.09, and 0.15 microM of CTX III for 18 h, CTX III-induced cell apoptosis, as evidenced by accumulation of sub-G1 population, externalization of phosphatidylserine, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsim) with subsequent release of cytochrome c, and activation of both capases-9 and caspase-3. This correlated with up-regulation in Bax and Bad, and down-regulation of various anti-apoptotic proteins, including Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), and survivin in CTX III-treated cells. Mechanistic studies showed that CTX III suppressed the phosphorylation of JAK2, STAT3, Akt, and activation of PI3K. Moreover, the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin blocked activation of STAT3 and Akt without affecting the JAK2 activation, whereas JAK2 inhibitor AG490 suppressed the levels of phospho-STAT3, phospho-Akt, and PI3K, suggesting that PI3K activation occurs after JAK2 phosphorylation, and both PI3K and JAK2 kinases cooperate to mediate STAT3 and Akt phosphorylation. Both AG490 and wortmannin also led to up-regulation in Bax and Bad, and down-regulation of Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), and survivin in MDA-MB-231 cells. Taken together, these results indicate that CTX III induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells via concomitant inactivation of the JAK2, STAT3, PI3K, and Akt signaling pathways.

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