Tanshinone IIA inhibits Hep-J5 cells by increasing calreticulin, caspase 12 and GADD153 protein expression

Chun-Yuan Cheng, Chin-Cheng Su
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 2010, 26 (3): 379-85
Tanshinone IIA (Tan-IIA) is extracted from Danshen, Salviae miltiorrhizae Radix, which has been widely adopted in traditional herbal medicine to treat cardiovascular and hepatic diseases. Tan-IIA induces apoptosis and inhibits proliferation in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of Tan-IIA on human HCC cells are not understood clearly. In the present study, the cytotoxicity of Tan-IIA as well as its molecular mechanisms in human HCC J5 cells was investigated. The cytotoxicity was assayed by MTT. The protein expression of p53, p21, Bax, Bcl-2, Cdc25c, Cdc2, calreticulin, caspase 12, GADD153, caspase 3 and beta-actin in J5 cells were determined by Western blotting. The cell cycles were analyzed by FACS. The protein expression of caspase 12, GADD1533 and caspase 3 were detected by immunocytochemical staining. The results showed that Tan-IIA inhibited J5 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The protein expression of p53, p21, Bax, calreticulin, caspase 12, caspase 3 and GADD153 were increased, but Bcl-2, Cdc25c and Cdc2 were decreased in J5 cells. In addition, the results also showed that Tan-IIA arrested J5 cells in the G2/M phase. Immunocytochemistry staining showed that J5 cells treated with Tan-IIA up-regulated the protein expression of caspase 12, 3 and GADD153. Taken together, the findings suggest that Tan-IIA inhibits and induces apoptosis in J5 cells through novel molecular targets, calreticulin, caspase 12 and GADD153.

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