Carnosic acid modulates Akt/IKK/NF-κB signaling by PP2A and induces intrinsic and extrinsic pathway mediated apoptosis in human prostate carcinoma PC-3 cells

Susanta Kar, Shreyasi Palit, Writoban Basu Ball, Pijush K Das
Apoptosis: An International Journal on Programmed Cell Death 2012, 17 (7): 735-47
This study investigates the efficacy of carnosic acid (CA), a polyphenolic diterpene, isolated from the plant rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis), on androgen-independent human prostate cancer PC-3 cells. CA induced anti-proliferative effects in PC-3 cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, which was due to apoptotic induction as evident from flow-cytometry, DNA laddering and TUNEL assay. Apoptosis was associated with the activation of caspase-8, -9, -3 and -7, increase in Bax:Bcl-2 ratio, release of cytochrome-c and decrease in expression of inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family of proteins. Apoptosis was attenuated upon pretreatment with specific inhibitors of caspase-8 (Z-IETD-fmk) and caspase-9 (Z-LEHD-fmk) suggesting the involvement of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic cascades. Further, apoptosis resulted from the inhibition of IKK/NF-κB pathway as evident from decreased DNA binding activity, nuclear translocation of p50 and p65 and IκBα phosphorylation. The down-regulation of IKK/NF-κB was associated with inhibition of Akt phosphorylation and its kinase activity with a concomitant increase in the serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity. Pharmacologic inhibition of PP2A by okadaic acid and calyculin A, significantly reversed CA-mediated apoptotic events in PC-3 cells indicating that CA induced apoptosis by activation of PP2A through modulation of Akt/IKK/NF-κB pathway. In addition, CA induced apoptosis in another androgen refractory prostate cancer DU145 cells via intrinsic pathway as evidenced from the activation of caspase 3, cleavage of PARP, increase in Bax:Bcl-2 ratio and cytochrome-c release. Carnosic acid, therefore, may have the potential for use in the prevention and/or treatment of prostate cancer.

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