Bromamine T (BAT) Exerts Stronger Anti-Cancer Properties than Taurine (Tau)

Stella Baliou, Maria Goulielmaki, Petros Ioannou, Christina Cheimonidi, Ioannis P Trougakos, Markus Nagl, Anthony M Kyriakopoulos, Vassilis Zoumpourlis
Cancers 2021 January 7, 13 (2)

BACKGROUND: Taurine (Tau) ameliorates cancer pathogenesis. Researchers have focused on the functional properties of bromamine T (BAT), a stable active bromine molecule. Both N-bromotaurine (TauNHBr) and BAT exert potent anti-inflammatory properties, but the landscape remains obscure concerning the anti-cancer effect of BAT.

METHODS: We used Crystal Violet, colony formation, flow cytometry and Western blot experiments to evaluate the effect of BAT and Tau on the apoptosis and autophagy of cancer cells. Xenograft experiments were used to determine the in vivo cytotoxicity of either agent.

RESULTS: We demonstrated that both BAT and Tau inhibited the growth of human colon, breast, cervical and skin cancer cell lines. Among them, BAT exerted the greatest cytotoxic effect on both RKO and MDA-MB-468 cells. In particular, BAT increased the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK½), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK½), thereby inducing mitochondrial apoptosis and autophagy in RKO cells. In contrast, Tau exerted its cytotoxic effect by upregulating JNK½ forms, thus triggering mitochondrial apoptosis in RKO cells. Accordingly, colon cancer growth was impaired in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS: BAT and Tau exerted their anti-tumor properties through the induction of (i) mitochondrial apoptosis, (ii) the MAPK family, and iii) autophagy, providing novel anti-cancer therapeutic modalities.

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