Molecular mechanism of apoptosis induction by Gaillardin, a sesquiterpene lactone, in breast cancer cell lines: Gaillardin-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cell lines
Mohammad Hossein Abdolmohammadi
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© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Medicinal plant extracts have been widely used for cancer treatment. Gaillardin is a natural sesquiterpene lactone that has recently been reported to have anticancer properties. The ability to induce apoptosis is an important property of a candidate anticancer drug, which discriminates between anticancer drugs and toxic compounds. The current study was therefore carried out to address the issue if Gaillardin is able to induce apoptosis in the breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-468 and to determine the underlying mechanism of its anticancer effects. Apoptosis induction by Gaillardin treatment was confirmed by annexin V–FITC/PI staining, and caspase-3,-6, and-9 activation. Using Western blot analysis, we found that Gaillardin upregulated the pro-apoptotic protein Bax and p53 and downregulated the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Moreover, the apoptotic effect of Gaillardin was also related to ROS production and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). Taken together, these results demonstrate that Gaillardin can inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells via inducing mitochondrial apoptotic pathway and therefore, might be a promising molecule in cancer chemoprevention or chemotherapy.