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29 May 2019 : Laboratory Research  

Gambogic Acid Shows Anti-Proliferative Effects on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Cells by Activating Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) Stress-Mediated Apoptosis

Minghua Zhu1ABCDEFG*, Yinfang Jiang2ACEF, Hao Wu1ADF, Wei Shi1ADE, Guirong Lu1ADE, Degang Cong1ACD, Keyuan Liu1CDF, Shaohui Song1ACD, Jianming Ren3ACF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.916835

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:3983-3988

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Gambogic acid (AG) is believed to be a potent anti-cancer agent. ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress-induced cell apoptosis was identified as one of the anti-proliferative mechanisms of several anti-cancer agents. In this study, we investigated the involvement of ER stress-induced apoptosis in the anti-proliferative effect of GA on NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) cells.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: GA at 0, 0.5, and 1.0 μmol/l was used to treat A549 cells. We also used the ER stress-specific inhibitor 4-PBA (4-phenylbutyric acid) (1 μmol/l) to co-treat the cells incubated with GA. Cell viability was assessed by MTT (methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium) assay. Cell apoptosis was evaluated by MTT (methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium) assay. Intracellular ROS (reactive oxygen species) production was detected by DCFH-DA (2,7- dichloro-dihydrofluorescein diacetate) florescent staining. Western blotting was used to assess the expression and phosphorylation levels of protein.

RESULTS: GA treatment significantly reduced cell viabilities of NSCLC cells in a concentration-dependent manner. GA treatment increased intracellular ROS level, expression levels of GRP (glucose-regulated protein) 78, CHOP (C/EBP-homologous protein), ATF (activating transcription factor) 6 and caspase 12, as well as the phosphorylation levels of PERK (protein kinase R-like ER kinase) and IRE (inositol-requiring enzyme) 1α. Co-treatment of 4-PBA dramatically impaired the inhibitory effect of GA on cell viability. 4PBA co-treatment also decreased expression levels of GRP78, CHOP, ATF6, and caspase12, as well as the phosphorylation levels of PERK and IRE1α, in GA-treated NSCLC cells, without affecting ROS levels.

CONCLUSIONS: GA inhibited NSCLC cell proliferation by inducing ROS-induced ER stress-medicated apoptosis of NSCLC cells.

Keywords: Endoplasmic reticulum stress, A549 cells, Endoplasmic Reticulum Chaperone BiP, Endoribonucleases, Heat-Shock Proteins, Phenylbutyrates, Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases, Transcription Factor CHOP, Xanthones

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750