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Sanguinarine Induces Apoptosis in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 Cells through the Generation of ROS and Modulation of Akt/ERK Signaling Pathways
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  • Journal title : Journal of Life Science
  • Volume 25, Issue 9,  2015, pp.984-992
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Life Science
  • DOI : 10.5352/JLS.2015.25.9.984
 Title & Authors
Sanguinarine Induces Apoptosis in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 Cells through the Generation of ROS and Modulation of Akt/ERK Signaling Pathways
Hwang, Ju Yeong; Cho, Yung Hyun;
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Sanguinarine is a benzophenanthridine alkaloid originally isolated from the roots of Sanguinaria canadensis. It has multiple biological activities (e.g., antioxidant and antiproliferative) and immune-enhancing potential. In this study, we explored the proapoptotic properties and modes of action of sanguinarine in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Our results revealed that sanguinarine inhibited HepG2 cell growth and induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. The induction of apoptosis by sanguinarine was associated with the up-regulation of Fas and Bax, the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol, and the loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, sanguinarine activated caspase-9 and -8, initiator caspases of the intrinsic and death extrinsic pathways, respectively, and caspase-3, accompanied by proteolytic degradation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. Sanguinarine also triggered the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The elimination of ROS by N-acetylcysteine reversed sanguinarine-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, sanguinarine induced the dephosphorylation of Akt and the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38. The growth inhibition was enhanced by the combined treatment of sanguinarine with a phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor and an ERK inhibitor but not JNK and p38 inhibitors. Overall, our data indicate that the proapoptotic effects of sanguinarine in HepG2 cells depend on ROS production and the activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic signaling pathways, which is mediated by blocking PI3K/Akt and activating the ERK pathway. Thus, our data suggest that sanguinarine may be a natural compound with potential for use as an antitumor agent in liver cancer.
Apoptosis;extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK);PI3K/Akt;reactive oxygen species (ROS);sanguinarine;
 Cited by
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