Mechanism underlying Chios gum mastic-induced apoptosis on SCC25 human tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell line

  • Lee, Seung-Eun (Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Hur, Young-Joo (Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Kim, In-Ryoung (Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Kwak, Hyun-Ho (Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Kim, Gyoo-Cheon (Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Shin, Sang-Hun (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Kim, Chul-Hoon (Department of Dentistry, College of Medicine, Dong-A University) ;
  • Park, Bong-Soo (Department of Oral Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University)
  • Published : 2009.06.30


Chios gum mastic (CGM) is a resin produced from the stem and leaves of Pistiacia lentiscus L var chia, a plant which grows only on Chios Island in Greece. CGM has been used for many centuries as a dietary supplement and folk medicine for stomach and duodenal ulcers in many Mediterranean countries and is known also to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in some cancer cells. In this study, we further investigated the induction and mechanisms underlying the apoptotic response to CGM treatment in the SCC25 human tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell line. The viability of SCC25 cells, human normal keratinocytes (HaCaT cells) and human gingival fibroblasts (HGF-1 cells), and the growth inhibition of SCC25 cells were assessed by MTT assay and clonogenic assay, respectively. Staining with Hoechst and hemacolor dyes and TUNEL assays were employed to detect SCC25 cells undergoing apoptosis. SCC25 cells were treated with CGM, and this was followed by western blotting, immunocytochemistry, confocal microscopy, FACScan flow cytometry, MMP activity and proteasome activity analyses. CGM treatment of SCC25 cells was found to result in a time- and dosedependent decrease in cell viability, a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth, and apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, CGM showed a remarkable level of cytotoxicity in SCC25 cells but not in normal cells. Tested SCC25 cells also showed several lines of apoptotic manifestation. Taken together, our present findings demonstrate that CGM strongly inhibits cell proliferation by modulating the expression of G1 cell cycle-related proteins and induces apoptosis via the proteasome, mitochondria and caspase cascades in SCC25 cells.


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