Dihydroartemisinine Enhances Dictamnine-induced Apoptosis via a Caspase Dependent Pathway in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma A549 Cells

  • An, Fu-Fei (Guangdong Experimental High School) ;
  • Liu, Yuan-Chong (Guangdong Experimental High School) ;
  • Zhang, Wei-Wei (Bioengineering Institute of Guangdong General Research Institute for Industrial Technology) ;
  • Liang, Lei (Bioengineering Institute of Guangdong General Research Institute for Industrial Technology)
  • Published : 2013.10.30


Dictamnine (Dic) has the ability to exert cytotoxicity in human cervix, colon, and oral carcinoma cells and dihydroartemisinin (DHA) also has potent anticancer activity on various tumour cell lines. This report explores the molecular mechanisms by which Dic treatment and combination treatment with DHA and Dic cause apoptosis in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells. Dic treatment induced concentration- and time-dependent cell death. FCM analysis showed that Dic induced S phase cell cycle arrest at low concentration and cell apoptosis at high concentration in which loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (${\Delta}{\Psi}m$) was not involved. In addition, inhibition of caspase-3 using the specific inhibitor, z-DQMD-fmk, did not attenuate Dic-induced apoptosis, implying that Dic-induced caspase-3-independent apoptosis. Combination treatment with DHA and Dic dramatically increased the apoptotic cell death compared to Dic alone. Interestingly, pretreatment with z-DQMD-fmk significantly attenuated DHA and Dic co-induced apoptosis, implying that caspase-3 plays an important role in Dic and DHA co-induced cell apoptosis. Collectively, we found that Dic induced S phase cell cycle arrest at low concentration and cell apoptosis at high concentration in which mitochondria and caspase were not involved and DHA enhanced Dic induced A549 cell apoptosis via a caspase-dependent pathway.


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