Antiproliferation effects of ponicidin on human myeloid leukemia cells in vitro
- Authors: Jia-Jun Liu, Ren-Wei Huang, Dong-Jun Lin, Xiang-Yuan Wu, Qu Lin, Jun Peng, Xianglin Pan, Yu-Qin Song, Mao-hong Zhang, Ming Hou, Feng Chen
Published on: 01 April 2005
- Pages: 653-657
Ponicidin, an extract from the Chinese herb Rabdosia rubescens, is currently one of the most important traditional Chinese herbal medicines. Ponicidin has been reported to have anti-tumor effects on a large variety of malignant diseases. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferation effects of ponicidin on human myeloid K562 and HL-60 cells. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay; cell apoptosis was assessed by flow cytometry, DNA fragmentation analysis and Hoechst 33258 staining. Caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activation and Bax and Bcl-2 expression were detected by Western blot analysis. The results revealed that ponicidin could significantly inhibit the growth of K562 and HL-60 cells by induction of apoptosis. The suppression was both time- and dose-dependent. Cell apoptosis was observed clearly after the cells were treated with ponicidin for 48-72 h. Western blotting showed cleavage of the caspase-3 zymogen protein (32 kDa) with the appearance of its 17 kDa subunit, together with a cleaved 89-kDa fragment of 116 kDa PARP when apoptosis occurred. Bcl-2 expression was down-regulated while Bax expression up-regulated concurrently when the cells were treated with ponicidin for 24-48 h. Therefore, we conclude that ponicidin has significant anti-proliferation effects by induction of apoptosis on myeloid leukemia cells in vitro, down-regulation of Bcl-2, and up-regulation of Bax, and that activation of caspase-3 and PARP may be an important apoptosis-inducing mechanism. The results suggest that ponicidin may serve as a potential therapeutic agent for leukemia.