Anti-Proliferative Activities and Apoptosis Induction by Triterpenes Derived from Eriobotrya japonica in Human Leukemia Cell Lines.
Int J Mol Sci. 2013 ;14(2):4106-20. Epub 2013 Feb 18. PMID: 23429195
Eriobotrya japonica leaf is a traditional herbal medicine that contains numerous triterpenes, which have various pharmacological properties. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferative activity of four triterpenes derived from E. japonica, including corosolic acid (CA), ursolic acid (UA), maslinic acid (MA) and oleanolic acid (OA), in human leukemia cell lines. CA showed the strongest anti-proliferative activity in all of the leukemia cell lines tested, but not in normal human skin fibroblast cell lines. To determine the mechanism underlying the anti-proliferative effect of CA, we examined the effect of CA on molecular events known as apoptosis induction. CA induced chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, sub-G(1) phase DNA, activation of caspase-3, -8 and -9 and the cleavage of PARP in HL-60. CA also activated Bid and Bax, leading to the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (∆ψ(m)) and cytochrome c release into the cytosol, whereas Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL were unaffected by CA. These results suggest that CA has an anti-proliferative effect on leukemia cells via the induction of apoptosis mediated by mitochondrial dysfunction and caspase activation. CA may be a potential chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of human leukemia.