Evidence of vanillin binding to CAMKIV explains the anti-cancer mechanism in human hepatic carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2018 Jan ;438(1-2):35-45. Epub 2017 Jul 25. PMID: 28744811
Human calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMKIV) is a member of Ser/Thr kinase family, and is associated with different types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Vanillin is a natural compound, a primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean which possesses varieties of pharmacological features including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-tumor. Here, we have investigated the binding mechanism and affinity of vanillin to the CAMKIV which is being considered as a potential drug target for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. We found that vanillin binds strongly to the active site cavity of CAMKIV and stabilized by a large number of non-covalent interactions. We explored the utility of vanillin as anti-cancer agent and found that it inhibits the proliferation of human hepatocyte carcinoma (HepG2) and neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, vanillin treatment resulted into the significant reduction in the mitochondrial membrane depolarization and ROS production that eventually leads to apoptosis in HepG2 and SH-SY5Y cancer cells. These findings may offer a novel therapeutic approach by targeting the CAMKIV using natural product and its derivative with a minimal side effect.