Gallic acid targets acute myeloid leukemia via Akt/mTOR-dependent mitochondrial respiration inhibition.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Sep ;105:491-497. Epub 2018 Jun 5. PMID: 29883944
Gallic acid is one of the many phenolic acids that can be found in dietary substances and traditional medicine herbs. The anti-cancer activities of gallic acid have been shown in various cancers but its underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we show Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-dependent inhibition of mitochondrial respiration as a mechanism of gallic acid's action in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Gallic acid significantly induces apoptosis of AML cell lines, primary mononuclear cells (MNC) and CD34 stem/progenitors isolated form AML patients via caspase-dependent pathway. It also significantly enhances two standard AML chemotherapeutic agents' efficacy in vitro cell culture system and in vivo xenograft model. Gallic acid inhibits dose- and time-dependent mitochondrial respiration, leading to decreased ATP production and oxidative stress. Overexpression of constitutively active Akt restores gallic acid-mediated inhibition of mTOR signaling, mitochondrial dysfunction, energy crisis and apoptosis. Our results demonstrate that mitochondrial respiration inhibition by gallic acid is a consequence of Akt/mTOR signaling suppression. Our findings suggest that combination therapy with gallic acid may enhance antileukemic efficacy of standard chemotherapeutic agents in AML.