Isoliensinine could efficiently induce apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer cells. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Isoliensinine induces apoptosis in triple-negative human breast cancer cells through ROS generation and p38 MAPK/JNK activation.
Sci Rep. 2015 ;5:12579. Epub 2015 Jul 29. PMID: 26219228
Isoliensinine, liensinine and neferine are major bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids in the seed embryo of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), and exhibit potential anti-cancer activity. Here, we explored the effects of these alkaloids on triple-negative breast cancer cells and found that among the three alkaloids isoliensinine possesses the most potent cytotoxic effect, primarily by inducing apoptosis. Interestingly, isoliensinine showed a much lower cytotoxicity against MCF-10A, a normal human breast epithelial cell line. Further studies showed that isoliensinine could significantly increase the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in triple-negative breast cancer cells, but not in MCF-10A cells. The isoliensinine-induced apoptosis could be attenuated by radical oxygen scavenger N-acetyl cysteine, suggesting that the cytotoxic effect of isoliensinine on cancer cells is at least partially achieved by inducing oxidative stress. We found that both p38 MAPK and JNK signaling pathways were activated by isoliensinine treatment and contributed to the induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, inhibitors or specific siRNAs of p38 MAPK and JNK could attenuate apoptosis induced by isoliensinine. However, only the p38 inhibitor or p38-specific siRNA blocked the elevation of ROS in isoliensinine-treated cells. Our findings thus revealed a novel antitumor effect of isoliensinine on breast cancer cells and may have therapeutic implications.