Bee Venom and Its Peptide Component Melittin Suppress Growth and Migration of Melanoma Cells via Inhibition of PI3K/AKT/mTOR and MAPK Pathways.
Molecules. 2019 Mar 7 ;24(5). Epub 2019 Mar 7. PMID: 30866426
Haet Nim Lim
Malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and highly chemoresistant. Melittin, an amphiphilic peptide containing 26 amino acid residues, is the major active ingredient from bee venom (BV). Although melittin is known to have several biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticancer effects, its antimelanoma effect and underlying molecular mechanism have not been fully elucidated. In the current study, we investigated the inhibitory effect and action mechanism of BV and melittin against various melanoma cells including B16F10, A375SM and SK-MEL-28. BV and melittin potently suppressed the growth, clonogenic survival, migration and invasion of melanoma cells. They also reduced the melanin formation inα-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH)-stimulated melanoma cells. Furthermore, BV and melittin induced the apoptosis of melanoma cells by enhancing the activities of caspase-3 and -9. In addition, we demonstrated that the antimelanoma effect of BV and melittin is associated with the downregulationof PI3K/AKT/mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways. We also found that the combination of melittin with the chemotherapeutic agent temozolomide (TMZ) significantly increases the inhibition of growth as well as invasion in melanoma cells compared to melittin or TMZ alone. Taken together, these results suggest that melittin could be potentially applied for the prevention and treatment of malignant melanoma.