Neferine-induced apoptosis is dependent on the suppression of Bcl-2 expression via downregulation of p65 in renal cancer cells.
Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2019 Jun 12. Epub 2019 Jun 12. PMID: 31187116
Neferine is an alkaloid extracted from a seed embryo of Nelumbo nucifera and has recently been shown to have anticancer effects in various human cancer cell lines. However, the detailed molecular mechanism of neferine-induced apoptosis has not been elucidated in renal cancer cells. In the present study, we observed that neferine induced inhibition of cell proliferation and apoptosis in Caki-1 cells in a dose-dependent manner by using MT assay and flow cytometry and that neferine-mediated apoptosis was attenuated by pretreatment with N-benzyloxycarbony-Val-Ala-Asp (O-methyl)-fluoromethyketone, a pan-caspase inhibitor. Treatments with neferine dose-dependently downregulated B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) expression at the transcriptional level determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The forced expression of Bcl-2 and p65 attenuated the neferine-mediated apoptosis in Caki-1 cells. In addition, neferine induced apoptosis by downregulating Bcl-2 and p65 expression in the other two kidney cancer cell lines determined by flow cytometry and western blot analysis. Finally, we observed that treatment with neferine induced apoptosis by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway through caspase-mediated cleavage of the p65 protein by western blot analysis. Collectively, this study demonstrated that neferine-induced apoptosis is mediated by the downregulation of Bcl-2 expression via repression of the NF-κB pathway in renal cancer cells.