Parthenolide induces significant apoptosis and production of reactive oxygen species in high-risk pre-B leukemia cells.
Cancer Lett. 2007 Aug 28;254(1):119-27. Epub 2007 Apr 30. PMID: 17470383
We investigated whether parthenolide, the principal bioactive component of the herb feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) induced apoptosis in pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) lines, including cells carrying the t(4;11)(q21;q23) chromosomal translocation. Parthenolide induced rapid apoptotic cell death distinguished by loss of nuclear DNA, externalization of cell membrane phosphatidylserine, and depolarization of mitochondrial membranes at concentrations ranging from 5 to 100 microM. Using reactive oxygen species (ROS)-specific dyes, an increase in nitric oxide and superoxide anion was detected in the cells by 4 h after exposure to parthenolide. Parthenolide-induced elevation of hypochlorite anion was observed only in the two t(4;11) lines. These data suggest parthenolide may have potential as a potent and novel therapeutic agent against pre-B ALLs.