Apoptotic Effect of Melittin Purified from Iranian Honey Bee Venom on Human Cervical Cancer HeLa Cell Line.
Int J Pept Res Ther. 2018 ;24(4):563-570. Epub 2017 Nov 11. PMID: 30416405
Melittin, an amphipathic 26-residue peptide, is the main component of honey bee venom. Studies have been demonstrated that melittin has an inhibitory effect on proliferation of cancer cells. However, the precise mechanism of action is not completely understood. In the present study we have shown that purified melittin from Iranian honey bee venom shows anti-cancer effects on human cervical cancer cell line through induction of apoptosis. The venom was collected from Iranian honey bee () and melittin isolated using reversed phase HPLC. Biological activity of melittin was analyzed by hemolytic test on human red blood cells. In order to investigate whether melittin inhibits proliferation of cervical cancer cells, the viability of the melittin treated HeLa cell line was measured via MTT assay. Finally, cell death analysis was performed using Propidum iodide and Annexin V-FITC dual staining. The results showed that the half hemolytic concentration (HD50) induced by mellitin was 0.5 µg/ml in free FBS solution. IC50 obtained after 12 h at 1.8 µg/ml by MTT assay. According to flow cytometric analysis, melittin induced apoptosis at concentrations more than 1 µg/ml. These results suggest that melittin induces apoptotic cell death in cervical cancerous cells as observed by flow cytometric assay. It is concluded that melittin could be regarded as a potential candidate in future studies to discovery of new anticancer agents.