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Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Feb 1;79(3):361-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2009.09.007. Epub 2009 Sep 12.

Apoptotic effects of mahanine on human leukemic cells are mediated through crosstalk between Apo-1/Fas signaling and the Bid protein and via mitochondrial pathways.

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Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, A Unit of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 4, Raja S.C. Mullick Road, Kolkata 700032, India.


Apo-1 (Fas/CD95), a cell surface receptor, triggers apoptosis after binding to its physiological ligand, Apo-1L (FasL/CD95L). This study reports that mahanine, purified from the leaves of Murraya koenigii, has a dose- and time-dependent anti-proliferative activity in acute lymphoid (MOLT-3) and chronic myeloid (K562) leukemic cell lines and in the primary cells of leukemic and myeloid patients, with minimal effect on normal immune cells including CD34(+) cells. Leukemic cells underwent phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation, indicating mahanine-induced apoptosis. An increase in reactive oxygen species suggests that the mahanine-induced apoptosis was mediated by oxidative stress. A significant drop in the Bcl2/Bax ratio, the loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential as well as cytochrome c release from the mitochondria to the cytosol suggested involvement of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Cytochrome c release was followed by the activation of caspase-9, caspase-3 and caspase-7, and cleavage of PARP in both MOLT-3 and K562 cells. In MOLT-3 cells, formation of the Fas-FasL-FADD-caspase-8 heterotetramer occurred, leading to the cleavage of Bid to its truncated form, which consequently resulted in formation of the mitochondrial transmembrane pore. The incubation of MOLT-3 cells with mahanine in the presence of caspase-8 inhibitor or FasL-neutralizing NOK-2 antibody resulted in the decrease of mahanine-induced cell death. Mahanine was also a potent inhibitor of K562 xenograft growth, which was evident in an athymic nude mice model. In summary, these results provide evidence for involvement of the death receptor-mediated extrinsic pathway of apoptosis in the mahanine-induced anticancer activity in MOLT-3 cells, but not in K562 cells, which are deficient in Fas/FasL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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