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Oncol Rep. 2012 Oct;28(4):1482-90. doi: 10.3892/or.2012.1923. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

The newly synthesized 2-(3-hydroxy-5-methoxyphenyl)-6,7-methylenedioxyquinolin-4-one triggers cell apoptosis through induction of oxidative stress and upregulation of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway in HL-60 human leukemia cells.

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  • 1Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Department of Pharmacology, China Medical University, and Chinese Medicine Research and Development Center, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan, ROC.


The aim of the present study was to discover the signaling pathways associated with 2-(3-hydroxy-5-methoxy-phenyl)-6,7-methylenedioxyquinolin-4-one (YYK1)-induced apoptosis in HL-60 human leukemia cells. YYK1 induced cytotoxic effects, cell morphological changes, decreased the cell number and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in HL-60 cells. YYK1-induced apoptosis was confirmed by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Results from colorimetric assays and western blot analysis indicated that activities of caspase-7/-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9 were increased in YYK1-treated HL-60 cells. Western blot analysis showed that the protein levels of extrinsic apoptotic proteins (Fas/CD95, FasL and FADD), intrinsic related proteins (cytochrome c, Apaf-1, AIF and Endo G), the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and phosphorylated p38 MAPK were increased in HL-60 cells after YYK1 treatment. Cell apoptosis was significantly reduced after pre-treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC; a ROS scavenger) or diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI; a NADPH oxidase inhibitor). Blockage of p38 MAPK signaling by SB202190 abolished YYK1-induced Fas/CD95 upregulation and apoptosis in HL-60 cells. We conclude that YYK1 induces both of extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways via ROS-mediated activation of p38 MAPK signaling in HL-60 human leukemia cells in vitro.

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