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Immune Netw. 2012 Oct;12(5):189-95. doi: 10.4110/in.2012.12.5.189. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Vitamin C Induces Apoptosis in Human Colon Cancer Cell Line, HCT-8 Via the Modulation of Calcium Influx in Endoplasmic Reticulum and the Dissociation of Bad from 14-3-3β.

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Department of Anatomy, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul 156-756, Korea.


It has been reported that vitamin C plays an effective role in the treatment and prevention of cancer, but its specific mechanisms are still largely unknown. The incidence of colon cancer is now increasing in Korea. Therefore, we have examined here the effect of vitamin C on the induction of the apoptosis on colon cancer and its related mechanisms. We have found that remarkable increase of the apoptosis and the calcium influx in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in human colon cancer cell line, HCT-8. However, vitamin C-induced apoptosis was effectively inhibited by the pre-treatment of BAPTA-AM (1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy) ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid), which is well-known as a calcium specific chelator. During the apoptosis, we found the increase of the translocation of Bad to mitochondria from cytosol, after releasing from 14-3-3β. In this process, the expression of Bax, a well-known pro-apoptotic protein, was also increased. Taken together, vitamin C induces apoptosis of colon cancer cell line, HCT-8 through the increase of 1) the calcium influx in endoplasmic reticulum (ER), 2) the translocation of Bad to mitochondria, and 3) the expression of Bax.


14-3-3β; Apoptosis; Bad; Colon cancer; Endoplasmic raticulum; Vitamin C

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