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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 Jan;93(2):777-85. doi: 10.1007/s00253-011-3463-4. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

The cytotoxicity and anticancer mechanisms of alterporriol L, a marine bianthraquinone, against MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.

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School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China.


Alterporriol L, a new bianthraquinone derivative, was isolated from a marine fungus Alternaria sp. ZJ9-6B. The cytotoxic activity and anticancer mechanisms of alterporriol L towards breast cancer cells lines were detected using MTT assay, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry. Simultaneously, the changes in morphological properties of cells were detected before and after treatment with alterporriol L by atomic force microscope (AFM) at a nanometer scale. MTT assay showed that alterporriol L could effectively inhibit the growth and proliferation, and there was a dose-dependent manner of cell death. Moreover, the alterporriol L could induce cancer cell apoptosis or necrosis. Furthermore, the reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial membrane potential, and cytosolic free calcium level were changed after treatment with alterporriol L, suggesting that alterporriol L played vital roles in breast cancer cells through destroying the mitochondrial. And all these alterations are in accord with changes of morphology detected by AFM, which suggested that the AFM is a useful tool to detect the morphological changes of the cancer cells.

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