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Ramalin-Mediated Apoptosis Is Enhanced by Autophagy Inhibition in Human Breast Cancer Cells

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Ramalin-Mediated Apoptosis Is Enhanced by Autophagy Inhibition in Human Breast Cancer Cells
Lee, Eunyoung
Pyo, Suhkneung
Lee, Hong Kum
Yim, Joung Han
Chung Gi Lee
Pharmacology & Pharmacy
apoptosis; autophagy; breast cancer cells; ramalin
Issue Date
Lee, Eunyoung, et al. 2016. "Ramalin-Mediated Apoptosis Is Enhanced by Autophagy Inhibition in Human Breast Cancer Cells". PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH, 30(3): 426-438.
Breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide, is treated in various ways. Ramalin is a chemical compound derived from the Antarctic lichen Ramalina terebrata and is known to exhibit antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities. However, its effect on breast cancer cells remains unknown. We examined the ability of ramalin to induce apoptosis and its mechanisms in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. Ramalin inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in both cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner. By upregulating Bax and downregulating Bcl-2, ramalin caused cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor to be released from the mitochondria into the cytosol, thus activating the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. In addition, activated caspase-8 and caspase-9 were detected in both types of cells exposed to ramalin, whereas ramalin activated caspase-3 only in the MDA-MB-231 cells. Ramalin treatment also increased the levels of LC3-II and p62. Moreover, the inhibition of autophagy by 3-methyladenine or Atg5 siRNA significantly enhanced ramalin-induced apoptosis, which was accompanied by a decrease in Bcl-2 levels and an increase in Bax levels. Therefore, autophagy appears to be activated as a protective mechanism against apoptosis in cancer cells exposed to ramalin. These findings suggest that ramalin is a potential anticancer agent for the treatment of patients with non-invasive or invasive breast cancer.
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