Isoalantolactone inhibits UM-SCC-10A cell growth via cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction.
PLoS One. 2013 ;8(9):e76000. Epub 2013 Sep 30. PMID: 24098753
Isoalantolactone is a sesquiterpene lactone compound isolated from the roots of Inula helenium L. Previous studies have demonstrated that isoalantolactone possesses antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-helminthic and anti-proliferative properties in a variety of cells, but there are no studies concerning its effects on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In the present study, an MTT assay demonstrated that isoalantolactone has anti-proliferative activity against the HNSCC cell line (UM-SCC-10A). Immunostaining identified that this compound induced UM-SCC-10A cell apoptosis but not necrosis. To explain the molecular mechanisms underlying its effects, flow cytometry and western blot analysis showed that the apoptosis was associated with cell cycle arrest during the G1 phase, up-regulation of p53 and p21, and down-regulation of cyclin D. Furthermore, our results revealed that induction of apoptosis through a mitochondrial pathway led to up-regulation of pro-apoptotic protein expression (Bax), down-regulation of anti-apoptotic protein expression (Bcl-2), mitochondrial release of cytochrome c (Cyto c), reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and activation of caspase-3 (Casp-3). Involvement of the caspase apoptosis pathway was confirmed using caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK pretreatment. Together, our findings suggest that isoalantolactone induced caspase-dependent apoptosis via a mitochondrial pathway and was associated with cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase in UM-SCC-10A cells. Therefore, isoalantolactone may become a potential drug for treating HNSCC.