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Cantharidin induces apoptosis in human bladder cancer TSGH 8301 cells through mitochondria-dependent signal pathways

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Cantharidin has shown potent anticancer activities on many types of human cancer cells. This study was performed to elucidate whether mitochondria and caspases are involved in the modulation of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest by cantharidin in human bladder cancer cells. The effect of cantharidin on cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, caspases, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) were measured by flow cytometry, and the levels of apoptosis-associated proteins and its regulatory molecules were studied by Western blotting. Cantharidin-induced apoptosis and DNA damage was determined by flow cytometric analysis, DAPI staining and Comet assay. After cantharidin treatment, the active forms of caspase-3, -8 and -9 were promoted. Cantharidin-induced apoptosis was associated with enhanced ROS and Ca2+ generations, caused DNA damage, decreased the levels of ΔΨm and promoted Endo G and AIF released from mitochondria. Cantharidin-induced G0/G1 arrest was associated with a marked decrease in the protein expressions of cyclin E and Cdc25c but promoted the levels of p21 and p-p53. Cantharidin-induced apoptosis was accompanied with up-regulation of the protein expression of Bax and PARP, but down-regulation of the protein levels of Bcl-2, resulting in dysfunction of mitochondria then led to Endo G and AIF release for causing induction of apoptosis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Special Class of Healthcare, Industry Management, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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