Abstract: Researchers have proposed that VAA-I, a specific plant lectin found in Viscum album, has therapeutic effects on cancer and autoimmune diseases. VAA-I has shown some promising treatment results in some types of tumor cell lines, especially SMMC-7721 cells (human hepatocellular carcinoma cells). However, few details are known about the mechanism and process of cell death induced by VAA-I in tumor cells. In this study, the cell morphology results showed that SMMC-7721 cells treated with VAA-I exhibited several features typical of apoptotic cell death, which was confirmed by the Caspase inhibition assay. Fluo-3-acetoxymethyl ester (AM) fluorescence imaging techniques showed that rVAA-I significantly elevated the intracellular calcium level ([Ca2+]i) in SMMC-7721 cells. These findings suggest that apoptosis may play the most important role in SMMC-7721 cell death induced by rVAA-I. Finally, in the SMMC-7721 cells treated with rVAA-I, a series of genes in the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway were expressed differentially, and further found that PI 3-kinase pathway is involved in rVAA-I signal transduction in SMMC-7721 cells.
Keywords: Viscum album; rVAA-I; apoptosis; phosphoinositide 3-kinase
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Yang, X.; Jiang, S.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, P.; Xie, S.; Wang, G. Recombinant VAA-I from Viscum album Induces Apoptotic Cell Death of Hepatocellular Carcinoma SMMC7721 Cells. Molecules 2012, 17, 11435-11446.
Yang X, Jiang S, Liu Y, Zhang P, Xie S, Wang G. Recombinant VAA-I from Viscum album Induces Apoptotic Cell Death of Hepatocellular Carcinoma SMMC7721 Cells. Molecules. 2012; 17(10):11435-11446.
Yang, Xueliang; Jiang, Shuang; Liu, Yahui; Zhang, Ping; Xie, Shuli; Wang, Guangyi. 2012. "Recombinant VAA-I from Viscum album Induces Apoptotic Cell Death of Hepatocellular Carcinoma SMMC7721 Cells." Molecules 17, no. 10: 11435-11446.