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Molecules 2017, 22(6), 892;

The Cytotoxicity of the Ajoene Analogue BisPMB in WHCO1 Oesophageal Cancer Cells Is Mediated by CHOP/GADD153

Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa
Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7700, South Africa,
Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cape Town 7925, South Africa
Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, Stellenbosch University, 7600 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Chemistry of Alliums)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2743 KB, uploaded 22 June 2017]   |  


Garlic is a food and medicinal plant that has been used in folk medicine since ancient times for its beneficial health effects, which include protection against cancer. Crushed garlic cloves contain an array of small sulfur-rich compounds such as ajoene. Ajoene is able to interfere with biological processes and is cytotoxic to cancer cells in the low micromolar range. BisPMB is a synthetic ajoene analogue that has been shown in our laboratory to have superior cytotoxicity to ajoene. In the current study we have performed a DNA microarray analysis of bisPMB-treated WHCO1 oesophageal cancer cells to identify pathways and processes that are affected by bisPMB. The most significantly enriched biological pathways as assessed by gene ontology, KEGG and ingenuity pathway analysis were those involving protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the unfolded protein response. In support of these pathways, bisPMB was found to inhibit global protein synthesis and lead to increased levels of ubiquitinated proteins. BisPMB also induced alternate splicing of the transcription factor XBP-1; increased the expression of the ER stress sensor GRP78 and induced expression of the ER stress marker CHOP/GADD153. CHOP expression was found to be central to the cytotoxicity of bisPMB as its silencing with siRNA rendered the cells resistant to bisPMB. The MAPK proteins, JNK and ERK1/2 were activated following bisPMB treatment. However JNK activation was not critical in the cytotoxicity of bisPMB, and ERK1/2 activation was found to play a pro-survival role. Overall the ajoene analogue bisPMB appears to induce cytotoxicity in WHCO1 cells by activating the unfolded protein response through CHOP/GADD153. View Full-Text
Keywords: ajoene; garlic; cancer prevention; ER stress; unfolded protein response; CHOP/GADD153 ajoene; garlic; cancer prevention; ER stress; unfolded protein response; CHOP/GADD153

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Siyo, V.; Schäfer, G.; Hunter, R.; Grafov, A.; Grafova, I.; Nieger, M.; Katz, A.A.; Parker, M.I.; Kaschula, C.H. The Cytotoxicity of the Ajoene Analogue BisPMB in WHCO1 Oesophageal Cancer Cells Is Mediated by CHOP/GADD153. Molecules 2017, 22, 892.

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