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Caspase-4 is essential for saikosaponin a-induced apoptosis acting upstream of caspase-2 and γ-H2AX in colon cancer cells

 Su Jin Kang  ;  Young Joon Lee  ;  Sung Gu Kang  ;  Soyoung Cho  ;  Wonsuck Yoon  ;  Ji Hong Lim  ;  Sang-Hyun Min  ;  Tae Ho Lee  ;  Byeong Mo Kim 
 ONCOTARGET , Vol.8(59) : 100433-100448, 2017 
Journal Title
Issue Date
DNA damage ; caspase-4 ; endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress ; human colon carcinoma (HCC) ; saikosaponin a (SSa)
Saikosaponin a (SSa), a bioactive phytochemical from Bupleurum, triggers sequential caspase-2 and caspase-8 activation, and thereby induces caspase-mediated apoptosis in human colon carcinoma (HCC) cells. However, the upstream mechanism of caspase-2 activation remains unknown. Therefore, we investigated the signaling mechanisms underlying SSa-induced caspase activation and apoptosis in HCC cells. SSa treatment triggered marked antitumor effects, especially in HCC cells, in a cell culture model and a mouse xenograft model. SSa also induced the activation of several endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signals. Specifically, caspase-4, a critical regulator of ER stress-induced apoptosis, was activated significantly after SSa treatment. Mechanistically, selective inhibition of caspase-4 suppressed SSa-induced apoptosis, colony inhibition, and the activation of caspase-3, -8, and -2, but not vice versa. Consistent with the important role of caspase-2 in the DNA damage response, SSa induced DNA damage, as evidenced by a cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay, single-cell gel electrophoresis, and an increase in the levels of γ-H2AX, a DNA damage marker. Moreover, inhibition of caspase-4 activation inhibited SSa-induced histone H2AX phosphorylation. Taken together, these results suggest that caspase-4 is an upstream regulator of SSa-induced DNA damage and caspase activation in HCC cells. Given that SSa-induced apoptosis appeared to be specific to certain cell types including HCC cells, SSa may be a promising cancer therapy agent in certain types of cancer.
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5. Research Institutes (연구소) > Yonsei Integrative Research Institute for Cerebral & Cardiovascular Disease (뇌심혈관질환융합연구사업단) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Yonsei Biomedical Research Center (연세의생명연구원) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Byeong Mo(김병모) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0582-3132
Cho, So Young(조소영)
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