Isoaaptamine induces T-47D cells apoptosis and autophagy via oxidative stress

Chih Fung Wu, Man Gang Lee, Mohamed El-Shazly, Kuei Hung Lai, Seng Chung Ke, Chiang Wen Su, Shou Ping Shih, Ping Jyun Sung, Ming Chang Hong, Zhi Hong Wen, Mei Chin Lu

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Aaptos is a genus of marine sponge which belongs to Suberitidae and is distributed in tropical and subtropical oceans. Bioactivity-guided fractionation of Aaptos sp. methanolic extract resulted in the isolation of aaptamine, demethyloxyaaptamine, and isoaaptamine. The cytotoxic activity of the isolated compounds was evaluated revealing that isoaaptamine exhibited potent cytotoxic activity against breast cancer T-47D cells. In a concentration-dependent manner, isoaaptamine inhibited the growth of T-47D cells as indicated by short-(MTT) and long-term (colony formation) anti-proliferative assays. The cytotoxic effect of isoaaptamine was mediated through apoptosis as indicated by DNA ladder formation, caspase-7 activation, XIAP inhibition and PARP cleavage. Transmission electron microscopy and flow cytometric analysis using acridine orange dye indicated that isoaaptamine treatment could induce T-47D cells autophagy. Immunoblot assays demonstrated that isoaaptamine treatment significantly activated autophagy marker proteins such as type II LC-3. In addition, isoaaptamine treatment enhanced the activation of DNA damage (γH2AX) and ER stress-related proteins (IRE1 α and BiP). Moreover, the use of isoaaptamine resulted in a significant increase in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as in the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). The pretreatment of T-47D cells with an ROS scavenger, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), attenuated the apoptosis and MMP disruption induced by isoaaptamine up to 90%, and these effects were mediated by the disruption of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf 2)/p62 pathway. Taken together, these findings suggested that the cytotoxic effect of isoaaptamine is associated with the induction of apoptosis and autophagy through oxidative stress. Our data indicated that isoaaptamine represents an interesting drug lead in the war against breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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