Physapruin A Enhances DNA Damage and Inhibits DNA Repair to Suppress Oral Cancer Cell Proliferation

Tzu Jung Yu, Ching Yu Yen, Yuan Bin Cheng, Chia Hung Yen, Jiiang Huei Jeng, Jen Yang Tang, Hsueh Wei Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The selective antiproliferation to oral cancer cells of Physalis peruviana-derived physapruin A (PHA) is rarely reported. Either drug-induced apoptosis and DNA damage or DNA repair suppression may effectively inhibit cancer cell proliferation. This study examined the selective antiproliferation ability of PHA and explored detailed mechanisms of apoptosis, DNA damage, and repair. During an ATP assay, PHA provided high cytotoxicity to two oral cancer cell lines (CAL 27 and Ca9-22) but no cytotoxicity to two non-malignant oral cells (HGF-1 and SG). This selective antiproliferation of PHA was associated with the selective generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in oral cancer cells rather than in non-malignant oral cells, as detected by flow cytometry. Moreover, PHA induced other oxidative stresses in oral cancer cells, such as mitochondrial superoxide generation and mitochondrial membrane potential depletion. PHA also demonstrated selective apoptosis in oral cancer cells rather than non-malignant cells in annexin V/7-aminoactinmycin D and caspase 3/7 activity assays. In flow cytometry and immunofluorescence assays, PHA induced γH2AX expressions and increased the γH2AX foci number of DNA damages in oral cancer cells. In contrast, the mRNA expressions for DNA repair signaling, including homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ)-associated genes, were inhibited by PHA in oral cancer cells. Moreover, the PHA-induced changes were alleviated by the oxidative stress inhibitor N-acetylcysteine. Therefore, PHA generates selective antiproliferation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis associated with DNA damage induction and DNA repair suppression in oral cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8839
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • antiproliferation
  • oral cancer
  • oxidative stress
  • withanolides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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