Stigmalactam from Orophea Enterocarpa Induces Human Cancer Cell Apoptosis Via a Mitochondrial Pathway

  • Banjerdpongchai, Ratana (Dept. of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Wudtiwai, Benjawan (Dept. of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Pompimon, Wilart (Laboratory of Natural Products, Center for Innovation in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Lampang Rajabhat University)
  • Published : 2015.01.06


Stigmalactam, an aristolactam-type alkaloid extracted from Orophea enterocarpa, exerts cytotoxicity against several human and murine cancer cell lines, but the molecular mechanisms remain elusive. The aims of this study were to identify the mode and mechanisms of human cancer cell death induced by stigmalactam employing human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 and human invasive breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells as models, compared to normal murine fibroblasts. It was found that stigmalactam was toxic to HepG2 and MDA-MB-231 cells with $IC_{50}$ levels of $23.0{\pm}2.67{\mu}M$ and $33.2{\pm}4.54{\mu}M$, respectively, using MTT assays. At the same time the $IC_{50}$ level towards murine normal fibroblast NIH3T3 cells was $24.4{\pm}6.75{\mu}M$. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was reduced in stigmalactam-treated cells dose dependently after 4 h of incubation, indicating antioxidant activity, measured by using 2',7',-dichlorohydrofluorescein diacetate and flow cytometry. Caspase-3 and caspase-9 activities were increased in a dose response manner, while stigmalactam decreased the mitochondrial transmembrane potential dose-dependently in HepG2 cells, using 3,3'-dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodide and flow cytometry, indicating mitochondrial pathway-mediated apoptosis. In conclusion, stigmalactam from O. enterocarpa was toxic to both HepG2 and MDA-MB-231 cells and induced human cancer HepG2 cells to undergo apoptosis via the intrinsic (mitochondrial) pathway.


Stigmalactam;Orophea enterocarpa;apoptosis;hepG2 cells;MDA-MB-231 cells;mitochondrial pathway


Supported by : Commission of Higher Education (CHE)


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