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Impact of Cellular Genetic Make-up on Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines Response to Ellagic Acid: Implications of small interfering RNA

  • Yousef, Amany I (Department of Applied Medical Chemistry, Medical Research Institute, University of Alexandria) ;
  • El-Masry, Omar S (Department of Applied Medical Chemistry, Medical Research Institute, University of Alexandria) ;
  • Abdel Mohsen, Mohamed A (Department of Applied Medical Chemistry, Medical Research Institute, University of Alexandria)
  • Published : 2016.03.07

Abstract

Background: $K^-Ras$ activation is an early event in colorectal carcinogenesis and associated mutations have been reported in about 40% of colorectal cancer patients. These mutations have always been responsible for enhancing malignancy and silencing them is associated with attenuation of tumorigenicity. Among downstream effectors are the RAF/MEK/ERK and the PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. PI3K/Akt signaling leads to reduction of apoptosis, stimulated cell growth and enhanced proliferation. Ellagic acid (EA), a naturally occurring antioxidant, has recently emerged as a promising anti-cancer agent. Purpose: To evaluate the impact of cellular genetic makeup of two colon cancer cell lines with different genetic backgrounds, HCT-116 ($K^-Ras^-/p53^+$) and Caco-2 ($K^-Ras^+/p53^-$), on response to potential anti-tumour effects of EA. In addition, the influence of $K^-Ras$ silencing in HCT-116 cells was investigated. Materials and Methods: Cellular proliferation, morphology and cell cycle analysis were carried out in addition to Western blotting for detecting total Akt and p-Akt (at Thr308 and Ser473) in the presence and absence of different concentrations of EA. Cell proliferation was also assessed in cells transfected with different concentrations of $K^-Ras$ siRNA or incubated with ellagic acid following transfection. Results: The results of the present study revealed that EA exerts anti-proliferative and dose-dependent pro-apoptotic effects. Cytostatic and cytotoxic effects were also observed. p-Akt (at Thr308 and Ser473) was downregulated. Moreover, EA treatment was found to (i) reduce $K^-Ras$ protein expression; (ii) in cells transfected with siRNA and co-treated with EA, pronounced anti-proliferative effects as well as depletion of p-Akt (at Thr308) were detected. Conclusions: Cellular genetic makeup ($K^-Ras^-/p53^-$) was not likely to impose limitations on targeting EA in treatment of colon cancer. EA had a multi-disciplinary pro-apoptotic anti-proliferative approach, having inhibited Akt phosphorylation, induced cell cycle arrest and showed an anti-proliferative potential in HCT-116 cells (expressing mutant $K^-Ras$).

Keywords

Ellagic acid;colorectal cancer;$K^-Ras$;siRNA

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