N(6)-isopentenyladenosine (i6A) inhibits the tumor cell growth by inducing cell apoptosis in various cancer cell lines. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms by which the drug induces cell apoptosis. In this study, we further explored the molecular mechanisms of i6A as an anticancer agent on a human breast cancer cell line MDA MB 231. Treatment with i6A decreased the cell proliferation of MDA MB 231 cells in a dose-dependent manner by arresting the cells at G(0)/G(1) phase. This effect was strongly associated with concomitant decrease in the level of cyclin D1, cyclin E, cdk2, and increase of p21waf1 and p27kip. In addition i6A also induced apoptotic cell death by increasing the expression of Bax, and decreasing the levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, and subsequently triggered mitochondria apoptotic pathway (release of cytochrome c and activation of caspase-3). We observed that i6A suppressed the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) pathway and inhibited the Akt activation. The results of this study indicate that i6A decreases cell proliferation and induces apoptotic cell death in human breast cancer cells, possibly by decreasing signal transduction through the Akt/NF-κB cell survival pathway.
© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.