Integrity of the cell membrane is a basic requirement for maintaining the biological characteristics of a cell. In this study, cell membrane as the target of drug action was investigated. CCK-8 assay suggested that Artesunate (ART) could significantly suppress the proliferation of Jurkat cells in a dose-dependent manner. Changes in the morphology and mechanics of Jurkat cells were studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). These changes included decrease of Young's modulus (from 3.18±0.54 to 1.72±0.54kPa), increase in the fluctuation of surface components, increase in shrinkage, or even the appearance of pores. The Young's modulus change was according to the F-actin protein, not the Tubulin-β or integrin β1 protein. Meanwhile, the activities of plasma membrane Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-ATPase and Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase were also repressed following ART exposure as well as membrane potential. Western blot was used to detect Caspase 3 and Cyclin D1 protein level. The Cyclin D1 was downregulated and Caspase 3 was activated. Hence, cellular membrane represented a plausible target for ART-induced injury.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.