Anticancer activity of CopA3 dimer peptide in human gastric cancer cells

BMB Rep. 2015 Jun;48(6):324-9. doi: 10.5483/bmbrep.2015.48.6.073.


CopA3 is a homodimeric α-helical peptide derived from coprisin which is a defensin-like antimicrobial peptide that was identified from the dung beetle, Copris tripartitus. CopA3 has been reported to have anticancer activity against leukemia cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated the anticancer activity of CopA3 in human gastric cancer cells. CopA3 reduced cell viability and it was cytotoxic to gastric cancer cells in the MTS and LDH release assay, respectively. CopA3 was shown to induce necrotic cell death of the gastric cancer cells by flow cytometric analysis and acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining. CopA3-induced cell death was mediated by specific interactions with phosphatidylserine, a membrane component of cancer cells. Taken together, these data indicated that CopA3 mainly caused necrosis of gastric cancer cells, probably through interactions with phosphatidylserine, which suggests the potential utility of CopA3 as a cancer therapeutic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • CopA3 peptide, Copris tripartitus
  • Insect Proteins
  • Phosphatidylserines