TEOA, a triterpenoid from Actinidia eriantha, induces autophagy in SW620 cells via endoplasmic reticulum stress and ROS-dependent mitophagy

Arch Pharm Res. 2017 May;40(5):579-591. doi: 10.1007/s12272-017-0899-9. Epub 2017 Feb 16.


2α,3α,24-Thrihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oicacid (TEOA), a pentacyclic triterpenoid, isolated from the roots of Actinidia eriantha, exhibits significant cytotoxicity against SW620, BGC-823, HepG-2, A549 and PC-3 cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanism of the anticancer activity of TEOA in SW620 cells. We demonstrated that TEOA induced apoptosis through cleavage of caspase-9 and PARP in SW620 cells. In addition, evidence of TEOA-mediated autophagy included the induction of autophagolysosomes and activation of autophagic markers LC-3B and p62. Further analysis illustrated that TEOA promoted the phosphorylation of PERK and elF2α, followed by up-regulation of the downstream protein CHOP, suggesting the involvement of PERK/eIF2α/CHOP pathway and ER stress in TEOA-induced autophagy in SW620 cells. Meanwhile, TEOA-mediated PINK1, Parkin, ubiquitin and p62 activation revealed that TEOA induced specific autophagy-mitophagy in SW620 cells. Additionally, an antioxidant NAC attenuated the TEOA-induced mitophagy, indicating that TEOA triggers mitophagy via a ROS-dependent pathway. Collectively, our findings revealed a novel cellular mechanism of TEOA in the colon cancer cell line SW620, thus providing a molecular basis for developing TEOA into an anti-tumor candidate.

Keywords: Actinidia eriantha root; Autophagy; ER stress; Mitophagy; SW620; TEOA.

MeSH terms

  • Actinidia / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Triterpenes / chemistry
  • Triterpenes / isolation & purification
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • 2alpha,3alpha,24-trihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Triterpenes