SIRT3-SOD2-ROS pathway is involved in linalool-induced glioma cell apoptotic death

Acta Biochim Pol. 2017;64(2):343-350. doi: 10.18388/abp.2016_1438. Epub 2017 Jun 2.


Glioma is the most prevalent type of adult primary brain tumor and chemotherapy of glioma was limited by drug-resistance. Linalool is an acyclic monoterpene alcohol possessing various pharmacological activities. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of linalool on glioma cell growth. The effect of linalool on cell viability in U87-MG cells was investigated and the results showed that linalool significantly reduced cell viability in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. In addition, exposure of the cells to linalool resulted in a concentration-dependent increase of TUNEL-stained cells, indicating the occurrence of apoptotic cell death. Linalool decreased mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate, increased the expression of Bax and Bak, reduced the expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl, and increased the activities of caspase 3 and caspase 9, leading to increase of apoptosis. Linalool resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease of SOD activity but had no significant effect on mRNA and protein expression of SOD2. Moreover, linalool resulted in a significant increase of the expression of acetylated SOD2. The mRNA and protein expression of SIRT3 was significantly inhibited by linalool. Immunoblot analysis showed that there was an evident protein/protein interaction between SOD2 and SIRT3 under normal condition. Linalool treatment significantly decreased the interaction between SOD2 and SIRT3. Overexpression of SIRT3 significantly inhibited linalool-induced increase of mitochondrial ROS production and apoptotic cell death, and decrease of cell viability. In summary, the data demonstrated that linalool exhibited inhibitory effect on glioma cells through regulation of SIRT3-SOD2-ROS signaling.

Keywords: SIRT3; SOD2; apoptotic cell death; glioma; linalool.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation / drug effects
  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Glioma / genetics
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Monoterpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sirtuin 3 / genetics*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics*


  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • linalool
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • superoxide dismutase 2
  • SIRT3 protein, human
  • Sirtuin 3