Chalepin: A Compound from Ruta angustifolia L. Pers Exhibits Cell Cycle Arrest at S phase, Suppresses Nuclear Factor-Kappa B (NF-κB) Pathway, Signal Transducer and Activation of Transcription 3 (STAT3) Phosphorylation and Extrinsic Apoptotic Pathway in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Carcinoma (A549)

Pharmacogn Mag. 2017 Oct;13(Suppl 3):S489-S498. doi: 10.4103/pm.pm_13_17. Epub 2017 Oct 11.


Background: Plants have been a major source of inspiration in developing novel drug compounds in the treatment of various diseases that afflict human beings worldwide. Ruta angustifolia L. Pers known locally as Garuda has been conventionally used for various medicinal purposes such as in the treatment of cancer.

Objective: A dihydrofuranocoumarin named chalepin, which was isolated from the chloroform extract of the plant, was tested on its ability to inhibit molecular pathways of human lung carcinoma (A549) cells.

Materials and methods: Cell cycle analysis and caspase 8 activation were conducted using a flow cytometer, and protein expressions in molecular pathways were determined using Western blot technique.

Results: Cell cycle analysis showed that cell cycle was arrested at the S phase. Further studies using Western blotting technique showed that cell cycle-related proteins such as cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), and inhibitors of CDKs correspond to a cell cycle arrest at the S phase. Chalepin also showed inhibition in the expression of inhibitors of apoptosis proteins. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway, signal transducer and activation of transcription 3 (STAT-3), cyclooxygenase-2, and c-myc were also downregulated upon treatment with chalepin. Chalepin was found to induce extrinsic apoptotic pathway. Death receptors 4 and 5 showed a dramatic upregulation at 24 h. Analysis of activation of caspase 8 with the flow cytometer showed an increase in activity in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Activation of caspase 8 induced cleavage of BH3-interacting domain death agonist, which initiated a mitochondrial-dependent or -independent apoptosis.

Conclusion: Chalepin causes S phase cell cycle arrest, NF-κB pathway inhibition, and STAT-3 inhibition, induces extrinsic apoptotic pathway, and could be an excellent chemotherapeutic agent.

Summary: This study reports the capacity of an isolated bioactive compound known as chalepin to suppress the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells pathway, signal transducer and activation of transcription 3, and extrinsic apoptotic pathway and also its ability to arrest cell cycle in S phase. This compound was from the leaves of Ruta angustifolia L. Pers. It provides new insight on the ability of this plant in suppressing certain cancers, especially the nonsmall cell lung carcinoma according to this study. Abbreviations used: °C: Degree Celsius, ANOVA: Analysis of variance, ATCC: American Type Culture Collection, BCL-2: B-Cell CLL/Lymphoma 2, Bcl-xL: B-cell lymphoma extra-large, BH3: Bcl-2 homology 3, BID: BH3-interacting domain death agonist, BIR: Baculovirus inhibitor of apoptosis protein repeat, Caspases: Cysteinyl aspartate-specific proteases, CDK: Cyclin-dependent kinase, CO2: Carbon dioxide, CST: Cell signaling technologies, DISC: Death-inducing signaling complex, DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide, DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid, DR4: Death receptor 4, DR5: Death receptor 5, E1a: Adenovirus early region 1A, ECL: Enhanced chemiluminescence, EDTA: Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, ELISA: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, etc.: Etcetera, FADD: Fas-associated protein with death domain, FBS: Fetal bovine serum, FITC: Fluorescein isothiocyanate, G1: Gap 1, G2: Gap 2, HPLC: High-performance liquid chromatography, HRP: Horseradish peroxidase, IAPs: Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins, IC50: Inhibitory concentration at half maximal inhibitory, IKK-α: Inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit alpha, IKK-β: Inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit beta, IKK-γ: Inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit gamma, IKK: IκB kinase, IkBα: Nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha, m: Meter, M: Mitotic, mm: Millimeter, mRNA: Messenger ribonucleic acid, NaCl: Sodium chloride, NaVO4: Sodium orthovanadate, NEMO: NF-Kappa-B essential modulator, NF-κB: Nuclear factor kappa-light chain-enhancer of activated B cells, NSCLC: Nonsmall cell lung carcinoma, PBS: Phosphate buffered saline, PGE2: Prostaglandin E2, PI: Propidium iodide, PMSF: Phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, pRB: Phosphorylated retinoblastoma, R. angustifolia: Ruta angustifolia L. Pers, Rb: Retinoblastoma, rpm: Rotation per minute, RPMI: Roswell Park Memorial Institute, S phase: Synthesis phase, SD: Standard deviation, SDS-PAGE: Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Smac: Second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase, SPSS: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, STAT3: Signal transducer and activation of transcription 3, tBID: Truncated BID, TNF: Tumor necrosis factor, TRADD: Tumor necrosis factor receptor type-1 associated death domain, TRAIL: TNF-related apoptosis- inducing ligand, USA: United States of America, v/v: Volume over volume.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Ruta angustifolia L. Pers; cell cycle; chalepin; nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells; signal transducer and activation of transcription 3.