Protocatechuic acid (PCA), present in many fruits and vegetables, exhibited various biological activities. Here, we provided evidence that it could be developed as a potential chemotherapeutic agent against human ovarian cancer. We found that PCA treatment significantly reduced the cell viability and colony formation of OVCAR-3, SKOV-3, and A2780 cells. OVCAR-3 cells were selected as a test model system for investigating molecular mechanism. PCA treatment induced cell cycle arrest in G2 /M phase, the activation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and caspase-3, the upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2 in OVCAR-3 cells. We also observed that PCA treatment significantly caused upregulation of autophagy-related protein LC3-II and induced GFP-LC3 puncta formation. Furthermore, cotreatment with PCA and autophagy inhibitor attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by PCA in OVCAR-3 cells. Moreover, our results showed that PCA increased the intracellular levels of glutathione and decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species that might be related to the inhibition effect of PCA on OVCAR-3 cells. Our data revealed that PCA could modulate apoptosis and autophagy, suggesting the potential of PCA for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of ovarian cancer.
Keywords: apoptosis; autophagy; ovarian cancer; protocatechuic acid; reactive oxygen species.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.