Lung cancer despite advancement in the medical field continues to be a major threat to human lives and accounts for a high proportion of fatalities caused by cancers globally. The current study investigated vanillin oxime, a derivative of vanillin, against lung cancer cells for development of treatment and explored the mechanism. Cell viability changes by vanillin oxime were measured using MTT assay. Vanillin oxime-mediated apoptosis was detected in A549 and NCI-H2170 cells at 48 h of exposure by flow cytometry. The CEBP homologous protein (CHOP) and death receptor 5 (DR5) levels were analysed by RT-PCR and protein levels by Western blotting. Vanillin oxime in concentration-dependent way suppressed A549 and NCI-H2170 cell viabilities. On exposure to 12.5 and 15 µM concentrations of vanillin oxime elevated Bax, caspase-3, and -9 levels in A549 and NCI-H2170 cells were observed. Vanillin oxime exposure suppressed levels of Bcl-2, survivin, Bcl-xL, cFLIP, and IAPs proteins in A549 and NCI-H2170 cells. It stimulated significant elevation in DR4 and DR5 levels in A549 and NCI-H2170 cells. In A549 and NCI-H2170 cells vanillin oxime exposure caused significant (p < 0.05) enhancement in CHOP and DR5 mRNA expression. Vanillin oxime exposure of A549 and NCI-H2170 cells led to significant (p < 0.05) enhancement in levels of phosphorylated extracellular-signal-regulated kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Thus, vanillin oxime inhibits pulmonary cell proliferation via induction of apoptosis through tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) mediated pathway. Therefore, vanillin oxime may be studied further to develop a treatment for lung cancer.
Keywords: Apoptosis; Death receptors; Lung cancer; Natural products; Vanillin oxime.