Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Physalin B from Physalis angulata triggers the NOXA-related apoptosis pathway of human melanoma A375 cells.

Abstract

Melanoma is a lethal form of skin cancer that can metastasize rapidly. While surgery and radiation therapy provide palliative therapy for local tumor growth, systemic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for metastatic melanoma. However, limited chemotherapeutic agents are available for melanoma treatment. In this study, we investigated the anti-melanoma effect of physalin B, the major active compound from a widely used herb medicine, Physalis angulata L. This study demonstrated that physalin B exhibits cytotoxicity towards v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF)-mutated melanoma A375 and A2058 cells (the IC50 values are lower than 4.6 µg/ml). Cytotoxicity is likely resulted from apoptosis since the apoptotic marker phosphatidylserine are detected immediately under physalin B treatment and apoptotic cells formation. Further examination revealed that physalin B induces expression of the proapoptotic protein NOXA within 2 h and later triggers the expression of Bax and caspase-3 in A375 cells. These results indicate that physalin B can induce apoptosis of melanoma cancer cells via the NOXA, caspase-3, and mitochondria-mediated pathways, but not of human skin fibroblast cells and myoblastic cells. Thus, physalin B has the potential to be developed as an effective chemotherapeutic lead compound for the treatment of malignant melanoma.