Background: Clerodane diterpene, 16-hydroxycleroda-3,13-dien-15,16-olide (CD) isolated from Polyalthia longifolia Benth. & Hook. f. var. pendula was found to be a potential apoptotic inducer in human leukemia, lung cancer, and colon cancer cells. However, the molecular mechanism remains elusive in renal system. Thus, in the present study, the regulatory mechanisms of CD-induced apoptosis in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) cells were investigated. Materials and methods: Cell proliferation was evaluated by colony formation assay and cell cycle analyses. Protein expressions of focal adhesion (FA) related complexes were examined by immunofluorescence staining and Western blot analyses. Cell migration and invasion capabilities of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells were determined by wound healing and Transwell assays. Results: CD inhibited cell colony formations, induced cell arrest at G2/M phase, and increased subG1 cell population both in 786-O and A-498. During CD treatment, the “rounded-up” cells were observed. The immune-staining of phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase (pFAK), vinculin, and paxillin displayed disassembly of the FA. Moreover, disruption of actin stress fibers was noted after CD treatment. Consistent with the findings, the expressions of pSrc, pFAK, FAK, vinculin, vimentin, and paxillin were all downregulated by CD. In addition, CD attenuated cell migration and invasion activities accompanied by the reductions of pNF-κB, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9 as well as vascular endothelial growth factor expressions. Conclusion: CD induced cell cycle arrest, FA complex disassembly, and the inactivation of migratory-related signaling pathways to induce apoptosis in ccRCC cells.
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