Abstract Title:

The defensin from avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) PaDef induces apoptosis in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7.

Abstract Source:

Biomed Pharmacother. 2016 Aug ;82:620-7. Epub 2016 Jun 13. PMID: 27470405

Abstract Author(s):

Jaquelina Julia Guzmán-Rodríguez, Rodolfo López-Gómez, Rafael Salgado-Garciglia, Alejandra Ochoa-Zarzosa, Joel E López-Meza

Article Affiliation:

Jaquelina Julia Guzmán-Rodríguez


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are cytotoxic to cancer cells; however, mainly the effects of AMPs from animals have been evaluated. In this work, we assessed the cytotoxicity of PaDef defensin from avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) on the MCF-7 cancer cell line (a breast cancer cell line) and evaluated its mechanism of action. PaDef inhibited the viability of MCF-7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, with an IC50=141.62μg/ml. The viability of normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells was unaffected by this AMP. Additionally, PaDef induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells in a time-dependent manner, but did not affect the membrane potential or calcium flow. In addition, PaDef IC50 induced the expression of cytochrome c, Apaf-1, and the caspase 7 and 9 genes. Likewise, this defensin induced the loss of mitochondrial Δψm and increased the phosphorylation of MAPK p38, which may lead to MCF-7 apoptosis by the intrinsic pathway. This is the first report of an avocado defensin inducing intrinsic apoptosis in cancer cells, which suggests that it could be a potential therapeutic molecule in the treatment of cancer.

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