Abstract Title:

Enhancement of apoptotic activities on brain cancer cells via the combination ofγ-tocotrienol and jerantinine A.

Abstract Source:

Phytomedicine. 2017 Jul 1 ;30:74-84. Epub 2017 Mar 10. PMID: 28545672

Abstract Author(s):

Ibrahim Babangida Abubakar, Kuan-Hon Lim, Toh-Seok Kam, Hwei-San Loh

Article Affiliation:

Ibrahim Babangida Abubakar


BACKGROUND: γ-Tocotrienol, a vitamin E isomer possesses pronounced in vitro anticancer activities. However, the in vivo potency has been limited by hardly achievable therapeutic levels owing to inefficient high-dose oral delivery which leads to subsequent metabolic degradation. Jerantinine A, an Aspidosperma alkaloid, originally isolated from Tabernaemontana corymbosa, has proved to possess interesting anticancer activities. However, jerantinine A also induces toxicity to non-cancerous cells.

PURPOSE: We adopted a combinatorial approach with the joint application ofγ-tocotrienol and jerantinine A at lower concentrations in order to minimize toxicity towards non-cancerous cells while improving the potency on brain cancer cells.

METHODS: The antiproliferative potency of individualγ-tocotrienol and jerantinine A as well as combined in low-concentration was firstly evaluated on U87MG cancer and MRC5 normal cells. Morphological changes, DNA damage patterns, cell cycle arrests and the effects of individual and combined low-concentration compounds on microtubules were then investigated. Finally, the potential roles of caspase enzymes and apoptosis-related proteins in mediating the apoptotic mechanisms were investigated using apoptosis antibody array, ELISA and Western blotting analysis.

RESULTS: Combinatorial study betweenγ-tocotrienol at a concentration range (0-24µg/ml) and fixed IC20 concentration of jerantinine A (0.16µg/ml) induced a potent antiproliferative effect on U87MG cells and led to a reduction on the new half maximal inhibitory concentration of γ-tocotrienol (i.e.tIC50=1.29µg/ml) as compared to that of individual γ-tocotrienol (i.e. IC50=3.17µg/ml). A reduction on undesirable toxicity to MRC5 normal cells was also observed. G0/G1 cell cycle arrest was evident on U87MG cells receiving IC50 of individual γ-tocotrienol and combined low-concentration compounds (1.29µg/ml γ-tocotrienol + 0.16µg/ml jerantinine A), whereas, a profound G2/M arrest was evident on cells treated with IC50 of individual jerantinine A. Additionally, individual jerantinine A and combined compounds (except individual γ-tocotrienol) caused a disruption of microtubule networks triggering Fas- and p53-induced apoptosis mediated via the death receptor and mitochondrial pathways.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrated that the combined use of lower concentrations ofγ-tocotrienol and jerantinine A induced potent cytotoxic effects on U87MG cancer cells resulting in a reduction on the required individual concentrations and thereby minimizing toxicity of jerantinine A towards non-cancerous MRC5 cells as well as probably overcoming the high-dose limiting application of γ-tocotrienol. The multi-targeted mechanisms of action of the combination approach have shown a therapeutic potential against brain cancer in vitro and therefore, further in vivo investigations using a suitable animal model should be the way forward.

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