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Molecules 2012, 17(10), 11435-11446; doi:10.3390/molecules171011435

Recombinant VAA-I from Viscum album Induces Apoptotic Cell Death of Hepatocellular Carcinoma SMMC7721 Cells

1,2, 3, 1, 1, 1 and 1,*
1 Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, the First Clinical Hospital, Jilin University, Jilin 130021, China 2 Department of General Surgery, the Affiliated Hospital, Beihua University, Jilin 132000, China 3 The College of Pharmacy, Beihua University, Jilin 132013, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 June 2012 / Revised: 30 August 2012 / Accepted: 3 September 2012 / Published: 26 September 2012
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Researchers have proposed that VAA-I, a specific plant lectin found in Viscum album, has therapeutic effects on cancer and autoimmune diseases. VAA-I has shown some promising treatment results in some types of tumor cell lines, especially SMMC-7721 cells (human hepatocellular carcinoma cells). However, few details are known about the mechanism and process of cell death induced by VAA-I in tumor cells. In this study, the cell morphology results showed that SMMC-7721 cells treated with VAA-I exhibited several features typical of apoptotic cell death, which was confirmed by the Caspase inhibition assay. Fluo-3-acetoxymethyl ester (AM) fluorescence imaging techniques showed that rVAA-I significantly elevated the intracellular calcium level ([Ca2+]i) in SMMC-7721 cells. These findings suggest that apoptosis may play the most important role in SMMC-7721 cell death induced by rVAA-I. Finally, in the SMMC-7721 cells treated with rVAA-I, a series of genes in the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway were expressed differentially, and further found that PI 3-kinase pathway is involved in rVAA-I signal transduction in SMMC-7721 cells.
Keywords: Viscum album; rVAA-I; apoptosis; phosphoinositide 3-kinase Viscum album; rVAA-I; apoptosis; phosphoinositide 3-kinase
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Yang, X.; Jiang, S.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, P.; Xie, S.; Wang, G. Recombinant VAA-I from Viscum album Induces Apoptotic Cell Death of Hepatocellular Carcinoma SMMC7721 Cells. Molecules 2012, 17, 11435-11446.

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