Vitexin induces apoptosis through mitochondrial pathway and PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Currently, the prognosis of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains dismal; hence, it is critical to identify effective anti-NSCLC agents with limited side effects. This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of flavonoid compound vitexin in human NSCLC cells and the underlying mechanisms. RESULTS: The experimental results indicated that vitexin reduced the viability of A549 cells in a dose-dependent manner with nearly no toxicity against normal human bronchial epithelial 16HBE cells. Vitexin also dose-dependently increased A549 cell apoptosis, accompanied by the decreased Bcl-2/Bax ratio and the increased expression of cleaved caspase-3. Moreover, the in vivo anticancer activity of vitexin was further determined in nude mice bearing A549 cells. In addition, vitexin induced the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Vitexin also significantly reduced the levels of p-PI3K, p-Akt and p-mTOR, and the pro-apoptotic effect of vitexin on A549 cells was partly blocked by SC79, an Akt activator. CONCLUSIONS: Accordingly, we believed that vitexin could be used as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of NSCLC in the future.

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Liu, X., Jiang, Q., Liu, H., & Luo, S. (2019). Vitexin induces apoptosis through mitochondrial pathway and PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells. Biological Research, 52(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40659-019-0214-y

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