Bufalin has been shown to induce cancer cell death through apoptotic pathways. However, the molecular mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we used the confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) to monitor the spatio-temporal dynamics of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, Bax translocation and caspase-3 activation during bufalin-induced apoptosis in living human lung adenocarcinoma (ASTC-a-1) cells. Bufalin induced ROS production and apoptotic cell death, demonstrated by Hoechst 33258 staining as well as flow cytometry analysis. Bax redistributed from cytosol to mitochondria from 12 to 48h after bufalin treatment in living cells expressed with green fluorescent protein Bax. Treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger, inhibited ROS generation and Bax translocation and led to a significant protection against bufalin-induced apoptosis. Our results also revealed that bufalin induced a prominent increase of caspase-3 activation blocked potently by NAC. Taken together, bufalin induced ROS-mediated Bax translocation, mitochondrial permeability transition and caspase-3 activation, implying that bufalin induced apoptosis via ROS-dependent mitochondrial death pathway in ASTC-a-1 cells. © 2011 Lei Sun et al.
Chen, T., Sun, L., Wang, X., Chen, Y., & Wei, X. (2011). Bufalin induces reactive oxygen species dependent Bax translocation and apoptosis in ASTC-a-1 cells. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep082