31 August 2004
Norcantharidin (NCTD) is the demethylated form of cantharidin, which is the active substance of mylabris. To examine the pathway of NCTD-induced A375-S2 cell death, 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-dipheyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, photomicroscopical observation, DNA agarose gel electrophoresis, caspase activity assay and Western blot analysis were carried out. A375-S2 cells treated with NCTD exhibited several typical characteristics of apoptosis. The inhibitory effect of NCTD on human melanoma, A375-S2 cells, was partially reversed by the inhibitors of pan-caspase, caspase-3 and caspase-9. The activities of caspase-3 and -9 were significantly increased after treatment with NCTD at different time. The expression of inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase was decreased in a time-dependent manner, simultaneously, the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax or Bcl-x L/Bax was decreased and the expression ratio of proteins could be reversed by caspase-3 inhibitor. The expression of cytochrome c in cytosol was increased after NCTD treatment and caspase-3 inhibitor had no significant effect on the up-regulation of cytochrom c. These results suggest that NCTD induced A375-S2 cell apoptosis and the activation of caspase and mitochondrial pathway were involved in the process of NCTD-induced A375-S2 cell apoptosis.