Decursinol angelate arrest melanoma cell proliferation by initiating cell death and tumor shrinkage via induction of apoptosis

Sukkum Ngullie Chang, Imran Khan, Chang Geon Kim, Seon Min Park, Dong Kyu Choi, Heejin Lee, Buyng Su Hwang, Sun Chul Kang, Jae Gyu Park

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19 Scopus citations


Melanoma is known to aggressively metastasize and is one of the prominent causes of skin cancer mortality. This study was designed to assess the molecular mechanism of decursinol angelate (DA) against murine melanoma cell line (B16F10 cells). Treatment of DA resulted in growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 (p < 0.001) phase, evaluated through immunoblotting. Moreover, autophagy-related proteins such as ATG-5 (p < 0.0001), ATG-7 (p < 0.0001), beclin-1 (p < 0.0001) and transition of LC3-I to LC3-II (p < 0.0001) were markedly decreased, indicating autophagosome inhibition. Additionally, DA treatment triggered apoptotic events which were corroborated by the occurrence of distorted nuclei, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential. Subsequently, there was an increase in the expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax in a dose-dependent manner, with the corresponding downregulation of Bcl-2 expression and cytochrome C expression following 24 h DA treatment in A375.SM and B16F10 cells. We substantiated our results for apoptotic occurrence through flow cytometry in B16F10 cells. Furthermore, we treated B16F10 cells with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). NAC treatment upregulated ATG-5 (p < 0.0001), beclin-1 (p < 0.0001) and LC3-I to LC3-II (p < 0.0001) conversion, which was inhibited in the DA treatment group. We also noticed a systematic upregulation of important markers for progression of G1 cell phase such as CDK-2 (p < 0.029), CDK-4 (p < 0.036), cyclin D1 (p < 0.0003) and cyclin E (p < 0.020) upon NAC treatment. In addition, we also observed a significant fold reduction (p < 0.05) in ROS fluorescent intensity and the expression of Bax (p < 0.0001), cytochrome C (p < 0.0001), cleaved caspase-9 (p > 0.010) and cleaved caspase-3 (p < 0.0001). NAC treatment was able to ameliorate DA-induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest to support our finding. Our in vivo xenograft model also revealed similar findings, such as downregulation of CDK-2 (p < 0.0001) and CDK-4 (p < 0.0142) and upregulation of Bax (p < 0.0001), cytochrome C (p < 0.0001), cleaved caspase 3 (p < 0.0001) and cleaved caspase 9 (p < 0.0001). In summary, our study revealed that DA is an effective treatment against B16F10 melanoma cells and xenograft mice model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4096
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • Apoptosis
  • B16F10 murine melanoma cells
  • Cell cycle
  • Decursinol angelate (DA)
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)


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