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RNase MC2: a new Momordica charantia ribonuclease that induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells associated with activation of MAPKs and induction of caspase pathways.

Authors
  • Fang, Evandro Fei
  • Zhang, Chris Zhi Yi
  • Fong, Wing Ping
  • Ng, Tzi Bun
Type
Published Article
Journal
APOPTOSIS
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2012
Volume
17
Issue
4
Pages
377–387
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10495-011-0684-z
PMID: 22134530
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Ribonucleases (RNases) are ubiquitously distributed nucleases that cleave RNA into smaller pieces. They are promising drugs for different cancers based on their concrete antitumor activities in vitro and in vivo. Here we report for the first time purification and characterization of a 14-kDa RNase, designated as RNase MC2, in the seeds of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia). RNase MC2 manifested potent RNA-cleavage activity toward baker's yeast tRNA, tumor cell rRNA, and an absolute specificity for uridine. RNase MC2 demonstrated both cytostatic and cytotoxic activities against MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with RNase MC2 caused nuclear damage (karyorrhexis, chromatin condensation, and DNA fragmentation), ultimately resulting in early/late apoptosis. Further molecular studies unveiled that RNase MC2 induced differential activation of MAPKs (p38, JNK and ERK) and Akt. On the other hand, RNase MC2 exposure activated caspase-8, caspase-9, caspase-7, increased the production of Bak and cleaved PARP, which in turn contributed to the apoptotic response. In conclusion, RNase MC2 is a potential agent which can be exploited in the worldwide fight against breast cancer.

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