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Title: Tumor cell death induced by the inhibition of mitochondrial electron transport: The effect of 3-hydroxybakuchiol

Changes in mitochondrial ATP synthesis can affect the function of tumor cells due to the dependence of the first step of glycolysis on mitochondrial ATP. The oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system is responsible for the synthesis of approximately 90% of the ATP in normal cells and up to 50% in most glycolytic cancers; therefore, inhibition of the electron transport chain (ETC) emerges as an attractive therapeutic target. We studied the effect of a lipophilic isoprenylated catechol, 3-hydroxybakuchiol (3-OHbk), a putative ETC inhibitor isolated from Psoralea glandulosa. 3-OHbk exerted cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects on the TA3/Ha mouse mammary adenocarcinoma cell line and induced a decrease in the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, the activation of caspase-3, the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transport pore (MPTP) and nuclear DNA fragmentation. Additionally, 3-OHbk inhibited oxygen consumption, an effect that was completely reversed by succinate (an electron donor for Complex II) and duroquinol (electron donor for Complex III), suggesting that 3-OHbk disrupted the electron flow at the level of Complex I. The inhibition of OXPHOS did not increase the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) but caused a large decrease in the intracellular ATP level. ETC inhibitors have been shown to induce cell death through necrosis andmore » apoptosis by increasing ROS generation. Nevertheless, we demonstrated that 3-OHbk inhibited the ETC and induced apoptosis through an interaction with Complex I. By delivering electrons directly to Complex III with duroquinol, cell death was almost completely abrogated. These results suggest that 3-OHbk has antitumor activity resulting from interactions with the ETC, a system that is already deficient in cancer cells. - Highlights: • We studied the anticancer activity of a natural compound, 3-OHbk, on TA3/Ha cells. • 3-OHbk inhibited mitochondrial electron flow by interacting with Complex I. • Complex I inhibition did not induce ROS generation. • 3-OHbk induced apoptosis in tumor cells with no effect on mammary epithelial cells. • Mitochondrial bioenergetics is implicated in anticancer action of 3-OHbk.« less
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  1. Clinical and Molecular Pharmacology Program, University of Chile, Santiago (Chile)
  2. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago (Chile)
  3. Anatomy and Developmental Biology Program, ICBM, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago (Chile)
  4. Laboratory of Experimental Biomedicine, University of Tarapaca, Campus Esmeralda, Iquique (Chile)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; Journal Volume: 272; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States