BioMed research international

Dehydroabietic acid derivative QC2 induces oncosis in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

PMID 25110686


Rosin, the traditional Chinese medicine, is reported to be able to inhibit skin cancer cell lines. In this report, we investigate the inhibitory effect against HCC cells of QC2, the derivative of rosin's main components dehydroabietic acid. MTT assay was used to determine the cytotoxicity of QC2. Morphological changes were observed by time-lapse microscopy and transmission electron microscopy and the cytoskeleton changes were observed by laser-scanning confocal microscopy. Cytomembrane integrity and organelles damage were confirmed by detection of the reactive oxygen (ROS), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm). The underlying mechanism was manifested by Western blotting. The oncotic cell death was further confirmed by detection of oncosis related protein calpain. Swelling cell type and destroyed cytoskeleton were observed in QC2-treated HCC cells. Organelle damage was visualized by transmission electron microscopy. The detection of ROS accumulation, increased LDH release, and decreased ATP and Δψm confirmed the cell death. The oncotic related protein calpain was found to increase time-dependently in QC2-treated HCC cells, while its inhibitor PD150606 attenuated the cytotoxicity. Dehydroabietic acid derivative QC2 activated oncosis related protein calpain to induce the damage of cytomembrane and organelles which finally lead to oncosis in HCC cells.