International journal of oncology

Isoegomaketone induces apoptosis in SK-MEL-2 human melanoma cells through mitochondrial apoptotic pathway via activating the PI3K/Akt pathway.

PMID 25119993


Isoegomaketone (IK) is a major biologically active component of Perilla frutescens. In this study, we investigated the contribution of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to IK-induced apoptosis in human melanoma SK-MEL-2 cells. We found that IK inhibited the proliferation of SK-MEL-2 human melanoma cells in a dose-dependent manner. IK also induced sub-G1 DNA accumulation, formation of apoptotic bodies, nuclear condensation, and a DNA ladder in SK-MEL-2 cells. IK also induced activation of caspase-3 and -9, whereas caspase‑8 was unaffected. Further, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC, ROS scavenger) treatment to SK-MEL-2 cells significantly reduced IK-induced cell death. Pretreatment of NAC to SK-MEL-2 cells followed by 100 µM IK reduced the protein levels of Bax and cytochrome c as well as PARP cleavage, whereas the protein level of Bcl-2 increased. Moreover, IK inhibited the phosphorylation of AKT/mTOR protein and cell proliferation induced by LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor. In conclusion, IK-induced ROS generation regulates cell growth inhibition and it induces apoptosis through caspase‑dependent and -independent pathways via modulation of PI3K/AKT signaling in SK-MEL-2 cells.