Oncology reports

Sanguinarine-induced apoptosis in lung adenocarcinoma cells is dependent on reactive oxygen species production and endoplasmic reticulum stress.

PMID 26081590


Sanguinarine (SAN), an alkaloid isolated from plants of the Papaveraceae family, is a compound with multiple biological activities. In the present study, we explored the anticancer properties of SAN in lung cancer using the human lung adenocarcinoma cell line SPC-A1. Our results revealed that SAN inhibited SPC-A1 cell growth and induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. We found that SAN triggered reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, while elimination of ROS by N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reversed the growth inhibition and apoptosis induced by SAN. SAN-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress resulted in the upregulation of many genes and proteins involved in the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, including glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), p-protein kinase R (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK), p-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP). Blocking ER stress with tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) markedly reduced SAN-induced inhibition of growth and apoptosis. Furthermore, TUDCA decreased SAN-induced ROS production, and NAC attenuated SAN-induced GRP78 and CHOP expression. Overall, our data indicate that the anticancer effects of SAN in lung cancer cells depend on ROS production and ER stress and that SAN may be a potential agent against lung cancer.