International journal of oncology

Gambogic acid induces apoptosis and sensitizes TRAIL-mediated apoptosis through downregulation of cFLIPL in renal carcinoma Caki cells.

PMID 26648023


Gambogic acid (GA) is a natural compound derived from brownish gamboge resin that shows a range of bioactivity, such as antitumor and antimicrobial properties. Although, GA is already known to induce cell death in a variety of cancer cells, the molecular basis for GA-induced cell death in renal cancer cells is unclear. In this study, a treatment with GA induced cell death in human renal carcinoma Caki cells in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of Caki cells with GA decreased the levels of antiapoptotic proteins, such as Bcl-2 and XIAP in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, GA decreased the expression of the cFLIPL protein, which was downregulated at the transcriptional level without any change in the levels of cFLIPs expression. z-VAD (pan-caspase inhibitor) partially blocked GA-mediated cell death. GA-induced apoptotic cell death in Caki cells is mediated partly by the AIF translocation from the mitochondria into the nucleus via a caspase-independent pathway. In contrast, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger, had no effect on GA-induced cell death. The restoration of cFLIPL attenuated GA-induced cell death in Caki cells. Furthermore, a sub-toxic dose of GA sensitized TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in Caki cells. Pretreatment with z-VAD completely blocked GA plus TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. On the contrary, pretreatment with NAC partially inhibited GA plus TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Our findings suggested that GA induces apoptosis via the downregulation of cFLIPL and sensitized TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in Caki cells.