Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Gypenoside L, Isolated from Gynostemma pentaphyllum, Induces Cytoplasmic Vacuolation Death in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells through Reactive-Oxygen-Species-Mediated Unfolded Protein Response.

PMID 26870999


Exploring novel anticancer agents that can trigger non-apoptotic or non-autophagic cell death is urgent for cancer treatment. In this study, we screened and identified an unexplored anticancer activity of gypenoside L (Gyp-L) isolated from Gynostemma pentaphyllum. We showed that treatment with Gyp-L induces non-apoptotic and non-autophagic cytoplasmic vacuolation death in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Mechanically, Gyp-L initially increased the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, which, in turn, triggered protein ubiquitination and unfolded protein response (UPR), resulting in Ca(2+) release from endoplasm reticulum (ER) inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R)-operated stores and finally cytoplasmic vacuolation and cell death. Interruption of the ROS-ER-Ca(2+) signaling pathway by chemical inhibitors significantly prevented Gyp-L-induced vacuole formation and cell death. In addition, Gyp-L-induced ER stress and vacuolation death required new protein synthesis. Overall, our works provide strong evidence for the anti-HCC activity of Gyp-L and suggest a novel therapeutic option by Gyp-L through the induction of a unconventional ROS-ER-Ca(2+)-mediated cytoplasmic vacuolation death in human HCC.

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