Boldo prevents UV light and nitric oxide-mediated plasmid DNA damage and reduces the expression of Hsp70 protein in melanoma cancer cells.

Research paper by Alessandra A Russo, Venera V Cardile, Silvia S Caggia, Germán G Gunther, Nicolas N Troncoso, Juan J Garbarino

Indexed on: 11 Aug '11Published on: 11 Aug '11Published in: Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


This study was designed to investigate the potential protective effect of a methanolic extract of Peumus boldus leaves on UV light and nitric oxide (NO)-mediated DNA damage. In addition, we investigated the growth inhibitory activity of this natural product against human melanoma cells (M14).Boldine, catechin, quercetin and rutin were identified using a HPLC method. The extract was incubated with plasmid DNA and, before irradiating the samples with UV-R, H(2) O(2) was added. For analysis of DNA single-strand breaks induced by NO, the experiments were performed by incubating the extract with Angeli's salt. In the study on M14 cell line, cell viability was measured using MTT assay. Release of lactate dehydrogenase, a marker of membrane breakdown, was also measured. For the detection of apoptosis, the evaluation of DNA fragmentation (COMET assay) and caspase-3 activity assay were employed. The expression of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) was detected by Western blot analysis. Generation of reactive oxygen species was measured by using a fluorescent probe.The extract (demonstrating the synergistic effect of the constituents boldine and flavonoids), showed a protective effect on plasmid DNA and selectively inhibited the growth of melanoma cells. But a novel finding was that apoptosis evoked by this natural product in M14 cells, appears to be mediated, at least in part, via the inhibition of Hsp70 expression, which may be correlated with a modulation of redox-sensitive mechanisms.These results confirm the promising biological properties of Peumus boldus and encourage in-vivo investigations into its potential anti-cancer activity.

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