Rhus coriaria induces senescence and autophagic cell death in breast cancer cells through a mechanism involving p38 and ERK1/2 activation

Hussain El Hasasna, Khawlah Athamneh, Halima Al Samri, Noushad Karuvantevida, Yusra Al Dhaheri, Soleiman Hisaindee, Gaber Ramadan, Nedaa Al Tamimi, Synan AbuQamar, Ali Eid, Rabah Iratni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Here, we investigated the anticancer effect of Rhus coriaria on three breast cancer cell lines. We demonstrated that Rhus coriaria ethanolic extract (RCE) inhibits the proliferation of these cell lines in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. RCE induced senescence and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. These changes were concomitant with upregulation of p21, downregulation of cyclin D1, p27, PCNA, c-myc, phospho-RB and expression of senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity. No proliferative recovery was detected after RCE removal. Annexin V staining and PARP cleavage analysis revealed a minimal induction of apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of autophagic vacuoles in RCE-treated cells. Interestingly, blocking autophagy by 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or chloroquine (CQ) reduced RCE-induced cell death and senescence. RCE was also found to activate p38 and ERK1/2 signaling pathways which coincided with induction of autophagy. Furthermore, we found that while both autophagy inhibitors abolished p38 phosphorylation, only CQ led to significant decrease in pERK1/2. Finally, RCE induced DNA damage and reduced mutant p53, two events that preceded autophagy. Our findings provide strong evidence that R. coriaria possesses strong anti-breast cancer activity through induction of senescence and autophagic cell death, making it a promising alternative or adjunct therapeutic candidate against breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13013
JournalScientific reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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