GENETICS AND MOLECULAR RESEARCH, vol.11, no.3, pp.2801-2813, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
Extracts of mistletoe (Viscum album) are intensively used in complementary medicine, but their mechanisms are not fully understood in most cases, and the effects on metabolism have not been investigated in detail. However, some biologically active natural products are well known to provoke unexpected cellular responses. They reduce overexpression of heat shock proteins (Hsps) in cancer cells. The aim of the current study was to determine whether methanolic extract of V. album, which possesses antioxidant activity, has an effect on expression levels of Hsp27 and 14-3-3 proteins in a C6 glioma cell line. For the first time, the apoptosis-inducing effect of this extract was also determined via caspase-3 activation in the cells. Overexpression of Hsps was induced by heat shock at 42 degrees C for 1 h. Expression levels of Hsp27 and 14-3-3 proteins were determined using Western blot analysis. The apoptosis-inducing effect was also evaluated via caspase-3 activation in C6 glioma cells. Pretreatment of the cells with a nontoxic dose (100 mu g/mL) of V. album extract before heat shock significantly reduced expression levels of Hsp27 (73%) and 14-3-3 beta (124%), 14-3-3 gamma (23%), and 14-3-3 zeta (84%) proteins. Pretreatment with the extract before heat shock increased apoptosis via caspase-3 activation (60%) in C6 glioma cells. This result suggested that the methanolic extract of V. album downregulates expression of Hsp27 and 14-3-3 chaperone proteins and induces apoptosis, which warrants further exploration as a potential bioactive compound for cancer therapy.