Apigenin causes necroptosis by inducing ROS accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and ATP depletion in malignant mesothelioma cells
Apigenin, a naturally occurring flavonoid, is known to exhibit significant anticancer activity. This study was designed to determine the effects of apigenin on two malignant mesothelioma cell lines, MSTO-211H and H2452, and to explore the underlying mechanism(s). Apigenin significantly inhibited cell viability with a concomitant increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and caused the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and ATP depletion, resulting in apoptosis and necroptosis in monolayer cell culture. Apigenin upregulated DNA damage response proteins, including the DNA double strand break marker phospho (p)- histone H2A.X. and caused a transition delay at the G₂/M phase of cell cycle. Western blot analysis showed that apigenin treatment upregulated protein levels of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved PARP, p-MLKL, and p-RIP3 along with an increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. ATP supplementation restored cell viability and levels of DNA damage-, apoptosisand necroptosis-related proteins that apigenin caused. In addition, N-acetylcysteine reduced ROS production and improved Δm loss and cell death that were caused by apigenin. In a 3D spheroid culture model, ROS-dependent necroptosis was found to be a mechanism involved in the anti-cancer activity of apigenin against malignant mesothelioma cells. Taken together, our findings suggest that apigenin can induce ROS-dependent necroptotic cell death due to ATP depletion through mitochondrial dysfunction. This study provides us a possible mechanism underlying why apigenin could be used as a therapeutic candidate for treating malignant mesothelioma.
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