Carnosol induces apoptotic cell death through ROS-dependent inactivation of STAT3 in human melanoma G361 cells
- Issue Date
- Applied Biological Chemistry, 62(1):55
- Melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer deaths, and the poor prognosis of metastatic melanoma has made needs for a novel pharmacological treatment or efficient intervention. Carnosol, a major polyphenolic compound from Rosmarinus officinalis, has a wide range of biological activities including anti-cancer effect. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of its anti-cancer effect remain poorly understood in malignant human melanoma cells. In the present study, we investigate the apoptotic effect and the underlying anti-cancer mechanisms of carnosol. Our results revealed that carnosol strongly induced apoptosis against human melanoma G361 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, and caused dramatical elevation in cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level during apoptosis. In mechanistic studies, carnosol treatment decreased protein level of anti-apoptotic B‑cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and B cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL), however, increased level of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) protein. Moreover, carnosol escalated cellular level of p53, which was accompanied by a decline of mouse double minute 2 homolog (MDM2) level. Also, carnosol inhibited activation of Src and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), therefore down-regulated STAT3-dependent gene expression, such as D-series cyclin and survivin. These changes by carnosol were attenuated by pre-treatment of N-acetyl cysteine, and abolished progression of carnosol-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, carnosol induced apoptosis in human melanoma G361 cells through ROS generation and inhibition of STAT3-mediated pathway. Our results provide molecular bases of carnosol-induced apoptosis, and suggest a novel candidate for human melanoma treatment.