1-cinnamoyltrichilinin from melia azedarach causes apoptosis through the p38 mapk pathway in hl-60 human leukemia cells

Hoibin Jeong, Seonju Park, Seo Young Kim, Su Hyeon Cho, Myeong Seon Jeong, Song Rae Kim, Jong Bok Seo, Seung Hyun Kim, Kil Nam Kim

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive type of human leukemia with a low survival rate, and its complete remission remains challenging. Although chemotherapy is the first-line treatment of AML, it exerts toxicity in noncancerous cells when used in high doses, thus necessitating the development of novel compounds with a high therapeutic window. This study aimed to investigate the anticancer effects of several compounds derived from the fruits of Melia azedarach (a tree with medicinal properties). Among them, 1-cinnamoyltrichilinin (CT) was found to strongly suppress the viability of HL-60 human leukemia cells. CT treatment induced apoptosis and increased nuclear fragmentation and fractional DNA content in HL-60 cells in a dose-dependent manner. CT induced phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38), though not of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and activated Bcl-2 family proteins towards the proapoptosis and cleavage of caspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. Both CT-mediated apoptosis and apoptotic protein expression were reversed by treatment with the p38 inhibitor, thereby indicating the p38 pathway to be critical in CT-stimulated apoptosis. The results collectively indicated CT to suppress HL-60 survival by activating the p38 pathway and inducing apoptosis, hence being a novel potential therapeutic agent for AML.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7506
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the Korea Basic Science Institute (grant numbers C030360 and C08200).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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