Author(s): Lee MJ, Kee KH, Suh CH, Lim SC, Oh SH
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Abstract Capsaicin, a pungent compound found in hot chili peppers, induces apoptotic cell death in various cell lines, however, the precise apoptosis signaling pathway is unknown. Here, we investigated capsaicin-induced apoptotic signaling in the human breast cell line MCF10A and found that it involves both endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and calpain activation. Capsaicin inhibited growth in a dose-dependent manner and induced apoptotic nuclear changes in MCF10A cells. Capsaicin also induced degradation of tumor suppressor p53; this effect was enhanced by the ER stressor tunicamycin. The proteasome inhibitor MG132 completely blocked capsaicin-induced p53 degradation and enhanced apoptotic cell death. Capsaicin treatment triggered ER stress by increasing levels of IRE1, GADD153/Chop, GRP78/Bip, and activated caspase-4. It led to an increase in cytosolic Ca(2+), calpain activation, loss of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, and caspase-9 and -7 activation. Furthermore, capsaicin-induced the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway through calpain-mediated Bid translocation to the mitochondria and nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). Capsaicin-induced caspase-9, Bid cleavage, and AIF translocation were blocked by calpeptin, and BAPTA and calpeptin attenuated calpain activation and Bid cleavage. Thus, both ER stress- and mitochondria-mediated death pathways are involved in capsaicin-induced apoptosis.
This article was published in Toxicology
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology