Author(s): Chow J, Norng M, Zhang J, Chai J
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Abstract Capsaicin is an organic compound in chili peppers which are consumed by over one quarter of the world's population daily. Studies have shown that capsaicin can induce apoptosis in some cancer cells by unknown mechanisms. In this study, both gastric cancer and normal epithelial cells were treated with capsaicin and examined for apoptosis by Annexin V binding. Our results showed that capsaicin induces apoptosis in both cells, although cancer cells are more susceptible. This susceptibility is dependent on the availability of TRPV6, a calcium-selective channel protein, as overexpression of TRPV6 in normal cells increased capsaicin-induced apoptosis and knockdown of TRPV6 in cancer cells suppressed this action. Our results further demonstrated that capsaicin increases mitochondrial permeability through activation of Bax and p53 in a JNK-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS: (1) TRPV6, rather than TRPV1 (the well-known capsaicin receptor), mediates capsaicin-induced apoptosis in gastric cells; (2) abundance of TRPV6 in gastric cells determines their live or death under capsaicin treatment; and (3) capsaicin induces apoptosis by stabilization of p53 through JNK activation. Together, our data suggest that capsaicin may be a promising dietary candidate for cancer chemoprevention.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology