Background: Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among women, and its incidence and mortality are rapidly growing worldwide. In this regard, plant-derived natural compounds have been shown to be effective as chemotherapeutic and preventative agents. Apricot kernels are a rich source of nutrients including proteins, lipids, fibers, and phenolic compounds and contain the aromatic cyanogenic glycoside amygdalin that has been shown to exert a cytotoxic effect on cancer cells by affecting the cell cycle, inducing apoptosis, and regulating the immune function. Methods: Here, we describe a previously unexplored proapoptotic mechanism of action of amygdalin in breast cancer (MCF7) cells that involves the modulation of intracellular proteolysis. For comparative purposes, the same investigations were also conducted upon cell treatment with two apricot kernel aqueous extracts from Prunus armeniaca L. Results: We observed that both the 20S and 26S proteasome activities were downregulated in the MCF7 cells upon 24 h treatments. Simultaneously, the autophagy cascade resulted in being impaired due to cathepsin B and L inhibition that also contributed to a reduction in cancer cell migration. The inhibition of these proteolytic systems finally promoted the activation of apoptotic events in the MCF7 cells. Conclusion: Collectively, our data unveil a novel mechanism of the anticancer activity of amygdalin, prompting further investigations for potential application in cancer preventative strategies.

Targeting Proteolysis with Cyanogenic Glycoside Amygdalin Induces Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells

Cecarini, Valentina
Primo
;
Cuccioloni, Massimiliano;Gong, Chunmei;Bonfili, Laura;Zheng, Yadong;Cortese, Manuela;Angeletti, Mauro;Eleuteri, Anna Maria
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among women, and its incidence and mortality are rapidly growing worldwide. In this regard, plant-derived natural compounds have been shown to be effective as chemotherapeutic and preventative agents. Apricot kernels are a rich source of nutrients including proteins, lipids, fibers, and phenolic compounds and contain the aromatic cyanogenic glycoside amygdalin that has been shown to exert a cytotoxic effect on cancer cells by affecting the cell cycle, inducing apoptosis, and regulating the immune function. Methods: Here, we describe a previously unexplored proapoptotic mechanism of action of amygdalin in breast cancer (MCF7) cells that involves the modulation of intracellular proteolysis. For comparative purposes, the same investigations were also conducted upon cell treatment with two apricot kernel aqueous extracts from Prunus armeniaca L. Results: We observed that both the 20S and 26S proteasome activities were downregulated in the MCF7 cells upon 24 h treatments. Simultaneously, the autophagy cascade resulted in being impaired due to cathepsin B and L inhibition that also contributed to a reduction in cancer cell migration. The inhibition of these proteolytic systems finally promoted the activation of apoptotic events in the MCF7 cells. Conclusion: Collectively, our data unveil a novel mechanism of the anticancer activity of amygdalin, prompting further investigations for potential application in cancer preventative strategies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/466814
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