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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase up-regulated p53 expression in shikonin-induced HeLa cell apoptosis.

BACKGROUND: The role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in shikonin-induced HeLa cells apoptosis remains vague. This study was to investigate the activation of caspase pathways and the role of ERK1/2 in human cervical cancer cells, HeLa, by shikonin. METHODS: The inhibitory effect of shikonin on the growth of HeLa cells was measured by MTT assay. Fluorescent microscopic analysis of apoptotic cells stained with 4',6'-oliiamiclino-2-phenylindole C (DAPI) and Hoechst 33258 was carried out. Caspase-3 and -8 activities were detected using caspase-3 substrate and caspase-8 substrate as substrates, respectively. The protein levels of ERK, p53 and p-ERK were determined by Western blot analysis. RESULTS: Shikonin inhibited cell growth in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Caspase-3 and caspase-8 were activated in the apoptotic process and caspase inhibitors effectively reversed shikonin-induced apoptosis. Phosphorylation of ERK resulted in up-regulation of p53 expression, which was blocked by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK), inhibitor PD 98059. CONCLUSION: Shikonin induces HeLa cell apoptosis through the ERK, p53 and caspase pathways.[1]


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