Role of Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain Complexes in Capsaicin Mediated Oxidative Stress Leading to Apoptosis in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

>We evaluated the mechanism of capsaicin-mediated ROS generation in pancreatic cancer cells. The generation of ROS was about 4–6 fold more as compared to control and as early as 1 h after capsaicin treatment in BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 cells but not in normal HPDE-6 cells. The generation of ROS was inhibited by catalase and EUK-134. To delineate the mechanism of ROS generation, enzymatic activities of mitochondrial complex-I and complex-III were determined in the pure mitochondria. Our results shows that capsaicin inhibits about 2.5–9% and 5–20% of complex-I activity and 8–75% of complex-III activity in BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 cells respectively, which was attenuable by SOD, catalase and EUK-134. On the other hand, capsaicin treatment failed to inhibit complex-I or complex-III activities in normal HPDE-6 cells. The ATP levels were drastically suppressed by capsaicin treatment in both BxPC-3 and AsPC-1 cells and attenuated by catalase or EUK-134. Oxidation of mitochondria-specific cardiolipin was substantially higher in capsaicin treated cells. BxPC-3 derived ρ0 cells, which lack mitochondrial DNA, were completely resistant to capsaicin mediated ROS generation and apoptosis. Our results reveal that the release of cytochrome c and cleavage of both caspase-9 and caspase-3 due to disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential were significantly blocked by catalase and EUK-134 in BxPC-3 cells. Our results further demonstrate that capsaicin treatment not only inhibit the enzymatic activity and expression of SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase but also reduce glutathione level. Over-expression of catalase by transient transfection protected the cells from capsaicin-mediated ROS generation and apoptosis. Furthermore, tumors from mice orally fed with 2.5 mg/kg capsaicin show decreased SOD activity and an increase in GSSG/GSH levels as compared to controls. Taken together, our results suggest the involvement of mitochondrial complex-I and III in capsaicin-mediated ROS generation and decrease in antioxidant levels resulting in severe mitochondrial damage leading to apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells.

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Source URL:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0020151