Antitumor activity of recombinant antimicrobial peptide penaeidin-2 against kidney cancer cells

Ming Xiang Meng, Jian Fang Ning, Jing You Yu, Dan Dan Chen, Xiao Lin Meng, Jin Ping Xu, Jie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Penaeidin-2 (Pen-2) is an important antimicrobial peptide derived from the Pacific white shrimp, Penaeus vannamei, and possesses both antibacterial and antifungal activities. Recent studies suggest that recombinant penaeidins show similar activities to the native Pen-2 protein. Previous researches have shown that some antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) exhibit cytotoxic activity against cancer cells. To date, there have been no studies on the antitumor effects of Pen-2. This study evaluated the potential of recombinant pen-2 (rPen-2) in the selective killing of kidney cancer cell lines ACHN and A498, and its action mechanism. MTT assays found the maximal growth inhibition of HK-2, ACHN and A498 cells treated with 100 μg/mL rPen-2 at 48 h was 13.2%, 62.4%, and 70.4%, respectively. DNA-specific fluorescent dye staining showed a high percentage of apoptosis on cancer cells. Flow cytometry revealed that the apoptosis rate of HK-2, ACHN and A498 cells was 15.2%, 55.2%, and 61.5% at 48 h respectively, suggesting that rPen-2 induced higher apoptosis rate in cancer cells than in HK-2 cells. Laser confocal scanning microscopy demonstrated that the plasma membrane was the key site where rPen-2 interacted with and destroyed tumor cells. Scanning electron microscopy showed the morphologic changes of the cell membranes of kidney cancer cells treated with rPen-2. These results suggest that rPen-2 is a novel potential therapeutic agent that may be useful in treating kidney cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-534
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology - Medical Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • apoptosis
  • kidney cancer cell
  • lysis
  • plasma membrane
  • recombinant Penaeidin-2


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