Venom of some species of scorpions induces apoptosis and arrests proliferation in cancer cells. This is an important property that can be harnessed and can lead to isolation of compounds of therapeutic importance in cancer research. Cytotoxicity was investigated using MTT reduction and confirmed with lactate dehydrogenase release following venom exposure. Apoptosis was evaluated with determination of mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive nitrogen species assay, measurement of Caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation analysis. To confirm that venom can inhibit DNA synthesis in proliferating breast cancer cells, immunocytochemical detection of BrdU incorporation was done. Our results demonstrated that venom of Odontobuthus doriae not only induced apoptosis but lead to the inhibition of DNA synthesis in human breast cancer cells (MCF-7). Cell viability decreased with parallel increment of LDH release in dose dependent manner after treatment with varying concentrations of venom. Moreover, venom depleted cellular antioxidants evidenced by depression of GSH and Catalases and concomitantly increased reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI). These events were related to the depolarization of mitochondria and associated Caspase-3 activation following venom treatment in a concentration dependent manner. Finally, fragmentation of nuclear DNA following venom treatment confirmed the apoptotic property of the said venom. These results suggest that venom of O. doriae can be potential source for the isolation of effective anti-proliferative and apoptotic molecules.
- Mitochondrial membrane potential
- Odontobuthus doriae
- Scorpion venom