Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Swainsonine promotes apoptosis in human oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo through activation of mitochondrial pathway

      Zhaocai Li Yong Huang Feng Dong Wei Li Li Ding Gaoshui Yu Dan Xu Yuanyuan Yang Xingang Xu Dewen Tong

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      Swainsonine, a natural indolizidine alkaloid, has been reported to have antitumour effects, and can induce apoptosis in human gastric and lung cancer cells. In the present study, we evaluated the antitumour effects of swainsonine on several oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells and investigated relative molecular mechanisms. Swainsonine treatment inhibited the growth of Eca-109, TE-1 and TE-10 cells in a concentration-dependent manner as measured by MTT assay. Morphological observation, DNA laddering detection and flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that swainsonine treatment induced Eca-109 cell apoptosis in vitro. Further results showed that swainsonine treatment up-regulated Bax, down-regulated Bcl-2 expression, triggered Bax translocation to mitochondria, destructed mitochondria integrity and activated mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway, followed by the release of cytochrome c, which in turn activated caspase-9 and caspase-3, promoted the cleavage of PARP, resulting in Eca-109 cell apoptosis. Moreover, swainsonine treatment inhibited Bcl-2 expression, promoted Bax translocation, cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation in xenograft tumour cells, resulting in a significant decrease of tumour volume and tumour weight in the swainsonine-treated xenograft mice groups compared with that in the control group. Taken together, this study demonstrated that swainsonine inhibited Eca-109 cells growth through activation of mitochondria-mediated caspase-dependent pathway.

    • Molecular cloning and characterization of genes related to the ethylene signal transduction pathway in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) under different temperature treatments


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      Low temperature storage is a common method for storing pomegranates post-harvest; however, unsuitable low temperaturescan cause fruit chilling injuries, the molecular mechanism of which is as yet unclear. Ethylene is a major factor affecting thepost-harvest storage quality of pomegranates, and functions mainly through the ethylene signal transduction pathway.ERF1, ERF2 and ETR are key genes in the ethylene signal transduction pathway. Here, we used RACE and homologouscloning techniques to obtain PgERF1 (KU058889), PgERF2 (KU058890) and PgETR (KU058891) from Punica granatumcv. Yushizi. Sequence alignment and functional domain analysis revealed that both PgERF1 and PgERF2 contained aDNA-binding-site at the 120th to 177th amino acids of the N-terminus, which is a typical AP2/ERF center structuredomain. Analysis of changes in expression of PgERF1, PgERF2 and PgETR following storage for different lengths of time(0, 14, 28, 42 and 56 days) at different temperatures (0 deg C, 5 deg C, 10 deg C and 15 deg C) revealed that the expression levels ofPgERF1 and PgERF2 had a significant positive correlation. At the same time, the expression of both PgERF1 and PgERF2increased continuously with time when seeds were stored at 0 deg C. However, there was no obvious linear relationshipbetween time stored and the levels of expression of PgETR. Therefore, we inferred that at 0 deg C, the ethylene signaltransduction pathway might play an important role in fruit chilling injuries during post-harvest storage.

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