Melittin Restores PTEN Expression by Down-Regulating HDAC2 in Human Hepatocelluar Carcinoma HepG2 Cells
PLoS One, 2014 May 2;9(5):e95520
Melittin is a water-soluble toxic peptide derived from the venom of the bee. Although many studies show the anti-tumor activity of melittin in human cancer including glioma cells, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here the effect of melittin on human hepatocelluar carcinoma HepG2 cell proliferation in vitro and further mechanisms was investigated. We found melittin could inhibit cell proliferation in vitro using Flow cytometry and MTT method. Besides, we discovered that melittin significantly downregulated the expressions of CyclinD1 and CDK4.
Results of western Blot and Real-time PCR analysis indicated that melittin was capable to upregulate the expression of PTEN and attenuate histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) expression. Further studies demonstrated that knockdown of HDAC2 completely mimicked the effects of melittin on PTEN gene expression. Conversely, it was that the potential utility of melittin on PTEN expression was reversed in cells treated with a recombinant pEGFP-C2-HDAC2 plasmid. In addition, treatment with melittin caused a downregulation of Akt phosphorylation, while overexpression of HDAC2 promoted Akt phosphorylation.
These findings suggested that the inhibitory of cell growth by melittin might be led by HDAC2-mediated PTEN upregulation, Akt inactivation, and inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathways.