Chalcones found in fruits and vegetables have promising cancer chemopreventive properties. This study attempts to identify the anticancer efficacies of chalcone flavokawain B (FKB) in the rhizomes of Alpinia pricei Hayata by examining key molecular events in non-small-cell lung cancer (A549) cells. Our results indicated that in human A549 cells, FKB (0–15 μg/ml) decreases cell viability and colony formation, dysregulates the Bax:B-cell lymphoma 2 ratio and increases apoptotic DNA fragmentation. Mitochondrial (caspase-9/-3 and poly ADP ribose polymerase [PARP]) signaling was found to be involved in FKB-induced apoptosis. In addition, FKB-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and N-acetylcysteine attenuated FKB-induced apoptotic cell death. Moreover, FKB triggered autophagy, as evidenced by the improved acidic vesicular organelle formation, lipidated light chain 3 (microtubule-related light chain 3) accumulation, and ATG7 expression and the decreased mammalian target of rapamycin phosphorylation. Furthermore, FKB suppressed ROS-mediated ATG4B expression. Inhibiting autophagy using 3-methyladenine/chloroquine diminished FKB-induced cell death, indicating that autophagy is triggered as a death mechanism by FKB. In summary, FKB has a crucial role in the execution and propagation of ROS-mediated apoptotic and autophagic cell death of lung adenocarcinoma cells.
- Alpinia pricei hayata
- chalcone flavokawain B