The objective of this study was to investigate the fermented culture broth of Antrodia camphorata (A. camphorata) to induce apoptosis and inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in estrogen-nonresponsive (MDA-MB-231) human breast cancer cells. Treatment of the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells with A. camphorata (40-240 μg/ml) resulted in dose and time-dependent sequences of events marked by apoptosis, as evidenced by loss of cell viability, chromatin condensation, and internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Apoptosis in the MDA-MB-231 cells was accompanied by release of cytochrome c, activation of caspase-3, -8, and -9, and specific proteolytic cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Although the A. camphorata-induced apoptosis was associated with a reduction in Bcl-2 protein levels, negligible Bax increase was observed. Furthermore, A. camphorata treatment inhibited COX-2 protein expression and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in MDA-MB-231 cells. Analysis of the study data suggests that A. camphorata exerts growth inhibition on (highly invasive) estrogen-nonresponsive human breast cancer cells through apoptosis induction associated with COX-2 inhibition, and that it may possess anticancer properties potentially valuable for application in drug products.
- Antrodia camphorata
- Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)
- Estrogen-nonresponsive breast cancer cells
- MDA-MB-231 cells