Up-regulation of p53 and mitochondrial signaling pathway in apoptosis by a combination of cox-2 inhibitor, celecoxib and dolastatin 15, a marine mollusk linear peptide in experimental colon carcinogenesis



Programmed cell death, also known as apoptosis, is an active process occurring in eukaryotic cells and it depends on various sets of pro and anti-apoptotic proteins. Chemoprevention of colorectal cancer can be achieved by inducing apoptosis using synthetic compound, Celecoxib and natural peptide, Dolastatin 15 in an effective manner. But the apoptotic signaling by these two drugs remain unclear. The present study was thus focused on the role of Bcl2 family of proteins and their interplay with p53 in rats during the chemoprevention by these two drugs. After treatment for 6 wk with 1, 2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH), animals showed a marked occurrence of multiple plaque lesions. However, a simultaneous treatment with Celecoxib and Dolastatin 15 decreases such number to a significant level. DMH treatment also decreases the number of apoptotic cells in the colonic enterocytes which were corrected to the normal level by Celecoxib and Dolastatin 15. An increased expression of Bcl2 while other proteins like Bax, Apaf-1, cyt c, and caspases in the apoptotic pathway, and the tumor suppressor proteins, p53 and p21 get down-regulated after DMH treatment which were reverted back to normal with Celecoxib and Dolastatin 15. Also, cells having high mitochondrial membrane potential had been seen to increase to significant levels which were reduced after the administration of these anti-inflammatory drugs. In silico molecular docking studies also showed that Dolastatin 15 and Celecoxib may bind to the active site pocket of Bcl2, thus revealing the direct target of Dolastatin 15 and Celecoxib apart from binding to COX-2. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.