• FSK88;
  • Apoptosis;
  • Bcl-2;
  • Cytochrome c;
  • Caspases


FSK88, a forskolin derivative, was extracted and purified from cultured tropical plant roots, Coleus forskohlii. Our previous studies have demonstrated that FSK88 can inhibit HL-60 cell proliferation and induce the differentiation of HL-60 cells to monocyte macrophages. In this study, we showed that FSK88 can induce apoptotic death of human gastric cancer BGC823 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Results showed that FSK88-induced apoptosis was accompanied by the mitochondrial release of cytochrome c and activation of caspase-3 in BGC823 cells. Furthermore, treatment with caspase-3 inhibitor (z-DEVD-fmk) was capable of preventing the FSK88-induced caspase-3 activity and apoptosis. FSK88-induced apoptosis in human gastric cancer BGC823 cells was also accompanied by the up-regulation of Bax, Bad and down-regulation of Bcl-2. Theses results clearly demonstrated that the induction of apoptosis by FSK88 involved multiple cellular and molecular pathways and strongly suggest that pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family genes, mitochondrial membrane potential (Δ∍ m), cytochrome c, and caspase-3, participate in the FSK88-induced apoptotic process in human gastric cancer BGC823 cells.