2007 Volume 103 Issue 1 Pages 56-66
We have reported that oridonin, a diterpenoid isolated from the plant Rabdosia rubescens, had apoptosis-inducing activities in many cell lines (e.g., human melanoma A375-S2, human cervical cancer HeLa, human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7, and murine fibrosarcoma L929). In this study, we further investigated signaling events involved in oridonin-induced apoptosis in human epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells. It was found that the total tyrosine kinase activity was inhibited and the protein expressions of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and phosphorylated EGFR were decreased in oridonin-induced A431 cell apoptosis. Expression of EGFR downstream effector proteins, Grb2, Ras, Raf-1, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), was also downregulated by oridonin. Moreover, the oridonin-induced apoptosis was augmented by the Ras inhibitor manumycin A, Raf-1 inhibitor GW5074, or ERK inhibitor PD98059, suggesting that inactivation of Ras, Raf, or ERK participates in oridonin-induced apoptosis. Taken together, oridonin-induced apoptosis in A431 cells might be through blocking EGFR and its downstream Ras/Raf/ERK signal pathway.