Cartilage polysaccharide induces apoptosis in K562 cells through a reactive oxygen species-mediated caspase pathway
In this study, a polysaccharide (PS) was successfully extracted from porcine cartilage and its effect on chronic myeloid leukemia was examined using human K562 cells. The results of cell proliferation assays indicated that the PS inhibited cancer cell growth at different concentrations. Morphological and biochemical changes characteristic of apoptosis were observed and confirmed by PI staining and TUNEL assay. The nuclear DNA, RNA and proteins of the cancer cells subjected to PS treatment were irreversibly destroyed by reactive oxygen species (ROS), additionally, the ROS effected on the cells directly. The apoptotic signals altered the permeability of the mitochondrial outer membrane, thereby resulted in the release of apoptotic factors into the cytoplasm that induced apoptosis. As caspase-3/7, 8 and 9 were expressed, it was speculated that both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways were involved in the PS-induced apoptosis.