Mol Cell Biochem 2017 Nov 2;435(1-2):15-24. Epub 2017 May 2.
Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, 2800 Dalgubeoldaero, Dalseo-Gu, Daegu, 704-701, South Korea.
Artesunate is a well-known anti-malarial drug originated from artemisinin as a Chinese herb and has been reported to have anti-cancer potential in many cancer cells. In the present study, we examined the efficacy of artesunate against the renal carcinoma Caki cells and explored its mechanism of cytotoxicity. A steep decline in cell viability within 18 h was recorded upon artesunate exposure, but pretreatment of z-VAD-FMK had no effect on the loss of the cell viability by artesunate. On the other hand, necrostatin-1 pretreatment and knockdown of RIP-1 significantly reduced the cytotoxicity of artesunate against Caki cell. Moreover, the generation of mitochondrial ROS prompted by artesunate was found to be the principle mechanism of cell death. Pretreatment with necrostatin-1 or knockdown of RIP-1 inhibited the generation of ROS by artesunate, resulting in the protection of the cells from artesunate toxicity. Moreover, the similar results were observed in the case of other renal carcinoma cell lines (ACHN and A498). The results suggest that artesunate induces the generation of ROS and cell death in RIP1-dependent manner. Therefore, our data suggest that artesunate could induce RIP1-dependent cell death in human renal carcinoma.