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Research article2010Peer reviewedOpen access

Nanoparticulate Quillaja saponin induces apoptosis in human leukemia cell lines with a high therapeutic index

Hu, Kefei; Berenjian, Saideh; Larsson, Rolf; Gullbo, Joachim; Nygren, Peter; Lovgren, Tanja; Morein, Bror

Abstract

Saponin fractions of Quillaja saponaria Molina (QS) have cytotoxic activity against cancer cells in vitro, but are too toxic to be useful in the clinic. The toxic effect was abolished by converting QS fractions into stable nanoparticles through the binding of QS to cholesterol. Two fractions of QS were selected for particle formation, one with an acyl-chain (ASAP) was used to form killing and growth-inhibiting (KGI) particles, and the other without the acyl-chain (DSAP) was used to formulate blocking and balancing effect (BBE) particles. KGI showed significant growth inhibiting and cancer cell-killing activities in nine of 10 cell lines while BBE showed that on one cell line. The monoblastoid lymphoma cell line U937 was selected for analyzing the mode of action. Low concentrations of KGI (0.5 and 2 mu g/mL) induced irreversible exit from the cell cycle, differentiation measured by cytokine production, and eventually programmed cell death (apoptosis). Compared to normal human monocytes, the U937 cells were 30-fold more sensitive to KGI. The nontoxic BBE blocked the cell killing effect of KGI in a concentration-dependent manner. In conclusion, the formulation of QS into nanoparticles has the potential of becoming a new class of anticancer agents.

Keywords

anticancer drug; Quillaja saponin; nanoparticle; apoptosis

Published in

International Journal of Nanomedicine
2010, Volume: 5, pages: 51-62

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Cancer and Oncology

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S7879

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/32539