Glioblastoma cell death induced by asiatic acid

C. W. Cho, D. S. Choi, M. H. Cardone, C. W. Kim, A. J. Sinskey, C. Rha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Asiatic acid (AA), a triterpene, is known to be cytotoxic to several tumor cell lines. AA induces dose- and time-dependent cell death in U-87 MG human glioblastoma. This cell death occurs via both apoptosis and necrosis. The effect of AA may be cell type-specific as AA-induced cell death was mainly apoptotic in colon cancer RKO cells. AA-induced glioblastoma cell death is associated with decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, activation of caspase-9 and -3, and increased intracellular free Ca2+. Although treatment of glioblastoma cells with the caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk completely abolished AA-induced caspase activation, it did not significantly block AA-induced cell death. AA-induced cell death was significantly prevented by an intracellular Ca2+ inhibitor, BAPTA/AM. Taken together, these results indicate that AA induces cell death by both apoptosis and necrosis, with Ca 2+-mediated necrotic cell death predominating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-408
Number of pages16
JournalCell Biology and Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov


  • Apoptosis
  • Asiatic acid
  • Caspase-independent death
  • Glioblastoma
  • Necrosis
  • Triterpene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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