Comparison of effects of P-coumaric acid and coumarin on colorectal cancer cell line by inducing apoptosis and autophagy

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran



 Objective: Autophagy, as a cellular pathway involved in
removing damaged proteins and organelles, performs a vital
function in the homeostasis and fate of cells. Natural compounds
of coumarin (CO) are found in a variety of herbs. Due to their
many medicinal properties, including antitumor and antiproliferative activity, they are involved in apoptosis and autophagy
processes. This investigation desired to analyze the apoptotic and
autophagic effects of p-coumaric acid (PCA) and CO on HT-29
cells cultured in fibrin hydrogel.
Materials and Methods: Cell viability and apoptotic and
autophagic changes were evaluated by MTT assay, Acridine
Orange, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), and
monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining. The expression
Bax, Bad,
Bcl2, Lc3, Beclin-1, P53 and Atg5 was respectively measured by
qRT-PCR and Western blotting.
Results: CO (IC50=25 μM) and PCA (IC50=150 μM) had a doseand time-dependent cytotoxic effect in HT-29 cells. So, the
cytotoxic effects of CO were significantly higher than PCA and
these differences were also evident in cell morphology
investigations. The data illustrated a high expression of proapoptotic and pro-autophagic genes and a declined expression of
anti-apoptotic and anti-autophagic genes.
Conclusion: CO (that was more potent) and p-coumaric acidinduced autophagy via PI3K/Akt/mTOR and AMPK/mTOR
signaling on HT-29 cells.


Main Subjects