Induction of apoptosis in endometrial cancer cells by psammaplysene A involves FOXO1

Emily Berry, Jennifer L. Hardt, Jon Clardy, John R. Lurain, J. Julie Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: Endometrial cancer is the most common type of gynecologic cancer in the United States. In this study, we propose that a marine sponge compound, psammaplysene A (PsA) induces apoptosis in endometrial cancer cells through forced nuclear expression of FOXO1. Methods: Ishikawa and ECC1 cells were treated with varying doses of PsA. FOXO1 protein localization was observed using immunofluorescent staining of cells. The effects of PsA on cell viability and proliferation were assessed using a cell viability assay and a BrdU incorporation assay respectively. Cell cycle analysis was performed using flow cytometry. To assess the role of FOXO1 in PsA-induced apoptosis, FOXO1 was silenced in ECC1 cells using siRNA technique, and overexpressed in Ishikawa cells using an adenovirus containing FOXO1 cDNAs. Western blots were used to measure levels of FOXO1 and cleaved PARP proteins. Results: Treatment of both ECC1 and Ishikawa cells with PsA caused an increase in nuclear FOXO1 protein, a dramatic decrease in cell viability of approximately 5-fold (p < 0.05) and minimal effect on proliferation. Furthermore, treatment of cells with PsA doubled the percentage of cells in the G2/M phase (p < 0.05). PsA induced apoptosis in endometrial cancer cells. When FOXO1 was silenced in ECC1 cells and treated with PsA, the incidence of apoptosis decreased. In addition, overexpression of FOXO1 with PsA treatment increased apoptosis. Conclusions: Increasing nuclear FOXO1 function is important for the induction of apoptosis of endometrial cancer cells by PsA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • AKT
  • Endometrial cancer
  • FOXO1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Oncology


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