Corosolic acid induces apoptosis through mitochondrial pathway

We investigated the response of human cervix adenocarcinoma HeLa cells to Corosolic acid (CRA) treatment. Our results showed that CRA significantly inhibited cell viability in both a dose- and a time-dependent manner. CRA treatment induced S cell-cycle arrest and caused apoptotic death in HeLa cells. We found that CRA increased in Bax/Bcl-2 ratios by up-regulating Bax expression, disrupted mitochondrial membrane potential and triggered the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytoplasm. Moreover, CRA treatment triggered the activation of caspase-8, -9 and -3 in HeLa cells. All these results indicate that CRA-induced apoptosis is associated with the activation of caspases via a mitochondrial pathway. Taken together, we believe that CRA could have strong potentials for clinical application in treating human cervix adenocarcinoma and improving cancer chemotherapy.