Cancer Science & Therapy

ISSN: 1948-5956

Open Access

Cerastes cerastes and Vipera lebetina Snake Venoms Apoptotic ?¢????? Stimulating Activity to Human Breast Cancer Cells and Related Gene Modulation


Shebl RI, Mohamed AF, Ali AE and Amin MA

Apoptosis occurs normally during development and aging as a homeostatic mechanism to maintain cell populations. Dysregulation of apoptosis can disrupt the equilibrium between cell growth and cell death leading to the development of cancer. Thus, the investigation of new biological apoptotic activators could play an important role in cancer therapy. In the present study, Cerastes cerastes and Vipera lebetina snake venoms were evaluated for their ability to activate apoptosis in cancer cells where test venoms exhibited a concentration and time dependent cytotoxic effect on breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. Typical apoptotic morphological features were demonstrated in venom treated cells detected via transmission electron microscope. In addition, flow cytometric analysis showed an increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells post 24 h treatment relative to venom concentrations. At the molecular level, test venoms induced apoptosis were mediated by up regulation of pro-apoptotic genes (p53 & Bax) and down regulation of anti-apoptotic gene (Bcl-2) in MCF-7 cells, indicating that these venoms could serve as apoptotic stimulators, presenting a novel and potential therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment.


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