Apoptotic response of uveal melanoma cells upon treatment with chelidonine, sanguinarine and chelerythrine

Ádám Kemény-Beke, János Aradi, Judit Damjanovich, Zoltán Beck, Andrea Facskó, András Berta, Andrea Bodnár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)


The benzophenanthridine alkaloids sanguinarine, chelerythrine and chelidonine were reported previously to provoke cell death in a variety of tumor cells suggesting their potential application as anticancer agents. Here we tested their effects on a primary human uveal melanoma cell line, OCM-1. Flow cytometric analysis of annexin V binding/PI exclusion and DNA fragmentation disclosed that all these alkaloids could induce apoptosis in OCM-1 cells. Moreover, necrotic cell death was also observed upon alkaloid treatment. As it was also evidenced by light microscopic inspection of cellular morphology, chelidonine primarily caused apoptosis, while sanguinarine and chelerythrine were effective via a so-termed bimodal cell death (apoptosis and primary necrosis). The relative efficiencies of the two modes depended on the applied dose. This study is the first implication for the possible use of these alkaloids in the therapy of uveal melanomas, for which no really efficient therapeutic regimen is available so far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 8 2006


  • Annexin V
  • Benzophenanthridine alkaloids
  • Cell death
  • DNA fragmentation
  • Flow cytometry
  • Uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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