Activation of dynamin-related protein 1 - Dependent mitochondria fragmentation and suppression of osteosarcoma by cryptotanshinone

Jia Hau Yen, Hung Sen Huang, Chia Ju Chuang, Sheng Teng Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Discovering how to regulate mitochondrial function to reduce cancer growth holds great potential for future cancer therapy development. Here we explore the effects of cryptotanshinone (CPT), a natural product derived from Salvia miltiorrhiza, on mitochondria of osteosarcoma (OS) both in vitro and in vivo, and further elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Methods: Cytotoxicity in the CPT treated OS cells was analyzed by flow cytometry, CCK8, TUNEL assay and colony formation assays. Flow cytometric analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of CPT on cell cycle of OS cells. Mitochondrial morphology was examined by staining with the mitochondrial membrane potential -sensitive fluorochrome, MitoTracker Red (CMXRos). Immunoblotting, confocal-immunofluorescence staining, co-immunoprecipitation were used to examine the expression and interaction between CPT-mediated Drp1 and Bax. Finally, the synergistic effect of CPT on OS cells was validated using a mouse xenograft tumor model. Results: In this study, we found CPT treatment induced S-phase arrest, apoptosis, and mitochondrial fragmentation in OS cells. CPT also effectively activated caspase-dependent apoptosis, which could be blocked by pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK. Moreover, we herein provide evidence that treatment with CPT resulted in mitochondrial fragmentation, which is mediated by dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), a key mediator of mitochondrial fission. Pursuing this observation, downregulation of Drp1 via silencing RNA could abrogate the induction of apoptosis and mitochondrial fragmentation induced by CPT. Finally, we demonstrate that CPT induced Drp1, which interacted directly with Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax), which contributed to driving Bax translocation from the cytosol to the mitochondria. Conclusions: Our findings offer insight into the crosstalk between mitochondrial fragmentation and inhibition of osteosarcoma cell growth in response to CPT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 01 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Cryptotanshinone (CPT)
  • Drp1
  • Mitochondria fragmentation
  • Osteosarcoma


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