The membrane effects of melittin on gastric and colorectal cancer

Autoři: Caroline Soliman aff001;  Sarah Eastwood aff001;  Vi Khanh Truong aff001;  Paul A. Ramsland aff001;  Aaron Elbourne aff001
Působiště autorů: School of Science, RMIT University, Bundoora West Campusm Bundoora, Victoria, Australia aff001;  Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, RMIT University, Melbourne City Campus, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia aff002;  Department of Immunology, Central Clinical School (Monash University), Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia aff003;  Department of Surgery Austin Health (University of Melbourne), Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224028


The cytotoxic effects of melittin, a bee-venom peptide, have been widely studied towards cancer cells. Typically, these studies have examined the effect of melittin over extended-time courses (6–24 hours), meaning that immediate cellular interactions have been overlooked. In this work, we demonstrate the rapid effects of melittin on both gastric and colorectal cancer, specifically AGS, COLO205 and HCT-15 cell lines, over a period of 15 minutes. Melittin exhibited a dose dependent effect at 4 hours of treatment, with complete cellular death occurring at the highest dose of 20 μg/mL. Interestingly, when observed at shorter time points, melittin induced cellular changes within seconds; membrane damage was observed as swelling, breakage or blebbing. High-resolution imaging revealed treated cells to be compromised, showing clear change in cellular morphology. After 1 minute of melittin treatment, membrane changes were observed, and intracellular material could be seen expelled from the cells. Overall, these results enhance our understanding of the fast acting anti-cancer effects of melittin.

Klíčová slova:

Apoptosis – Cancer treatment – Cell death – Cell membranes – Cell staining – Colorectal cancer – Scanning electron microscopy – Membrane staining


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2019 Číslo 10