Inhibition of Autophagy Aggravates Arachis hypogaea L. Skin Extracts-Induced Apoptosis in Cancer Cells

Year Published: 2024


Int J Mol Sci


Chia-Hung Tsai,1,† Hui-Chi Huang,2,3,† Kuan-Jung Lin,4,5,* Jui-Ming Liu,4,6 Guan-Lin Chen,7 Yi-Hsien Yeh,3 Te-Ling Lu,8,9 Hsiang-Wen Lin,8,9 Meng-Tien Lu,7 and Po-Chen Chu7,*


The skin of Arachis hypogaea L. (peanut or groundnut) is a rich source of polyphenols, which have been shown to exhibit a wider spectrum of noteworthy biological activities, including anticancer effects. However, the anticancer activity of peanut skin extracts against melanoma and colorectal cancer (CRC) cells remains elusive. In this study, we systematically investigated the cytotoxic, antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-migration effects of peanut skin ethanolic extract and its fractions on melanoma and CRC cells.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Cell viability results showed that the ethyl acetate fraction (AHE) of peanut skin ethanolic crude extract and one of the methanolic fractions (AHE-2) from ethyl acetate extraction exhibited the highest cytotoxicity against melanoma and CRC cells but not in nonmalignant human skin fibroblasts. AHE and AHE-2 effectively modulated the cell cycle-related proteins, including the suppression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6), phosphorylation of Retinoblastoma (p-Rb), E2F1, Cyclin A, and activation of tumor suppressor p53, which was associated with cell cycle arrest and paralleled their antiproliferative efficacies. AHE and AHE-2 could also induce caspase-dependent apoptosis and inhibit migration activities in melanoma and CRC cells. Moreover, it is noteworthy that autophagy, manifested by microtubule-associated protein light chain 3B (LC3B) conversion and the aggregation of GFP-LC3, was detected after AHE and AHE-2 treatment and provided protective responses in cancer cells. Significantly, inhibition of autophagy enhanced AHE- and AHE-2-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis. Together, these findings not only elucidate the anticancer potential of peanut skin extracts against melanoma and CRC cells but also provide a new insight into autophagy implicated in peanut skin extracts-induced cancer cell death.