Synovial sarcoma is a rare but highly malignant and metastatic disease. Despite its relative sensitivity to chemotherapies, the high recurrence and low 5-year survival rate for this disease suggest that new effective therapeutic agents are urgently needed. Marine antimicrobial peptide epinecidin-1 (epi-1), which was identified from orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides), exhibits multiple biological effects, including bactericidal, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities. However, the cytotoxic effects and mechanisms of epi-1 on human synovial sarcoma cells are still unclear. In this study, we report that epi-1 exhibits prominent antisynovial sarcoma activity in vitro and in a human SW982 synovial sarcoma xenograft model. Furthermore, we determined that calcium overload-induced calpain activation and subsequent oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are required for epi-1-mediated cytotoxicity. Interestingly, reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) plays a protective role against epi-1-induced cytotoxicity. Our results provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying epi-1-induced cell death in human SW982 cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas