Pardaxin is an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) that was first isolated from secretions of the Red Sea Moses sole. The role of pardaxin in inducing apoptosis for preventing cancer has not yet been investigated. In the present study, we examined the antitumor activity of pardaxin against human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 cells; pardaxin inhibited cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis, as demonstrated by an increase in the externalization of plasma membrane phosphatidylserine and the presence of chromatin condensation. Additionally, pardaxin-treated cells showed elevation of caspase-3/7 activities, disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential, and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Inhibition of ROS production and caspase-3/7 activities reduced pardaxin-induced effects. Taken together, these findings suggest that pardaxin may be a potential anticancer agent for selectively inducing apoptosis in cancer cells.
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