Evaluating the Mechanism of Cell Death in Melanoma Induced by the Cannabis Extract PHEC-66

Ava Bachari, Nazim Nassar, Srinivasareddy Telukutla, Roby Zomer, Terrence J. Piva, Nitin Mantri

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Abstract

Research suggests the potential of using cannabinoid-derived compounds to function as anticancer agents against melanoma cells. Our recent study highlighted the remarkable in vitro anticancer effects of PHEC-66, an extract from Cannabis sativa, on the MM418-C1, MM329, and MM96L melanoma cell lines. However, the complete molecular mechanism behind this action remains to be elucidated. This study aims to unravel how PHEC-66 brings about its antiproliferative impact on these cell lines, utilising diverse techniques such as real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), assays to assess the inhibition of CB1 and CB2 receptors, measurement of reactive oxygen species (ROS), apoptosis assays, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) for apoptosis and cell cycle analysis. The outcomes obtained from this study suggest that PHEC-66 triggers apoptosis in these melanoma cell lines by increasing the expression of pro-apoptotic markers (BAX mRNA) while concurrently reducing the expression of anti-apoptotic markers (Bcl-2 mRNA). Additionally, PHEC-66 induces DNA fragmentation, halting cell progression at the G1 cell cycle checkpoint and substantially elevating intracellular ROS levels. These findings imply that PHEC-66 might have potential as an adjuvant therapy in the treatment of malignant melanoma. However, it is essential to conduct further preclinical investigations to delve deeper into its potential and efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number268
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalCells
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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