Differential response of human melanoma and Ehrlich ascites cells in vitro to the ribosomeinactivating protein luffin

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The cytotoxicity and inhibitory effect on proliferation of the type 1 ribosome-inactivating protein luffin purified from the seeds of Luffa aegyptiaca were investigated both in human metastatic melanoma cells and in murine Ehrlich ascites tumour cells. Results indicate that luffin from the seeds of Luffa aegyptiaca is cytotoxic to the cell lines tested, with approximately 10 times greater potency in Ehrlich cells. Luffin was found to induce an increase in cytosolic oligonucleosome-bound DNA in both melanoma and Ehrlich ascites tumour cells, the level of DNA fragmentation in the former cell line being higher than in the latter. Experiments with melanoma cells indicate that an increase in cytosolic nucleosomes could be supportive of apoptosis as the type of cell death induced by luffin.

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