Extracts from the prairie plant Symphoricarpos occidentalis or the natural product, Pheophorbide a, induce light-dependent vacuolation of human cells

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Tuescher, Jan M.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : Universtiy of Lethbridge, Department of Biological Sciences
In this thesis, we investigate the prairie plant species Symphoricarpos occidentalis for compounds of biological interest. We have characterized the effects of S. occidentalis extracts in different human cell lines by phenotypic assays and found that they induce a light dependent vacuolation of the endoplasmic reticulum and the nuclear envelope. Vacuolated cells show an intense lamin A/C signal, in particular at the location of the nuclear envelope derived vacuole. We found that vacuolation appeared independent of protein synthesis, vacuolated cells were alive at 16 h, and light co-treatment increased extract toxicity 10-fold by 96 h. Spectral analyses and phenotypic screening showed that the cyclic tetrapyrrole compound, Pheophorbide a, had a similar effect on human cells. Insight into cytoplasmic vacuolation might be beneficial as a tool to study nuclear envelope organization and contribute to the understanding of lamin-related diseases, such as Pelger-Huët anomaly.
vacuole , vacuolation , photosensitizer , human cells , Pheophorbide a , Symphoricarpos occidentalis , Western snowberry -- Therapeutic use -- Research , Medicinal plants -- Research , Materia medica, Vegetable , Botany, Medical -- Research , Pharmacognosy , Plant extracts -- Therapeutic use -- Research , Plant metabolites , Microbiological assay , Dissertations, Academic