Pitavastatin induces caspase-mediated apoptotic death through oxidative stress and DNA damage in combined with cisplatin in human cervical cancer cell line

Hacıseyitoğlu A. Ö., DOĞAN T., Dilsiz S., CANPINAR H., EKEN A., Bucurgat Ü. Ü.

Journal of Applied Toxicology, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jat.4565
  • Journal Name: Journal of Applied Toxicology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Environment Index, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: apoptosis, cervical cancer, combination therapy, cytotoxicity, pitavastatin
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Pitavastatin (PITA) is a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor to treat hypercholesterolemia and in recent studies is focused that its potential anti-cancer effect. This study was aimed to elucidate the effect of PITA alone and in combination with cisplatin on cervical cancer cells (HeLa) in vitro. Cytotoxicity of PITA (5–200 μM) was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and neutral red uptake (NRU) assays for 24, 48, and 72 h. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle analyses were performed in flow cytometry (0.1–100 μM). The evaluation of genotoxic effects and oxidative DNA damage of PITA (2–200 μM) were performed with standard comet assay, formamidopyrimidine glycosylase (fpg)-modified comet assay, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) activation in HeLa cells. PITA alone reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner (20–200, 20–200, and 5–200 μM for 24, 48, and 72 h, respectively, in MTT). The combined treatment of PITA with cisplatin resulted in significantly greater inhibition of cell viability. ROS and DNA damage increased significantly at 100 μM for 4 h and 20 μM for 24 h, respectively. PITA-induced apoptosis, an increased proportion of sub G1 cells, was monitored, and also, it increased the expression of active caspase-9 and caspase-3 and upregulated cleaved poly adenosine diphosphate ribose polymerase (PARP) by western blotting and caspase 3/8/9 multiple assay kit. We conclude that PITA can be used to efficiently cervical cancer studies, and promising findings have been obtained for further studies.