Turkish Journal of Urology
UROONCOLOGY - Original Article

Effects of betulinic acid on AKT/mTOR pathway in renal cell carcinoma


Department of Molecular Medicine, Aziz Sancar Institute of Experimental Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey


Department of Biochemistry, Istanbul Health and Technology University Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

Turk J Urol 2022; 48: 58-63
DOI: 10.5152/tud.2022.21276
Read: 225 Downloads: 103 Published: 01 January 2022

Objective: Renal cancer is the most lethal among urological cancer. Treatments of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) may be possible by immune checkpoint inhibitors and drug treatment targeting different molecules. We aimed to determine the apoptotic effect of betulinic acid and its effects on expressions of apoptosisassociated genes AKT-1 and mTOR in RCC cells.

Material and methods: In this study, we investigated the apoptotic activity of betulinic acid in CAKI-2 cell line and its effect on AKT-1 and mTOR gene expression levels. In order to do so, following analyses were conducted: WST-1 to identify the toxic effect of betulinic acid, Caspase-3/BCA to detect caspase enzyme activity, Annexin-V and ELISA to determine for apoptotic effect, and finally, real-time PCR for expression levels of AKT-1 and mTOR.

Results: Our study showed that different concentrations of betulinic acid induced apoptosis in renal cancer; however, no effect was observed in healthy cells. In gene expression analysis, there was statistically significant decrease in AKT-1 expression level while increasing mTOR expression level.

Conclusion: We suggested that betulinic acid with its apoptotic effect on RCC line and nontoxic effect on healthy cell line and the effects on AKT/mTOR pathway may be a potential anticancer drug promising for future studies.

Cite this article as: Atas MN, Ertug˘rul B, _ Iplik ES, Çakmakog˘lu B, Ergen A. Effects of betulinic acid on AKT/mTOR pathway in renal cell carcinoma. Turk J Urol. 2022; 48(1): 58-63

EISSN 2149-3057