Genipin's apoptotic effects on cancer, mediated through p53 and Mdm2


            Genipin, a chemical derived from the Gardenia flower, has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-apoptotic, and anti-carcinogenic traits. Recent scientific literature surrounding genipin also confirms that the chemical may act through a cross-linking mechanism, allowing it to bind to primary amines and possibly cause the phenomena described. The murine double minute protein (Mdm2) functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase, specifically targeting the N-terminus of p53 for proteasomal degradation. p53 is an essential tumor suppressor protein, involved in a number of cellular processes, the most important of which is its regulation of the cell cycle. Mdm2 and p53 down regulate each other, and in cancer, Mdm2 expression is often altered as a means of rendering p53 dysfunctional. Genipin's cross-linking mechanism may allow it to bond with the lysine group on p53,  assisting the Mdm2 ubiquitin ligase, thus allowing overexpressed p53 to degrade, causing cancer cells to apoptose properly. In this experiment, increasing levels of Genipin at 0, 45, 90, and 135  µg/mL were incubated with Hela cells, a human cervical carcinoma cell, and HaCaT cells, a human keratinocyte cell line. The data reflected increased levels of apoptosis with increased dosages, as well as a change in p53 and Mdm2 levels, as measured at 0, 24, and 48 hour time intervals for each of the dosages in each cell line. The data suggests that genipin could be developed into a possible form of chemotherapeutic treatment.

Genipin's apoptotic effects on cancer, mediated through p53 and Mdm2: An overview