LRP1-Mediated Endocytosis May Be the Main Reason for the Difference in Cytotoxicity of Curcin and Curcin C on U2OS Osteosarcoma Cells

Siying Qin, Xueying Wang, Pan Han, Zhiping Lai, Yingying Ren, Rui Ma, Cheng Cheng, Ting Wang, Ying Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Curcin and Curcin C, both of the ribosome-inactivating proteins of Jatropha curcas, have apparent inhibitory effects on the proliferation of osteosarcoma cell line U20S. However, the inhibitory effect of the latter is 13-fold higher than that of Curcin. The mechanism responsible for the difference has not been studied. This work aimed to understand and verify whether there are differences in entry efficiency and pathway between them using specific endocytosis inhibitors, gene silencing, and labeling techniques such as fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) labeling. The study found that the internalization efficiency of Curcin C was twice that of Curcin for U2OS cells. More than one entering pathway was adopted by both of them. Curcin C can enter U2OS cells through clathrin-dependent endocytosis and macropinocytosis, but clathrin-dependent endocytosis was not an option for Curcin. The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) was found to mediate clathrin-dependent endocytosis of Curcin C. After LRP1 silencing, there was no significant difference in the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) and endocytosis efficiency between Curcin and Curcin C on U2OS cells. These results indicate that LRP1-mediated endocytosis is specific to Curcin C, thus leading to higher U2OS endocytosis efficiency and cytotoxicity than Curcin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number771
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • Curcin
  • Curcin C
  • endocytosis
  • osteosarcoma U20S cells
  • ribosome-inactivating proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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