Background and purpose: Artemisinin is an antimalarial drug exerting pleiotropic effects such as the inhibition of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B and of the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca++-ATPase (SERCA) of gene and enhance the expression of Pgp. (diluted 1:100 Santa Cruz Biotechnology Santa Cruz CA USA). Samples were washed twice with 1 mL of buffer B supplemented with 2 mmol·L? 1 dithiothreitol then subjected to the following investigations. 10 μg of immunoprecipitated proteins were directly probed with the same antibody (diluted 1:250 in PBS-BSA 1% Santa Cruz Biotechnology) to measure total SERCA protein while 50 μg were mixed with 2 mmol·L?1 ATP 2.5 mmol·L?1 phosphoenolpyruvate 7.5 U pyruvate kinase 8 U lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) 0.2 mmol·L?1 calmodulin to check SERCA activity as previously described (Krishna for 3 min at 4°C and the supernatant was collected and centrifuged at 13 000×for 5 min at 4°C. The new supernatant (cytosolic fraction) was transferred in other tubes whereas the pellet (mitochondrial fraction) was rinsed with 0.5 mL buffer A re-suspended in 0.25 mL buffer B (250 mmol·L?1 sucrose 15 mmol·L?1 K2HPO4 2 mmol·L?1 MgCl2 0.5 mmol·L?1 EDTA 5 w/v BSA) and sonicated (two bursts of 10 s). 10 μg from each cytosolic or mitochondrial fraction were subjected to 15% SDS-PAGE and probed with an anti-cytochrome c antibody (diluted 1:1000 in PBS-BSA 1% from Becton Dickinson). Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) Total RNA was obtained as previously described (Chomczynski and Sacchi 1987 5 μg of RNA were retro-transcribed by 200 U M-MLV reverse transcriptase (Invitrogen Milan Italy) in presence of 40 U·μL?1 RNAseOUT (Invitrogen). RT-PCR was carried out using IQ? SYBR Green Supermix (Biorad) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The same cDNA preparation was used for the quantitation of Pgp and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) used as an housekeeping gene. The sequences of Pgp primers for quantitative RT-PCR were 5′-TGCTGGAGCGGTTCTACG-3′ 5 R428 (Invitrogen). Cycling for Pgp was: R428 1 cycle at 94°C for 2 min followed by 45 cycles at 94°C for R428 30 s annealing at 55°C for 30 s extension at 72°C for 30 s. The sequences of GAPDH primers were 5′-GAAGGTGAAGGTCGGAGT-3′ 5 (Invitrogen). Cycling for GAPDH was: 1 cycle at 94°C for 2 min followed by 40 cycles at 94°C for 30 s annealing at 58°C for 30 s extension at 72°C for 30 s. The relative quantitation of each sample was performed comparing the Pgp PCR product with the R428 GAPDH product using the Biorad Software Gene Expression Quantitation (Biorad). Western blot analysis Pgp protein was detected by Western blotting as reported elsewhere (Riganti for 5 min and rinsed with 300 μL of citrate buffer (50 mmol·L?1 Na2HPO4 25 mmol·L?1 sodium citrate 0.1% Triton X-100) containing 10 μg·mL?1 PI and 1 mg·mL?1 RNAse (from bovine pancreas). After a 15 min incubation in the dark the intracellular fluorescence was detected by a FACSCalibur system (Becton Dickinson). For each analysis 10 0 events were collected and a gate was drawn on the forward scatter/side scatter dot plot to exclude dead cells and debris. The results of the cell cycle analysis were elaborated by the Cell Quest software (Becton Dickinson). Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) Cells were plated in 60 mm diameter dishes at confluence and 10 μg of nuclear proteins were used to detect NF-kB translocation as described (Aldieri < 0.05 was considered significant. Materials Foetal bovine serum RPMI 1640 HAM's F12 and DMEM medium were supplied by BioWhittaker (Verviers Belgium); plasticware for cell culture was from Falcon (Becton Dickinson Bedford MA USA). KN93 was purchased from Calbiochem (La Jolla CA USA). Electrophoresis reagents were obtained from Biorad (Hercules CA USA). When not otherwise specified the other reagents were purchased from Sigma Chemical Co. (St. Louis MO USA). Results Artemisinin inhibits SERCA activity and increases [Cain 1972 artemisinin also known as qinghaosu has attained a worldwide use as an antimalarial drug (Golenser oocytes no other transporters R428 are inhibited even at 50 μmol·L?1 PRKAA artemisinin (Eckstein-Ludwig Pgp which shows 37% homology with mammalian Pgp (Cortés-Selva gene promoter. Different transcription factor-binding sites are located on the R428 gene (Takara gene in HT29 cells. In summary our results showed that artemisinin and parthenolide were able to inhibit SERCA activity and to increase the [Ca++]i levels in HT29 cells. The transient increase of [Ca++]i may activate CaMKII which in turn phosphorylates and activates the.