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Withaferin A Suppresses Anti-apoptotic BCL2, Bcl-xL, XIAP and Survivin Genes in Cervical Carcinoma Cells

Li Ye
Qian Song


Purpose: To investigate the effect of withaferin A on the suppression of the anti-apoptotic genes, BCL2, Bcl-xL, XIAP and Survivin), in cervical carcinoma cells.

Methods: Annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide (PI) staining was used for the investigation of cell apoptosis. RNA RNeasy Kits was used to isolate RNA and Omniscript RT to reverse and transcribe the mRNA. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was performed using Taq PCR Master Mix Kit.

Results: Withaferin A (WFA) treatment reduced mRNA and protein levels of antiapoptotic genes in MCF-7 and HeLa cervical carcinoma cells. Suppression of BCL2, Bcl-xL, XIAP and Survivin induced a significant anti-proliferative effect. Treatment with WFA at a concentration of 20 μM, decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis. In MCF-7 cells, knockdown of BCL2, Bcl-xL, XIAP and Survivin caused 4-fold enhancement in apoptosis rate and 53 % decrease in cell viability.

Conclusion: WFA significantly leads to knockdown of antiapoptotic genes and is, therefore, a promising treatment strategy for cervical cancer.

Keywords: Anti-apoptotic genes, Cervical cancer, Apoptosis, Cell viability, BCL2, Bcl-xL, XIAP and Survivin