Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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Paris polyphylla extract inhibits proliferation and promotes apoptosis in A549 lung cancer cells

Ruolan Hu, Wei Yu, Yan Zhuo, Ya Yang, Xiaogang Hu


Purpose: To investigate the effect of Paris polyphylla extract (PPE) on proliferation and apoptosis in A549 human lung cancer cells.

Methods: Morphological changes were examined by microscopy in A549 cells after exposure to PPE. Trypan blue staining of living cells was used to aid the construction of the cell growth curve after treatment with different concentrations of PPE. The influence of PPE on cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle were determined by MTT assay. Protein expressions of key apoptosis-related enzymes were determined by immuno-cytochemical method.

Results: PPE inhibited the growth of A549 lung cancer cells at a concentration range of 12.5 – 200.0 μg/mL. Flow cytometry revealed that PPE promoted apoptosis in A549 cells. The proportion of cells in G0/G1-phase increased significantly (p < 0.01), while the proportion of cells in S- and G2/M-phases decreased correspondingly, indicating that the cells were in G0/G1-phase arrest. Cell cycle arrest and apoptosis-inducing effect gradually increased with increase in PPE concentration. With increasing concentration of PPE, there was significant increase in the expressions of caspase-8, caspase-3 and caspase-9, but significant decrease in Ki-67, p21ras protein (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: PPE exerts pronounced inhibitory activity on the proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells. It also induces apoptosis in A549 cells, most probably by a mechanism related to Ki-67 and p21 ras protein expression, and arrest of cell cycle in G0/G1-phase.

Keywords: Paris polyphylla, Antitumor activity, Lung cancer, A549 cells, p21 ras protein expression, Caspase, Cell cycle arrest, Apoptosis
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