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Myrcene exerts anti-tumor effects on oral cancer cells <i>in vitro</i> via induction of apoptosis

Zexiu Wu
Zhenmei Li
Yuan Liang


Purpose: To investigate the anticancer potential of myrcene against oral cancer cells.
Methods: The effect of myrcene on oral cancer cell growth were studied using CCK-8 proliferation and
clonogenic assays, while Annexin V-FITC/PI and DAPI staining methods were used for the determination of its effect on cell apoptosis. Protein expression levels were assayed by western blotting technique. Wound healing and Transwell chamber assays were used to determine the effect of myrcene on oral cancer cell migration and invasion, respectively.
Results: Myrcene significantly and dose-dependently inhibited oral cancer cell growth (p < 0.05). The anti-proliferative effect of myrcene was comparatively lower on Hs27 human fibroblast cells than on SCC9 oral cancer cells. Myrcene stimulated apoptosis in human oral cancer cells via enhancement of Bax expression and repression of Bcl-2 expression. The percentage of early and late apoptotic cells increased from 4.03 in untreated control to 27.77 when treated with 20 μM myrcene. Moreover, myrcene in vitro significantly suppressed the migration and invasion of oral cancer cells (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: These results indicate that myrcene exerts potent anticancer effects on oral cancer cells via induction of apoptosis, and should be further investigated in vivo for this purpose.