Research Article

Effect of wilfortrine on human hepatic cancer HepG2 cell proliferation potential in vitro

Published: November 30, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 15349-15355 DOI: 10.4238/2015.November.30.12

Abstract

Liver cancers are characterized by high morbidity and mortality owing to few effective drugs for its treatment. Wilfortrine has several pharmacological effects, including an inhibitory effect on liver cancer cell proliferation. However, whether wilfortrine can induce liver cancer cell apoptosis has not been elucidated. We investigated the role of wilfortrine on liver cancer cell HepG2 apoptosis and analyzed its possible mechanisms to provide a theoretical basis for clinical analysis of liver cancer pathogenesis. The liver cancer cell line HepG2 was treated with 40 mM wilfortrine for 48 h. Flow cytometry was applied to detect HepG2 cell apoptosis and cell cycle changes. Western blot was used to analyze Bcl-2 and Bax expression. The HepG2 cell apoptosis rate increased significantly after treatment with wilfortrine, especially the early apoptosis rate (P < 0.05). However, wilfortrine did not change the cell cycle of HepG2 cells. After wilfortrine treatment, Bcl- 2 expression decreased significantly (P < 0.05); on the contrary, Bax expression increased noticeably compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Wilfortrine can induce liver cancer cell HepG2 apoptosis, but with no effect on the cell cycle, mainly by promoting Bax expression and inhibiting anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 expression.

Liver cancers are characterized by high morbidity and mortality owing to few effective drugs for its treatment. Wilfortrine has several pharmacological effects, including an inhibitory effect on liver cancer cell proliferation. However, whether wilfortrine can induce liver cancer cell apoptosis has not been elucidated. We investigated the role of wilfortrine on liver cancer cell HepG2 apoptosis and analyzed its possible mechanisms to provide a theoretical basis for clinical analysis of liver cancer pathogenesis. The liver cancer cell line HepG2 was treated with 40 mM wilfortrine for 48 h. Flow cytometry was applied to detect HepG2 cell apoptosis and cell cycle changes. Western blot was used to analyze Bcl-2 and Bax expression. The HepG2 cell apoptosis rate increased significantly after treatment with wilfortrine, especially the early apoptosis rate (P < 0.05). However, wilfortrine did not change the cell cycle of HepG2 cells. After wilfortrine treatment, Bcl- 2 expression decreased significantly (P < 0.05); on the contrary, Bax expression increased noticeably compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Wilfortrine can induce liver cancer cell HepG2 apoptosis, but with no effect on the cell cycle, mainly by promoting Bax expression and inhibiting anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 expression.