Background: PC-SPES is an eight-herb mixture that was shown to have activity against prostate cancer. Recently, we isolated a major component (6% of the total ethanolic extract) known as baicalin from PC-SPES by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Methods: Baicalin was evaluated for its ability to inhibit clonal growth, and to induce cell cycle arrest of various cancer types (PC-3, DU145, LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines, MCF-7 breast cancer cell line, HL-60 myeloblastic leukemia cell line, and NB4 promyelocytic leukemia cell line). The ability of baicalin to induce apoptosis of cancer cells was examined by both staining with Annexin V and detection of cleavage of Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)(3). Western blot analysis examined the effect of baicalin on levels of p21(waf1) and p27(kip1) in those cells. Futhermore, induction of differentiation in HL-60 cells was measured by expression of CD11b.
Results: Baicalin inhibited the clonal proliferation of LNCaP and PC3 prostate cancer cell lines, and the HL-60 and NB4 myeloblastic/promyelocytic leukemia cell lines with a 50% inhibition (ED(50)) that ranged between 6.4 x 10(-6) to 12 x 10(-6) mol/L. Cell cycle analysis showed that baicalin (2 x 10(-5) mol/L, 4 days) caused a G(0)/G(1) and G(2)/M accumulation of LNCaP and HL-60 cells, respectively. Concomitantly, differentiation and apoptosis were induced in HL-60 cells, as measured by expression of CD11b antigen, staining with annexin V, and detection of cleavage of PARP. Moreover, baicalin enhanced the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p27(kip1) in LNCaP and HL-60 cells.
Conclusions: Baicalin inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells via apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, in which p27(kip1) may play a role. Baicalin may be a novel, adjunctive therapy for selected malignancies including prostate cancer.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.