Tetrandrine-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in Hep G2 cells

Life Sci. 2003 May 30;73(2):243-52. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(03)00266-2.


The effects of tetrandrine in the human hepatoblastoma G2 (Hep G2) cell line were investigated in this study. The results showed that tetrandrine not only inhibited Hep G2 growth but also induced apoptosis and blocked cell cycle progression in the G1 phase. ELISA assay demonstrated that tetrandrine significantly increased the expression of p53 and p21/WAF1 protein, which caused cell cycle arrest. An enhancement in Fas/APO-1 and its two form ligands, membrane-bound Fas ligand (mFasL) and soluble Fas ligand (sFasL), might be responsible for the apoptotic effect induced by tetrandrine. Taken together, p53 and Fas/FasL apoptotic system possibly participated in the antiproliferative activity of tetrandrine in Hep G2 cells.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Benzylisoquinolines*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins / analysis
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis
  • fas Receptor / physiology


  • Alkaloids
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Benzylisoquinolines
  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • fas Receptor
  • tetrandrine