Flavonoids purified from Rhus verniciflua Stokes actively inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Nov 30;1726(3):309-16. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2005.08.010. Epub 2005 Sep 15.


Many studies have suggested that dietary flavonoids are anticancer agents that induce the apoptosis of cancer cells. However, the effects of flavonoids on the induction of apoptosis in osteosarcoma cells are unclear. Previously, a flavonoid fraction, consisting mainly of protocatechuic acid, fustin, fisetin, sulfuretin, and butein, herein named RCMF (the RVS chloroform-methanol fraction), was prepared from a crude acetone extract of Rhus verniciflua Stokes (RVS). This study evaluated the effects of RCMF on the proliferation and apoptosis using human osteosarcoma (HOS) cells. The mechanism of growth inhibition of the HOS cells by the flavonoid fraction, RCMF, was also assessed. The results demonstrated that RCMF exhibited sensitive growth inhibition and induced apoptosis in HOS cells. PARP cleavage was closely associated with the RCMF-induced apoptosis of the HOS cells. Furthermore, the activation of caspase 8 and Bax, the inhibition of Bcl-2 expression, and the release of cytochrome c are believed to be involved in the RCMF-mediated apoptosis. Collectively, these findings suggest that RCMF is an agent which may be capable of inducing sensitive growth inhibition and apoptosis in HOS cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / toxicity*
  • Apoptosis*
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification
  • Flavonoids / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism
  • Rhus / chemistry


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases