Salidroside induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Jul 16;398(1):62-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.06.033. Epub 2010 Jun 10.


Recently, salidroside (p-hydroxyphenethyl-beta-d-glucoside) has been identified as one of the most potent compounds isolated from plants of the Rhodiola genus used widely in traditional Chinese medicine, but pharmacokinetic data on the compound are unavailable. We were the first to report the cytotoxic effects of salidroside on cancer cell lines derived from different tissues, and we found that human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells (estrogen receptor negative) were sensitive to the inhibitory action of low-concentration salidroside. To further investigate the cytotoxic effects of salidroside on breast cancer cells and reveal possible ER-related differences in response to salidroside, we used MDA-MB-231 cells and MCF-7 cells (estrogen receptor-positive) as models to study possible molecular mechanisms; we evaluated the effects of salidroside on cell growth characteristics, such as proliferation, cell cycle duration, and apoptosis, and on the expression of apoptosis-related molecules. Our results demonstrated for the first time that salidroside induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer cells and may be a promising candidate for breast cancer treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Glucosides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Phenols / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Glucosides
  • Phenols
  • rhodioloside