Korean Scutellaria baicalensis water extract inhibits cell cycle G1/S transition by suppressing cyclin D1 expression and matrix-metalloproteinase-2 activity in human lung cancer cells

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 27;133(2):634-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.10.057. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


Aim of the study: Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi is a widely used medicinal herb in several Asian countries including Korea. The various medicinal properties attributed to Scutellaria baicalensis include anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. The present study investigated the cytotoxicity of Scutellaria baicalensis water extract (SBWE) on A549 non-small-cell-lung cancer cells and the A549 expression of cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), and the effects of SBWE on cell cycle progression, especially the G1/S phase, and on cell motility.

Materials and methods: SBWE cytotoxicity was assessed by a standard colorimetric assay utilizing 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and expression of cyclin D1 and CDK4 protein in SBWE-treated A549 cells was assessed by Western blot analysis. Flow cytometry analysis was performed to determine the effect of SBWE on A549 cell cycle progression. A549 cell MMP-2 activity was examined by zymography. Cell motility and migration was assessed by a scratch wound healing assay.

Results: SBWE was not cytotoxic. The production of Cyclin D1, CDK4 and MMP-2 activity were significantly decreased in a SBWE dose-dependent manner, with maximum inhibition occurring at SBWE concentrations of 250 μg/ml and 500 μg/ml. SBWE inhibited cell cycle progression in the G1/S phase and significantly inhibited the motility of A549 cells.

Conclusions: Cyclin D1 protein may be associated with MMP-2 activity and cell motility. Thus, SBWE promotes a strong protective effect against MMP-2 mediated metastasis and cell proliferation through the down-regulation of cyclin D1. SBWE may be a useful chemotherapeutic agent for lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cyclin D1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Medicine, Korean Traditional
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Scutellaria baicalensis


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • CCND1 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scutellaria baicalensis extract
  • Cyclin D1
  • CDK4 protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • MMP2 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2