Chan-Yu-Bao-Yuan-Tang induces apoptosis in NSCLC and SCLC cell lines via a mitochondria-mediated pathway

Xenobiotica. 2011 Jul;41(7):593-602. doi: 10.3109/00498254.2011.565818. Epub 2011 Mar 29.


Previous clinical studies have shown efficacy and safety of the traditional Chinese medicinal herb extract Chan-Yu-Bao-Yuan-Tang (CYBYT) in lung cancer patients. The effects of CYBYT on proliferation and apoptosis in the non-small cell lung cancer cell line NCI-H460 and the small cell lung cancer cell line NCI-H446 were investigated in vitro. CYBYT significantly induced antiproliferative effects of NCI-H460 and NCI-H446 cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The IC(50) values in NCI-H460 cells were 94.37 µg/mL (24 h) and 20.89 µg/mL (48 h), whereas in NCI-H446 cells IC(50) values were 214.72 µg/mL (24 h) and 114.58 µg/mL (48 h). Annexin V-FITC/PI staining showed CYBYT could significantly induce apoptosis in NCI-H460 and NCI-H446 cells, and the total apoptosis rates were positively correlated with the concentration and time of CYBYT treatment. Furthermore, treatment with the broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor (z-VAD-fmk) effectively protected NCI-H460 and NCI-H446 cells against CYBYT-triggered apoptosis. The apoptotic processes involved were a marked decrease in antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 and an increase in proapoptotic protein Bax. The release of mitochondrial cytochrome c into the cytosol was also observed, which, in turn, resulted in the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. CYBYT exerts antiproliferative and growth inhibition effects on NCI-H460 and NCI-H446 cells through the mitochondrial caspase-dependent cell death pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Annexin A5 / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Shape / drug effects
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Propidium / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / pathology*


  • Annexin A5
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • chan-yu-bao-yuan-tang
  • Propidium
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate