Gypenosides (Gyp), found in Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino, has attracted more attention owing to its wide bioactivities. However, the effects of Gyp on esophageal cancer cells and colon cancer cells are still unknown. The present study was to investigate the possible anti-proliferative and anti-migration activity of Gyp on human colon cancer cells SW620 and esophageal cancer cells Eca-109. Cell viability was evaluated using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Cell membrane integrity was evaluated using flow cytometry following propidium iodide staining. Apoptotic cell death was determined by nuclear 4'-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining. Generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ m) was analyzed by flow cytometry using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate and rhodamine 123 staining, respectively. Wound healing assay was carried out to investigate Gyp-inhibited migration of SW620 and Eca-109 cells. The results indicated that Gyp inhibited cell proliferation and migration in SW620 and Eca-109 cells in dose- and time-dependent manner. Gyp elevated intracellular ROS level, decreased the Δψ m, and induced apoptotic morphology such as cell shrinkage and chromatin condensation, suggesting oxidative stress and mitochondria-dependent cell apoptosis that might be involved in Gyp-induced cell viability loss in SW620 and Eca-109 cells. The findings indicate Gyp may have valuable application in clinical colon cancer and esophageal cancer treatments.
Keywords: Eca-109 cells; Gypenosides; SW620 cells; anti-migration; antitumor.