Background: Our previous study demonstrated cytotoxicity of a crude extract from Patrinia heterophylla Bunge (PHEB). In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of isovaltrate acetoxyhydrin (IA) isolated from PHEB on the gastric cancer cell SGC-7901, in order to explore a potential treatment for gastric cancer.
Methods: MTT assays were employed to determine the effects of IA on cell vitality and proliferation, with monitoring of cell morphology changes and examination of apoptosis with Annexin V-PI staining. Flow cytometry was used to assess cell cycle progression and mitochondrial membrane potential. The activity of caspase 3, 9 was evaluated by spectrophotometry, and the protein levels of Bax, Bcl2 and Cyclin B1 were analyzed with Western blotting of total proteins extracted from cultured cells.
Results: The results demonstrated direct toxicity of IA towards SGC-7901 cells. Evidence of apoptosis included blebbing and chromatin condensation. Annexin V-PI assays revealed early apoptosis, involving rapid depolarization of mitochondrial membranes and activity of caspase 3, 9 signaling pathways. Western blotting showed that Bcl2 and Bax proteins was down- and up-regulated, respectively, and cyclin B1 was up-regulated. Cell cycle analysis further indicated that IA could induce G2/M phase arrest in SGC-7901 cells.
Conclusions: In conclusion, we believe that IA induces apoptosis of SGC-7901 cells, therefore providing a potential therapeutic agent for treatment of gastric cancer.