Korean Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi methanol extracts inhibits metastasis via the Forkhead Box M1 activity in hepatocellular carcinoma cells

J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Aug 8;155(1):847-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.05.053. Epub 2014 Jun 6.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, commonly known as skullcaps, and it has been widely used as traditional therapeutic herb in several eastern Asia including Korea, China and Japan because of its remarkable anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Our study focuses on the anti-metastatic effects of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Materials and methods: Methanol extract of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi was examined for identification of its composition by HPLC-MS/MS. The extract was evaluated for the anti-metastasis activity using HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells via immunoblotting and RT-PCR. For mechanical study, specific Forkhead Box M1 (FOXM1) vector was transfected to HepG2 cells.

Results: Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi potentially inhibited proliferation of HepG2 cells dose dependently. Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi decreased metastasis through the regulation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and FOXM1 activities at the transcription and translation levels.

Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi could be a potent chemotherapeutic agent against HCC. Its clinical use guarantee for further study and individual flavonoids from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi should also be investigated.

Keywords: Anti-metastasis; Flavonoids; Forkhead Box M1 (FOXM1); Human hepatocellular carcinoma; Korean Scutellaria Baicalensis Georgi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Forkhead Box Protein M1
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / chemistry*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • FOXM1 protein, human
  • Forkhead Box Protein M1
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2