p53 is a key regulator for osthole-triggered cancer pathogenesis

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:175247. doi: 10.1155/2014/175247. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Osthole has been reported to have antitumor activities via the induction of apoptosis and inhibition of cancer cell growth and metastasis. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects of osthole in human colon cancer remain unclear. In the present study, we have assessed osthole-induced cell death in two different human colon cancer cell lines, HCT116 and SW480. Our results also showed that osthole activated proapoptotic signaling pathways in human colon cancer cells. By using cell culture insert system, osthole reduced cell motility in both human colon cancer cell lines. This study also provides evidence supporting the potential of osthole in p53 activation. Expression of p53, an apoptotic protein, was remarkably upregulated in cells treated with osthole. Importantly, the levels of phosphorylation of p53 on Ser15 (p-p53) and acetylation of p53 on Lys379 (acetyl-p53) were increased under osthole treatment. Our results also demonstrated that p53 was activated followed by generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Our study provides novel insights of p53-mediated responses under osthole treatment. Taken together, we concluded that osthole induces cancer cell death and inhibits migratory activity in a controlled manner and is a promising candidate for antitumor drug development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Coumarins / administration & dosage*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4 / biosynthesis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis*


  • Coumarins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • osthol