Akebia trifoliate (Thunb.) Koidz Seed Extract Inhibits the Proliferation of Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Lines via Inducing Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:192749. doi: 10.1155/2014/192749. Epub 2014 Oct 20.


Akebia Fructus has long been used for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in China, while the molecular mechanism remains obscure. Our recent work found that Akebia trifoliate (Thunb.) Koidz seed extract (ATSE) suppressed proliferation and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in SMMC-7721. The present study aimed to throw more light on the mechanism. ER stress occurred after ATSE treatment in HepG2, HuH7, and SMMC-7721 cells, manifested as ER expansion, and SMMC-7721 was the most sensitive kind in terms of morphology. Cell viability assay showed that ATSE significantly inhibited cells proliferation. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that ATSE leads to an upward tendency of G0/G1 phase and a reduced trend of the continuous peak after G2/M phase in HepG2; ATSE promoted apoptosis in HuH7 and a notable reduction in G0/G1 phase; ATSE does not quite influence cell cycles of SMMC-7721. Western blot analysis showed an increased trend of the chosen ER stress-related proteins after different treatments but nonsignificantly; only HYOU1 and GRP78 were decreased notably by ATSE in HuH7. Affymetrix array indicated that lots of ER stress-related genes' expressions were significantly altered, and downward is the main trend. These results suggest that ATSE have anticancer potency in HCC cells via partly inducing ER stress.