Extract of Zuojin Pill ([characters: see text]) induces apoptosis of SGC-7901 cells via mitochondria-dependent pathway

Chin J Integr Med. 2015 Nov;21(11):837-45. doi: 10.1007/s11655-015-2043-3. Epub 2015 Apr 6.


Objective: To observe the effects of water extract of Zuojin Pill ([characters: see text], ZJP) on inhibiting the growth of human gastric cancer cell line SGC-7901 and its potential mechanism.

Methods: Effects of ZJP on SGC-7901 cells growth were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, cell apoptosis and cell cycle were determined by flow cytometry, and apoptosis induction was detected by means of DNA gel electrophoresis. The cellular mechanism of drug-induced cell death was unraveled by assaying oxidative injury level of SGC-7901 cell, mitochondrial membrane potentials, expression of apoptosis-related genes, such as B cell lymphoma/lewkmia-2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2 associated X protein (Bax) and cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-9.

Results: ZJP exerted evident inhibitory effect on SGC-7901 cells by activating production of reactive oxygen species and elevating Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in SGC-7901 cells, leading to attenuation of mitochondrial membrane potential and DNA fragmentation.

Conclusions: ZJP inhibits the cancer cell growth via activating mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway. ZJP can potentially serve as an antitumor agent.

Keywords: Chinese medicine; Zuojin Pill; apoptosis; mitochondria-dependent pathway; reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Colorimetry
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / drug effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • zuojin