The anticancer effect of Scutellaria baicalensis extract has recently become a topic of interest. In this study, the anticancer effects and underlying mechanisms of wogonoside, the main constituent of Scutellaria baicalensis, were investigated in a human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line in vitro. The effects of wogonoside on the proliferation, cell cycle progression and apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma cells were examined. Western blotting was employed to analyze the proteins associated with the biological effects of wogonoside. Wogonoside exerted anti-proliferation properties in vitro. HCC cell growth was attenuated by wogonoside (8 µM) treatment. Cell cycle progression analysis and DNA ladder assay revealed that apoptosis was enhanced in wogonoside-treated cells and that cell cycle arrest occurred in the G2/M phase. It was also demonstrated that increased apoptosis was accompanied by increased levels of Bax protein and decreased levels of Bcl-2 protein. The results of this study suggest that wogonoside may represent a potential therapeutic agent against HCC.
Keywords: Bax; apoptosis; hepatocellular carcinoma; wogonoside.