Ferulic acid inhibits proliferation and promotes apoptosis via blockage of PI3K/Akt pathway in osteosarcoma cell

Am J Transl Res. 2016 Feb 15;8(2):968-80. eCollection 2016.


Ferulic acid, a ubiquitous phenolic acid abundant in corn, wheat and flax, has potent anti-tumor effect in various cancer cell lines. However, the anti-tumor effect of ferulic acid on osteosarcoma remains unclear. Therefore, we conduct current study to examine the effect of ferulic acid on osteosarcoma cells and explore the underlying mechanisms. In present study, ferulic acid inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in both 143B and MG63 osteosarcoma cells dose-dependently, indicated by MTT assay and Annexin V-FITC apoptosis detection. Additionally, ferulic acid induced G0/G1 phase arrest and down-regulated the expression of cell cycle-related protein, CDK 2, CDK 4, CDK 6, confirmed by flow cytometry assay and western blotting. Moreover, ferulic acid upregulated Bax, downregulated Bcl-2, and subsequently enhanced caspase-3 activity. More importantly, ferulic acid dose-dependently inhibited PI3K/Akt activation. Using adenoviruses expressing active Akt, the anti-proliferation and pro-apoptosis of ferulic acid were reverted. Our results demonstrated that ferulic acid might inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis via inhibiting PI3K/Akt pathway in osteosarcoma cells. Ferulic acid is a novel therapeutic agent for osteosarcoma.

Keywords: Osteosarcoma; PI3K/AKT; apoptosis; ferulic acid; proliferation.