Chondrosarcoma is a malignant soft tissue sarcoma with poor prognosis. Puerarin has been demonstrated to possess anticancer properties; however, the effects of puerarin in human chondrosarcoma cells remain unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the anticancer effects of puerarin in SW1353 human chondrosarcoma cells. SW1353 cells were treated with increasing concentrations of puerarin for different durations. Cell viability was evaluated using MTT assays. Cell apoptosis rates were determined by flow cytometry. The activities of caspase-3 and caspase-9 were measured by enzymatic assay. The expression of RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (Akt), phosphorylated-Akt, caspase-3 and apoptosis-associated proteins, including B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) were detected by western blotting. Puerarin significantly decreased cell viability and significantly induced apoptosis of SW1353 cells. In addition, puerarin significantly increased the enzymatic activities of caspase-3 and caspase-9. Puerarin treatment suppressed the expression of p-Akt and Bcl-2 but promoted the expression of Bax and cleaved caspase-3 in SW1353 cells. Notably, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 abrogated the decreased phosphorylation of Akt, suggesting that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway is involved in mediating the anticancer effects of puerarin. The data from the present study indicated that puerarin exhibits anticancer effects in SW1353 cells and may be a potential therapeutic drug for patients with chondrosarcoma.
Keywords: PI3K/Akt signaling pathway; SW1353 cells; apoptosis; chondrosarcoma; puerarin.