Inonotus obliquus extract induces apoptosis in the human colorectal carcinoma's HCT-116 cell line

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Dec;96:1119-1126. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.11.111. Epub 2017 Nov 27.


Because of irregular dietary habits and lifestyle in Taiwan, the incidence and mortality rate of colorectal cancer have been increasing rapidly these years. This study investigated the inhibitory activity against the proliferation of human colorectal cancer HCT-116 cells by Inonotus obliquus extracts obtained from submerged fermentation. Cell viability was measured by the reduction of MTT and cell membrane integrity was determined by lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) release. The mRNA expression of proapoptosis and antiapoptosis mediators was assayed by real-time PCR, and the levels of p53 and NF-κB p65 were assessed using Western blot analysis. Furthermore, the influences of I. obliquus extracts to HCT-116 cells were evaluated by caspase-3 activity. The results can be summarized as, for the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, quantitative RT-PCR data showed up-regulation of proapoptotic genes (Bax, bad, and caspase-3) and increased Bax/bcl-2 ratio by I. obliquus extracts. Moreover, treating with 20 mg/mL I. obliquus extracts augmented caspase-3 activity in HCT-116 cells. Induction of cell cycle G0/G1 phase arrest: I. obliquus extracts up-regulated the mRNA expression of proapoptotic genes (p53, p21WAF1/CIP1) and down-regulated antiapoptotic gene (CyclinD1), while extracts of I. obliquus mycelia increased the expressions of p53 protein in HCT-116 cells. I. obliquus extracts decreased the expression of NF-κB p65 protein and COX-2 gene in HCT-116 cells. Taking together, I. obliquus extracts may be used as a potentially novel food material for health care to improve the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Keywords: COX-2; Colorectal cancer; Inonotus obliquus; Mitochondrial apoptotic pathway; NF-κB.

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic