Puerarin inhibits non-small cell lung cancer cell growth via the induction of apoptosis

Oncol Rep. 2018 Apr;39(4):1731-1738. doi: 10.3892/or.2018.6234. Epub 2018 Jan 26.


Puerarin, an isoflavone isolated from Kudzu roots, has been demonstrated to have beneficial effect on cardiovascular and cerebral vascular diseases. Recently research has revealed that puerarin exerts an anticancer role in many different types of cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate the antitumor effects of puerarin on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Treatment of puerarin significantly inhibited the growth of NSCLC cell lines as determined by CCK-8 kit in vitro. Flow cytometry results indicated that puerarin treatments promoted NSCLC cell apoptosis. This result was further confirmed by western blot analysis of expression levels of proteins involved in the mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis pathway. Moreover, puerarin slightly induced cell autophagy through the PI3K/Akt and MAPK/Erk1/2 signaling pathways. In addition, a tumor xenograft model was established using nude mice, and the inhibitory effects on tumor growth by puerarin treatment were also detected. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that puerarin has anticancer activities and puerarin is a potential therapeutic agent for lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Autophagy / drug effects*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / administration & dosage*
  • Mice
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Isoflavones
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • puerarin