Solamargine derived from Solanum nigrum induces apoptosis of human cholangiocarcinoma QBC939 cells

Oncol Lett. 2018 May;15(5):6329-6335. doi: 10.3892/ol.2018.8171. Epub 2018 Mar 5.


Solamargine, an active ingredient of Solanum nigrum, has been previously revealed to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. However, the effect of solamargine on human cholangiocarcinoma cells and the underlying molecular mechanism remain unknown. In the present study, the molecular mechanism underlying the anti-cancer effect of solamargine was assessed in human cholangiocarcinoma QBC939 cells. The results of the present study revealed that solamargine inhibited the viability of QBC939 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, solamargine significantly induced the apoptosis of QBC939 cells and altered the mitochondrial membrane potential of cells. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that solamargine decreased the mRNA level of B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-extra-large and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein but increased the mRNA level of Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax). In addition, western blot analysis demonstrated that solamargine inhibited the protein expression of Bcl-2 and poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP), and promoted the protein expression of Bax, cleaved PARP, caspase 3, cleaved caspase 3 and caspase 7. Therefore, the results of the present study revealed that solamargine may induce apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway and alter the level of apoptosis-associated proteins in human cholangiocarcinoma QBC939 cells. This in vitro study demonstrated that solamargine may be an effective chemotherapeutic agent against cholangiocarcinoma in clinical practice.

Keywords: apoptosis; human cholangiocarcinoma; solamargine.