Baicalin, the major component of traditional Chinese medicine Scutellaria baicalensis induces colon cancer cell apoptosis through inhibition of oncomiRNAs

Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 27;8(1):14477. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32734-2.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the most frequently occurring cancers worldwide. Baicalin is isolated from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis and is its dominant flavonoid. Anticancer activity of baicalin has been evaluated in different types of cancers, especially in CRC. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the contribution of baicalin to the treatment of CRC are still unknown. Here, we confirmed that baicalin can effectively induce and enhance apoptosis in HT-29 cells in a dose-dependent manner and suppress tumour growth in xenografted nude mice. We further performed a miRNA microarray analysis of baicalin-treated and untreated HT-29 cells. The results showed that a large number of oncomiRs, including miR-10a, miR-23a, miR-30c, miR-31, miR-151a and miR-205, were significantly suppressed in baicalin-treated HT-29 cells. Furthermore, our in vitro and in vivo studies showed that baicalin suppressed oncomiRs by reducing the expression of c-Myc. Taken together, our study shows a novel mechanism for anti-cancer action of baicalin, that it induces apoptosis in colon cancer cells and suppresses tumour growth by reducing the expression of c-Myc and oncomiRs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / chemistry*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Flavonoids
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • baicalin