Puerarin 6″-O-xyloside (PRX) is a major compound found in the root of the Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi. The present study aimed to investigate the antitumor activity of PRX against colon cancer and examine its possible mechanism. In the present study, the anti-proliferative effects of PRX against colon cell lines (SW480, LoVo and HCT-116) were evaluated using a Cell Counting Kit-8 assay, and the half maximal inhibitory concentration values of the SW480, LoVo and HCT-11 cells were 37.114, 49.213 and 43.022 µg/ml, respectively. Furthermore, the apoptosis of SW480 cells was detected using flow cytometry with Annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide staining. Subsequently, western blot analysis was performed to examine the expression of proteins associated with apoptosis, invasion and metastasis of tumors. The results showed that PRX possessed antitumor activity against colon cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. In addition, PRX significantly upregulated the expression levels of cleaved (c)-caspase-3, c-caspase-9, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated X protein and phosphorylated c-Jun terminal kinase, and downregulated the expression levels of Bcl-2, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3, MMP-9 and vascular endothelial growth factor (P<0.01). Therefore, the present study demonstrated the PRX exerted antitumor activity against colon cancer cell lines and that the anticancer mechanisms of PRX may be associated with the induction of mitochondria-mediated intrinsic apoptosis, and inhibition of tumor invasion and metastasis. The present study provides a scientific basis for the clinical use of PRX for the treatment of colon cancer.
Keywords: antitumor activity; apoptosis; colon cancer; mechanisms; puerarin 6″-O-xyloside.