Stigmasterol exhibits potent antitumor effects in human gastric cancer cells mediated via inhibition of cell migration, cell cycle arrest, mitochondrial mediated apoptosis and inhibition of JAK/STAT signalling pathway

J BUON. 2018 Sep-Oct;23(5):1420-1425.


Purpose: To investigate the anticancer effects of stigmasterol on the human gastric cancer cell line SNU-1, GES-1 normal cell line and to also investigate the effects on cancer cell migration, cell cycle phase distribution, apoptosis and JAK/STAT signalling pathway.

Methods: Growth inhibitory effects were evaluated by MTT assay. Apoptosis was detected by DAPI and annexin V/PI (PI) staining. Inverted phase contrast microscopy and fluorescence microscopy were used to study the effects on cell morphology. Protein expression analysis was performed by western blotting.

Results: The results showed that stigmasterol inhibited the growth of gastric cancer cells as observed by MTT and colony formation assay. The antiproliferative effects were due to induction of mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis as indicated by DAPI and annexin V/PI staining. This was further confirmed by Bax and Bcl-2 expression. Stigmasterol also inhibited cancer cell migration and induced G2/M cell cycle arrest in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, stigmasterol could also inhibit the JAK/STAT signalling pathway. Coclusion: The results of this study indicate that stigmasterol could prove beneficial in the treatment of gastric cancer and therefore further in vivo studies are required to confirm its efficacy within biosystems.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinases / metabolism*
  • STAT Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stigmasterol / pharmacology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology


  • STAT Transcription Factors
  • Stigmasterol
  • Janus Kinases