Anti-Cancer Effects and Apoptosis by Korean Medicinal Herbs
Anti-Cancer Effects and Apoptosis by Korean Medicinal Herbs
Journal of Physiology & Pathology in Korean Medicine. 2003. Jun, 17(3): 819-825
  • Published : June 01, 2003
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Ko, Seong Gyu
Jun, Chan Yong
Park, Chong Hyeong
Bae, Hyun Su

pharbitis nil and Taraxacum mongolicum are representative herbs that have been used for cancer treatment in Korean traditional medicine. To understand the molecular basis of the antitumor function, we analyzed the effect of these herbs on proliferation and apoptosis of tumor cells using a gastric cancer cell line AGS. Cell counting assay showed that pharbitis nil strongly inhibit cell proliferation Of AGS whereas Taraxacum mongolicum exhibit no detectable effect on cellular growth. [��H]thymidine uptake analysis also demonstrated that DNA replication of AGS is suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by treatment with pharbitis nil. Additionally, tryphan blue exclusion assay showed that Pharbitis nil induce apoptotic cell death of AGS in a dose-dependent. To explore whether anti antiproliferative and/or proapototic property of Pharbitis nil is associated with their effect on gene expression, we performed RT-PCR analysis of cell cycle- and apoptosis-related genes. Interestingly, mRNA expression levels of c-Jun, c-Fos, c-Myc, and Cyclin D1 were markedly reduced by Pharbitis nil. Taraxacum mongolicum also showed inhibitory action on expression of these growth-promoting protooncogene but there effects are less significant, as compared to Pharbitis nil. Furthermore, it was also found that Pharbitis nil activates expression of the p53 tumor suppressor and its downstream effector p21Waf1, which induce G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Collectively, our data demonstrate that Pharbitis nil induce growth inhibition and apoptosis of human gastric cancer cells and these effects are accompanied with down-and up-regulation of growth-regulating protooncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, respectively. This observation thus suggests that the anticancer effect of Pharbitis nil might be associated with its regulatory capability of tumor-related gene expression.