Home HOME Neoplasma 2009 Neoplasma Vol.56, No.5, p.387-392, 2009

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Founded: 1954
ISSN 0028-2685
ISSN 1338-4317 (online)

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Neoplasma Vol.56, No.5, p.387-392, 2009

Title: Brazilein inhibits survivin protein and mRNA expression and induces apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells
Author: X. Zhong, B. Wu, Y. J. Pan, S. Zheng

Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinomas represent the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Survivin, a structurally unique member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family, is overexpressed in a wide range of malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma. Due to its involvement in cancer progression and treatment resistance, survivin is currently undergoing extensive investigation as a novel intervention target to induce apoptosis in cancer cells by phytochemicals or synthetic agents. Brazilein, a compound obtained in a large amount from the dried heartwood of Caesalpinia sappan Linn., which has long been used in traditional medicine in China, has some pharmacological activities. Human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells were treated with brazilein and analyzed for survivin protein and mRNA levels by Western blotting and real-time RT-PCR, respectively. Brazilein treatment of cells for 48 h at 5 and 10 µg/ml doses resulted in significantly decrease in survivin protein expression. We also observed that brazilein caused a strong decrease in survivin mRNA expression. In other studies, down-regulation of survivin by brazilein was associated with a strong and prominent caspases-9 and -3 activation as well as PARP cleavage. It was also shown that brazilein induced a strong apoptotic cell death, as shown by DNA ladder assay, and growth inhibition of HepG2 cells. Further studies are needed to investigate in vivo effect of brazilein on survivin expression and associated biological effects in hepatocellular carcinoma that could provide useful information for brazilein efficacy in the prevention/intervention of human hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: Brazilein; HepG2; Survivin, apoptosis
Year: 2009, Volume: 56, Issue: 5 Page From: 387, Page To: 392

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