Background: Platycodin D (PD), a triterpenoid saponin isolated from the Chinese medicinal herb Platycodonisradix, possesses anti-cancer effects in several cancer cell lines. The aim of this study was to evaluate its anticanceractivities in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Materials and
Methods: MTT and colony formation assayswere performed to evaluate cell proliferation, along with flow cytometry and Western blotting for apoptosis.Cell adhesion was tested by observing cellular morphology under a microscope, while the transwell assay wasemployed to investigate the cell migration and invasion.
Results: PD concentration-dependently inhibited cellproliferation in both HepG2 and Hep3B cells, and significantly suppressed colony formation and induced apoptosisin HepG2 cells. The protein levels of cleaved poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and Bax were up-regulatedwhile that of survivin was down-regulated after treatment with PD. Moreover, PD not only obviously suppressedthe adhesion of HepG2 cells to Matrigel, but also remarkably depressed their migration and invasion induced by12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) .
Conclusions: PD presents anti-cancer potential in hepatocellularcarcinoma cells via inducing apoptosis, and inhibiting cell adhesion, migration and invasion, indicating promisingfeatures as a lead compound for anti-cancer agent development.