Dryocrassin ABBA Induces Apoptosis in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 Cells Through a Caspase-Dependent Mitochondrial Pathway


College of Life Sciences, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, China


Background: Biological and pharmacological activities of dryocrassin ABBA, a phloroglucinol derivative extracted from Dryopteris crassirhizoma, have attracted attention. In this study, the apoptotic effect of dryocrassin ABBA on human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells was investigated. Materials and Methods: We tested the effects of dryocrassin ABBA on HepG2 in vitro by MTT, flow cytometry, real-time PCR, and Western blotting. KM male mice were used to detect the effect of dryocrassin ABBA on H22 cells in vivo. Results: Dryocrassin ABBA inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. After treatment with 25, 50, and 75 g/mL dryocrassin ABBA, the cell viability was 68%, 60% and 49%, respectively. Dryocrassin ABBA was able to induce apoptosis, measured by propidium iodide (PI)/annexin V-FITC double staining. The results of real-time PCR and Western ting showed that dryocrassin ABBA up-regulated p53 and Bax expression and inhibited Bcl-2 expression which led to an activation of caspase-3 and caspase-7 in the cytosol, and then induction of cell apoptosis. In vivo experiments also showed that dryocrassin ABBA treatment significantly suppressed tumor growth, without major side effects. Conclusions: Overall, these findings provide evidence that dryocrassin ABBA may induce apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells through a caspase-mediated mitochondrial pathway.