Abstract Title:

Suppression of human lung cancer cell growth and migration by berbamine.

Abstract Source:

Cytotechnology. 2009 Dec 6. Epub 2009 Dec 6. PMID: 19967402

Abstract Author(s):

Huiying Duan, Jinling Luan, Qian Liu, Kazumi Yagasaki, Guoying Zhang

Article Affiliation:

Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Yantai University, No. 30, Qing Quan Lu, Lai Shan Qu, 264005, Yantai, Shandong Province, China.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of berbamine (BER), a naturally occurring small-molecule compound from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Berberis amurensis, on the growth and migration of human lung cancer A549 cell line. This cell line is the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) which constitutes 80% of lung cancer cases and remains an aggressive lung cancer associated with a poor patient survival. Our present results have shown that BER significantly suppressed the in vitro and ex vivo growth of A549 cells in dose- and time-dependent manners. Furthermore, Western blot analysis confirmed that BER dose-dependently down-regulated the expression of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and up-regulated the level of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, eventually leading the reduction of Bcl-2/Bax protein ratio in A549 cells. In addition, BER significantly inhibited the A549 cell migration at the low concentrations without restraining the cell growth. More importantly, BER significantly enhanced the anticancer activity of anticancer agents such as trichostatin A (the histone deacetylase inhibitor) and celecoxib (the inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2) by strongly reducing the viability and/or the Bcl-2/Bax protein ratio in A549 cells. Our findings suggest that BER may have the wide therapeutic and/or adjuvant therapeutic application in the treatment of human NSCLC.

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