Abstract Title:

Berberine activates caspase-9/cytochrome c-mediated apoptosis to suppress triple-negative breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Abstract Source:

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Aug 18 ;95:18-24. Epub 2017 Aug 18. PMID: 28826092

Abstract Author(s):

Yuwan Zhao, Zuolei Jing, Jian Lv, Zhiwei Zhang, Jintao Lin, Xuejiao Cao, Zinan Zhao, Pixu Liu, Weifeng Mao

Article Affiliation:

Yuwan Zhao


Berberine (BBR) is an isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from Cotridis rhizoma and exhibits multiple biological roles including anti-microbe, anti-inflammation and anti-tumor activities. In this study, two triple-negative breast cancer cell (TNBC) lines, MDA-MB-231 and BT549, were used to investigate the effect of BBR on growth of TNBC in vitro and in vivo. 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was used to evaluate the viability of cells treated with BBR. After 48h treatments, a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of BBR to BT549 and MDA-MB-231 cells are at 16.575±1.219μg/ml and 18.525±6.139μg/ml respectively. BBR reduced colony formation of BT549 and MDA-MB-231 cells. The wound-healing assay showed BBR decreased breast cancer cell migrations (P<0.01). AnnexinV-PI staining assay confirmed BBR induced cellular apoptosis. The expressions of caspase-3, caspase-9, Bcl-2 and Bax were detected by western blot, which showed BBR activated caspase-3, 9 and Bax, but down-regulated Bcl-2 expression. BBR promoted the release of cytochrome c through the immunofluorescent analysis (P<0.01). We also found BBR increased the level of cellularγH2AX and increased the expression of Ligase4, which suggests BBR induces the double-strand breaks (DSB). These results thus demonstrated that BBR induced DSB, subsequently increased the release of cytochrome c and eventually triggered the caspase9-dependent apoptosis. In addition, we used a MDA-MB-231 mouse-xenograftmodel to evaluate the effect of BBR on tumor growth. BBR suppressed tumor growth and increased caspase-9 levels in xenograft tumors through immunohistochemistry analysis (P<0.01). Taken together, these results demonstrate that BBR activates caspase-9/cytochrome c-mediated apoptosis to inhibit the growth of TNBC breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Study Type : Animal Study, In Vitro Study

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