Berberine hydrochloride inhibits cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis of non-small cell lung cancer via the suppression of the MMP2 and Bcl-2/Bax signaling pathways.
Oncol Lett. 2018 May ;15(5):7409-7414. Epub 2018 Mar 13. PMID: 29725453
Berberine, also known as berberine hydrochloride and isoquinoline alkaloid, is a major alkaloid from. Berberine's extensive biological properties have previously been studied, and it has been used clinically for the treatment of diarrhea, hypertension, diabetes and other diseases. The present study aimed to determine the possible anticancer effects of berberine hydrochloride treatment on human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell proliferation and apoptosis via the matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and the B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)/Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) signaling pathway. Human A549 lung carcinoma cells were exposed to various concentrations of berberine hydrochloride in order to analyze the possible anticancer effects on NSCLC cell proliferation and apoptosis, using a MTT assay and an Annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide apoptosis kit. Subsequently, the present study detected the expression of MMP-2, Bcl-2, Bax and Janus kinase 2 (Jak2). Berberine hydrochloride treatment inhibited the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and nuclear factorκB (NF-κB) and transcription factor AP-1 (AP-1) proteins, in A549 cells. Firstly, it was revealed that berberine hydrochloride treatment may inhibit proliferation, increase cytotoxicity and enhance apoptosis in A549 cells. Subsequently, treatment with berberine hydrochloride significantly downregulated MMP-2 protein expression, increased the activity of the Bcl-2/Bax signaling pathway and suppressed the Jak2/VEGF/NF-κB/AP-1signaling pathways. These results suggest that berberine hydrochloride may be a potential novel anticancer drug, since it inhibits cell proliferation and promotes the rate of apoptosis of NSCLC cells by the suppression of the MMP-2, Bcl-2/Bax and Jak2/VEGF/NF-κB/AP-1 signaling pathways.