Abstract Title:

Hypoxia increases the apoptotic response to betulinic acid and betulin in human non-small cell lung cancer cells.

Abstract Source:

Chem Biol Interact. 2021 Jan 5 ;333:109320. Epub 2020 Nov 9. PMID: 33181113

Abstract Author(s):

Justyna Kutkowska, Leon Strzadala, Andrzej Rapak

Article Affiliation:

Justyna Kutkowska


Betulinic acid and betulin show promising activity against cancers cells, but the mechanism of their action is still unclear. In this study, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines: A549, H358 and NCI-H1703 were treated with betulinic acid and betulin under normoxic and hypoxic conditions as hypoxia is critically involved in the response of solid tumors to chemotherapy. The treatment inhibits viability and proliferation of NSCLC cells. The anti-proliferative effect was induced by G1 cell cycle arrest with increased p21 expression and decreased cyclin D1 and cyclin B1 expression. Additionally, downregulation of p-GSK3β activity and the Wnt/β-catenin pathway were also observed under hypoxia. We found that hypoxia increased apoptosis in NSCLC cells. Cell death was associated with changes in the expression of proteins involved in the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and induction of apoptotic death by caspase activation. Additionally, hypoxia exposure deregulated HIF-1α and p53 expression levels. Importantly, treatment with betulinic acid and betulin reduced colony-forming ability under normoxia, however, only betulinic acid reduced clonogenic activity under hypoxia. Our findings that betulinic acid increases apoptotic cell death and clonogenic activity under hypoxic conditions reveal new attractive strategies for treating hypoxic cancer tumors, such as NSCLC.

Print Options

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2022 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.