Hydroxysafflor yellow A suppresses angiogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma through inhibition of p38 MAPK phosphorylation.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 Jan ;109:806-814. Epub 2018 Nov 5. PMID: 30551534
The antitumor effect of hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA), an active ingredient of the herb Carthamus tinctorius L. (Asteraceae) (safflower), was investigated in the current work. Researches of HSYA on vasculogenesis inhibition, along with the related molecular mechanisms, including the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and p38MAPK (COX-2, ATF-2, p-p38MAPK, and p38MAPK) signaling pathway in H22 tumor-bearing mice or HepG2 cells were performed. The animal experiments proved the level of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in H22-transplanted tumor tissue in mice markedly decreased by HSYA, and results both in vivo and in vitro confirmed that COX-2 expression was reduced significantly via p38MAPK|ATF-2 signaling pathway. According to the outcomes, HSYA suppressed p38MAPK phosphorylation in a concentration-dependent manner, while exerting no effect on the total p38MAPK protein expression. It was also showed that suppression of p38 activation by SB203580 decreased the HepG2 cell viability, proliferation, and migration, wherein HSYA exhibited a similar effect. Furthermore, Western blot analysis on caspase-3 and cleaved-caspase-3 revealed that HSYA could induce apoptosis of HepG2 cells. These findings provided experimental evidences that HSYA might be a promising anticancer agent for HCC.