Main content area

Celastrus orbiculatus extracts induce apoptosis in mTOR-overexpressed human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells

Qian, Yayun, Yang, Ting, Zhao, Xueyu, Yan, Yan, Li, Wenyuan, Fang, Chuanci, Hou, Jingjing, Tao, Li, Liu, Yanqing
BMC complementary and alternative medicine 2018 v.18 no.1 pp. 328
Celastrus orbiculatus, Oriental traditional medicine, Western blotting, alternative medicine, apoptosis, carcinoma, caspase-3, cell proliferation, dose response, flow cytometry, hepatoma, human cell lines, humans, inflammation, plasmids, proteins, rapamycin, signal transduction, transfection
BACKGROUND: Celastrus orbiculatus (Celastraceae) are used as traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammation and cancer. This study aims to evaluate the effect of Celastrus orbiculatus extract (COE) on the apoptosis in human hepatic carcinoma HepG2 cells with mTOR overexpression. METHODS: The stable expression of mTOR in HepG2 cells (HepG2/mTOR⁺) were established by lipofectin transfection of GV238-mTOR recombinant plasmids and further antibiotic selection. Human hepatic carcinoma HepG2/mTOR⁺ cells were treated with different concentrations (20, 40, 80, 160, and 320 μg/mL) of COE for 24 h. The cell proliferation upon COE treatment was detected by MTT. Apoptosis was measured by Flow Cytometry. The activity of mTOR signaling pathway was detected by Western Blotting. RESULTS: COE significantly inhibited the proliferation of HepG2/mTOR⁺ cells. The expression levels of Bax and Caspase-3 protein were increased in the HepG2/mTOR⁺ cells in a dose-dependent manner. The proteins expression of Bcl2, Bcl-2 L12, mTOR, phospho-mTOR, 4EBP1, phospho-4EBP1, P70S6k, and phospho-P70S6k in HepG2/mTOR⁺ cells were reduced in dose-dependent manners. Furthermore, COE and mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (RAPA) synergistically induced apoptosis in HepG2/mTOR⁺ cells by regulating apoptosis-related proteins and inhibiting mTOR signaling pathways. CONCLUSION: COE could inhibit the proliferation of HepG2/mTOR⁺ cells, and induce the cell apoptosis. The mechanisms may be related to the regulation of the expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-2 L12, and mTOR signaling pathways. These data suggest that COE may be a potential treatment for human hepatocellular carcinoma.