Radix Tetrastigma Hemsleyani Flavone Induces Apoptosis in Human Lung Carcinoma A549 Cells by Modulating the MAPK Pathway

  • Zhong, Liang-Rui (TongDe Hospital of ZheJiang Province, Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University) ;
  • Chen, Xian (ZheJiang HuaYi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.) ;
  • Wei, Ke-Min (Zhejiang Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine)
  • Published : 2013.10.30


Radix Tetrastigma Hemsleyani Flavone (RTHF) is widely used as a traditional herb for its detoxification and anti-inflammation activity. Recently, several studies have shown that RTHF can inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in human cancer cell lines. However, the mechanisms are not completely understood yet. In this study we investigated the potential effects of RTHF on growth and apoptosis in human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells as well as its mechanisms. A549 cells were treated with RTHF at various concentrations for different times. In vitro the MTT assay showed that RTHF had obvious anti-proliferation effects on A549 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Cell morphological changes observed by inverted microscope and Hoechst33258 methods were compared with apoptotic changes observed by fluorescence microscope. Cell apoptosis inspected by flow cytometry showed significant increase in the treatment group over the control group (P<0.01). Expression of apoptosis related Bax/Bcl-2, caspases and MAPK pathway proteins were detected by Western blotting. The results showed that RTHF up-regulated the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and cle-caspase3/9, cle-PARP expression in a dose-dependent manner. Expression of p-p38 increased, p-ERK decreased significantly and that of p-JNK was little changed in the RTHF group when compared with the control group. These results suggest that RTHF might exert anti-growth and apoptosis activity against lung cancer A549 cells through activation of caspases and Bcl-2 family proteins and the MAPK pathway, therefore presenting as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of lung cancer.


Radix Tetrastigma Hemsleyani Flavone;human lung carcinoma cell;apoptosis;MAPKs pathway


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