Rice Bran Phytic Acid Induced Apoptosis Through Regulation of Bcl-2/Bax and p53 Genes in HepG2 Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

  • Al-Fatlawi, Atheer Abbas (Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacy, NIMS University) ;
  • Al-Fatlawi, Anees Abbas (Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University) ;
  • Irshad, Md. (Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University) ;
  • Zafaryab, Md. (Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University) ;
  • Alam Rizvi, M. Moshahid (Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, Central University) ;
  • Ahmad, Ayaz (Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacy, NIMS University)
  • Published : 2014.04.30


Phytic acid (PA) has been reported to have positive nutritional benefits and prevent cancer formation. This study investigated the anticancer activity of rice bran PA against hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells. Cytotoxicty of PA (0.5 to 4mM) was examined by MTT and LDH assays after 24 and 48h treatment. Apoptotic activity was evaluated by expression analysis of apoptosis-regulatory genes [i.e. p53, Bcl-2, Bax, Caspase-3 and -9] by reverse transcriptase-PCR and DNA fragmentation assay. The results showed antioxidant activity of PA in Fe3+ reducing power assay ($p{\leq}0.03$). PA inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells in a concentration dependent manner ($p{\leq}0.04$). After 48h treatment, cell viability was recorded 84.7, 74.4, 65.6, 49.6, 36.0 and 23.8% in MTT assay and 92.6, 77.0%, 66.8%, 51.2, 40.3 and 32.3% in LDH assay at concentrations of 1, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5mM, respectively. Hence, treatment of PA for 24h, recorded viability of cells 93.5, 88.6, 55.5, 34.6 and 24.4% in MTT assay and 94.2, 86.1%, 59.7%, 42.3 and 31.6%, in LDH assay at concentrations of 1, 2.2, 3.0, 3.6 and 4.0mM, respectively. PA treated HepG2 cells showed up-regulation of p53, Bax, Caspase-3 and -9, and down-regulation of Bcl-2 gene ($p{\leq}0.01$). At the $IC_{50}$ (2.49mM) of PA, the p53, Bax, Caspase-3 and-9 genes were up-regulated by 6.03, 7.37, 19.7 and 14.5 fold respectively. Also, the fragmented genomic DNA in PA treated cells provided evidence of apoptosis. Our study confirmed the biological activity of PA and demonstrated growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis in HepG2 cells with modulation of the expression of apoptosis-regulatory genes.


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