Platycodin D Induces Apoptosis, and Inhibits Adhesion, Migration and Invasion in HepG2 Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

  • Li, Ting (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau) ;
  • Xu, Wen-Shan (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau) ;
  • Wu, Guo-Sheng (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau) ;
  • Chen, Xiu-Ping (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau) ;
  • Wang, Yi-Tao (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau) ;
  • Lu, Jin-Jian (State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau)
  • Published : 2014.02.28


Background: Platycodin D (PD), a triterpenoid saponin isolated from the Chinese medicinal herb Platycodonis radix, possesses anti-cancer effects in several cancer cell lines. The aim of this study was to evaluate its anticancer activities in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Materials and Methods: MTT and colony formation assays were performed to evaluate cell proliferation, along with flow cytometry and Western blotting for apoptosis. Cell adhesion was tested by observing cellular morphology under a microscope, while the transwell assay was employed to investigate the cell migration and invasion. Results: PD concentration-dependently inhibited cell proliferation in both HepG2 and Hep3B cells, and significantly suppressed colony formation and induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells. The protein levels of cleaved poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and Bax were up-regulated while that of survivin was down-regulated after treatment with PD. Moreover, PD not only obviously suppressed the adhesion of HepG2 cells to Matrigel, but also remarkably depressed their migration and invasion induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). Conclusions: PD presents anti-cancer potential in hepatocellular carcinoma cells via inducing apoptosis, and inhibiting cell adhesion, migration and invasion, indicating promising features as a lead compound for anti-cancer agent development.


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