Berberine Hydrochloride Impact on Physiological Processes and Modulation of Twist Levels in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma CNE-1 Cells

  • Li, Cai-Hong (Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University) ;
  • Wu, Dong-Fang (Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University) ;
  • Ding, Hang (Institude of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Guangdong Medical College) ;
  • Zhao, Yang (Ear-nose-throat Department of The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical College) ;
  • Zhou, Ke-Yuan (Institude of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Guangdong Medical College) ;
  • Xu, De-Feng (College of Food Science and Technology, Guangdong Ocean University)
  • Published : 2014.02.28


Objective: The main purpose of this work was to investigate the effect of berberine hydrochloride (BH) on the proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion of CNE-1 nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Our results shed light on the functional components of traditional Chinese herbs for potential use in modern medicine. Methods: The CNE-1 cell line was treated with different concentrations of BH and effects on cell viability and proliferation were evaluated using the Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. Anti-migratory and anti-invasive actions of BH were investigated using wound healing assays and the Millicell Hanging cell culture insert system, respectively. Expression of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related gene twist (Twist) was analyzed by real-time PCR and Western blotting. Apoptosis was estimated with an annexin-V fluorescein (FITC) apoptosis detection kit, as well as with reference to levels of activated caspase-3 of CNE-1 cells before and after treatment with BH utilizing fluorescence spectroscopy. Results: BH was capable of reducing proliferation and viability of CNE-1 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, also demonstrating anti-migratory and anti-invasive capacities which correlated with reduction in expression of Twist. Finally, BH was able to induce significant amounts of apoptosis in CNE-1 cells, as demonstrated by an increase in the activity of caspase-3 and in annexin-V staining following treatment. Conclusion: BH extracted from rhizoma coptidis demonstrated an ability to block proliferation, induce apoptosis, and impair the migration and invasion of the CNE-1 cell line Considering these properties, our results suggest that BH could be an important compound for consideration in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.


Berberine hydrochloride;invasion;migration;apoptosis;cell proliferation;CNE-1


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