Betaine Effects on Morphology, Proliferation, and p53-induced Apoptosis of HeLa Cervical Carcinoma Cells in Vitro

  • Guo, Yu (Bioscience Department, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Xu, Li-Sha (Bioscience Department, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Zhang, Ding (Bioscience Department, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Liao, Ya-Ping (Bioscience Department, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Wang, Hai-ping (Bioscience Department, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Lan, Zhi-Hui (Bioscience Department, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Guan, Wei-Jun (Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Liu, Chang-Qing (Bioscience Department, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bengbu Medical College)
  • Published : 2015.04.29


Objectives: To investigate the effects of betaine on HeLa cell growth and apoptosis and molecular mechanisms. Materials and Methods: Concentrations of 0.1, 1.0, 5.0, 20.0, 100.0 mg/ml of betaine were used to evaluate the anticancer efficacy for HeLa cells respectively, and MCF-10A was also detected as a normal diploid cell control. Results: We found that proliferation of HeLa cells was inhibited significantly upon exposure to increasing betaine levels with the MTT test (p<0.05). The percentage of S phase cells in the low dose groups (<5mg/ml) were distinctly higher than in high dose groups, and the rates of Sub-G1 phase were the opposite (p<0.01); A high concentration of betaine (>5.0mg/ml) significantly promoted the apoptosis of HeLa cells (p<0.01). SOD activities of the low dose groups were slightly higher than the control group (p<0.05) and there were obvious synchronicity and correlation among the expression of promoting apoptosis genes Bax, P53, Caspase 3 and apoptosis suppression gene Bcl-2. In response to an apoptosis-inducing stimulus, p53 and cyclin D1 could be activated with blockage of the cell cycle at G1/S or S/G2 checkpoints. Conclusions: Our data showed that betaine could promote HeLa cells proliferation in vitro at low concentrations. In contrast, high concentrations could significantly inhibit cell growth and migration, and induce apoptosis of HeLa cells through caspase 3 signaling and further promoted necrosis. This might imply that betaine exhibits tumoricidal effects and acts as a biological response modifier in cancer treatment by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in a dose and time-dependent manner.


Betaine;HeLa cercival cancer cells;growth;apoptosis;mechanisms


Supported by : National Natural Scientific Foundation of China


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