Berberine (BBR) is widely used to treat diarrhea and inflammation, and its antitumor activity has been vastly reported recently. However, its antitumor mechanism remained unclear. In the present study, the effects of Berberine on human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells in vitroand its mechanism were investigated. Cisplatin (DDP) was used as positive control. The inhibition of drugs on SGC-7901 was evaluated with MTT assay. The level of Bcl-2 and Bax in the cells treated with different concentrations of Berberine were detected with Western blotting. MTT assay indicated significantly inhibitory effect of Berberine on SGC-7901 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Annexin V-FITC and propidium iodide (PI) staining showed that BBR had a positive effect on apoptosis of SGC-7901 cells. After 2.5 μg/ml of BBR treating SGC-7901 cells for 48 h, the cells apoptosis rate (24.32 ± 0.71%) had statistical significance as compared with the negative group (2.77 ± 0.39%) (P = 0.000). Berberine up-regulated the levels of Bax, but down-regulated the level of Bcl-2 protein by Western blot. These results indicated that BBR exhibited potential anticancer activity against human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells through induction of apoptosis and the imbalance of the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax.
Key words: Human gastric carcinoma SGC-7901, berberine, Bcl-2, Bax.
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