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Cancer Sci. 2003 Jan;94(1):92-8.

Evodiamine, a constituent of Evodiae Fructus, induces anti-proliferating effects in tumor cells.

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College of Life Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China.


We found that evodiamine, a major alkaloidal component of Evodiae Fructus (Goshuyu in Japan), inhibited proliferation of several tumor cell lines, but had less effect on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). We used human cervical cancer cells, HeLa, as a model to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of evodiamine-induced tumor cell death. The results showed that evodiamine induced oligonucleosomal fragmentation of DNA in HeLa cells and increased the activity of caspase-3, but not that of caspase-1, in vitro. Both evodiamine-induced DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activity were effectively inhibited by a caspase-3 inhibitor, z-DEVD-fmk (z-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-fmk). In addition, evodiamine increased the expression of the apoptosis inducer Bax, but decreased the expression of the apoptosis suppressor Bcl-2 in mitochondria. Taken together, our data indicated that evodiamine alters the balance of Bcl-2 and Bax gene expression and induces apoptosis through the caspase pathway in HeLa cells.

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