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Cancer Lett. 2006 Jul 8;238(1):53-60. Epub 2005 Aug 1.

Induction of apoptosis by puerarin in colon cancer HT-29 cells.

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School of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, China.


Puerarin was isolated from Pueraria radix and has beneficial effects on cardiovascular, neurological, and hyperglycemic disorders. The current study showed that puerarin also possessed anti-cancer properties. Methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay (MTT) assay revealed a dose-dependent reduction of HT-29 cellular growth in response to puerarin treatment. Apoptosis was observed following treatments ;with >or=25 microM puerarin, as reflected by the appearance of the subdiploid fraction and NDA fragmentations. We then investigated effects of puerarin on expression of apoptosis-associated genes and the results revealed an increase of bax and decreases of c-myc and bcl-2. Finally, puerarin treatment significantly increased the activation of caspase-3, a key executioner of apoptosis. These findings indicate that puerarin may act as a chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent in colon cancer cells by reducing cell viability and inducing apoptosis.

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