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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 24;57(12):5211-8. doi: 10.1021/jf803878n.

Beta-sitosterol inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in SGC-7901 human stomach cancer cells.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Public Health College of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.


Beta-sitosterol is an important phytosterol found in plant food. It has been shown to have antiproliferative effects on cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate, but its effect on stomach cancer cells in vitro is unknown. Proliferation, cytotoxicity, and apoptosis in SGC-7901 human stomach cancer cells were examined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, clone formation, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage assay, acridine orange (AO)/ethidium bromide (EB) double staining, 4',6-diamidine-2'-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) staining, comet assay, and Western blotting. The results showed that beta-sitosterol suppresses the proliferation and induces the cell cytotoxicity of SGC-7901 stomach cancer cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Cells treated with different concentrations of beta-sitosterol also showed changes typical of apoptosis: morphological changes, DNA damage, increased expression of pro-caspase-3 and bax (p < 0.05), and activation of pro-caspase-3 and suppression of bcl-2 expression (p < 0.05). This study therefore revealed that beta-sitosterol significantly inhibits the growth and induces the apoptosis of SGC-7901 human stomach cancer cells in vitro. The decrease of the bcl-2/bax ratio and DNA damage may be the critical mechanisms of apoptosis induced by beta-sitosterol in SGC-7901 human stomach cancer cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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