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Oncol Rep. 2011 May;25(5):1289-95. doi: 10.3892/or.2011.1189. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Gambogic acid inhibits the growth of osteosarcoma cells in vitro by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.

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Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 23 Youzheng Street, Harbin 150001, PR China.


The natural product gambogic acid (GA) has been demonstrated to be a promising chemotherapeutic drug for some cancers because of its ability to induce apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Until now, no studies have looked at the role of GA in osteosarcoma. In this study, we observed the effects of GA on the growth and apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells in vitro. We found that GA treatment inhibits the proliferation of osteosarcoma cells by inducing cell cycle arrest. Moreover, we found that GA induces apoptosis in MG63, HOS and U2OS cells. Furthermore, we showed that GA treatment elevates the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. GA mediated the G0/G1 phase arrest in U2OS cells; this arrest was associated with a decrease in phospho-GSK3-β (Ser9) and the expression of cyclin D1. Similarly, in MG63 cells, GA mediated G2/M cell cycle arrest, which was associated with a decrease in phospho-cdc2 (Thr 161) and cdc25B. Overall, our findings suggest that GA may be an effective anti-osteosarcoma drug because of its capability to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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