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Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2010 Nov;35(22):3056-9.

[Influence of betulinic acid on proliferation, migration, cell cycle and apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells].

[Article in Chinese]

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Jiangsu Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Key Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine, Ministry of Health, Wuxi 214063, China.



To investigate the effect of betulinic acid (BA) on the proliferation, migration, apoptosis and cell cycle of pancreatic cancer cells (BxPC-3) in vitro and elucidate the underlying.


The effect of BA on the proliferation of BxPC-3 was measured by using sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay. Migratory ability of BxPC3 cells were detected by wound healing assay, and the morphological change was observed with light microscope. The influence of BA on cell cycle of BxPC-3 cells was tested by flow cytometry (FCM). Apoptosis was analyzed by using Hochest33342-PI double staining. Western blot technologies were applied to detect the expression of Bcl-2 and Bax.


BA exhibited significant cell proliferation and migration inhibition, as well as its potency of inducing apoptosis in BxPC-3 cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 value for 72 h was 16.54 mg x L(-1). Cell migration was significantly inhibited at 5 mg x L(-1) of BA. Cells treated with BA showed increased cell population in G0 phase, with decreased G2/M phase population. The expression of Bax and Bcl-2 was up and down-regulated respectively in BA-treated BxPC-3 cells in a dose-dependent manner.


BA exerted potent effect on growth inhibition, G0 cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis in BxPC-3 cells in vitro, possibly associated with the down-regulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of Bax expression. The potent antitumor capacity of BA suggested that it could be a promising new anticancer agent in human pancreatic cancer treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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