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Mol Med Rep. 2009 Sep-Oct;2(5):725-32. doi: 10.3892/mmr_00000163.

Gomisin N isolated from Schisandra chinensis significantly induces anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in hepatic carcinoma.

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Department of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Institute of Toxicological Research, Korean FDA, Seoul 122-704, Korea.


Lignans isolated from Schisandria chinensis have been prescribed as anti-cancer and anti-hepatitis treatments in Chinese medicine. To investigate the applications of lignans isolated from Schisandria chinensis in hepatic carcinoma therapy, their apoptotic ability was screened using a cell proliferation assay. Compared to the other lignans, gomisin N induced high apoptotic levels in hepatic carcinoma. Cell morphology and flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that this lignan induced cell death at high concentrations, but did not induce any changes at low concentrations. In addition, the expression levels of Bcl-2 and Bax proteins, which are involved in the apoptotic pathway, were markedly increased in only the 320 ┬ÁM-treated group compared to the vehicle and other concentration groups, while the expression level of p53 protein remained unchanged in this group. These results suggest that gomisin N is an anti-cancer drug candidate capable of inhibiting the proliferation and inducing the apoptosis of human hepatic carcinomas.


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