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Pharmazie. 2011 Apr;66(4):306-9.

Arbutin inhibits TCCSUP human bladder cancer cell proliferation via up-regulation of p21.

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Department of Biochemistry, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Arbutin is a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant (Arctostaphylos species). In the present study, we determined the effects of arbutin on TCCSUP human bladder carcinoma cell proliferation. Arbutin did not exhibit any cytotoxic effects in TCCSUP cells at concentrations of < 500 microg/ml. To determine the effects of arbutin on cell proliferation, TCCSUP cells were treated with arbutin at various concentrations, and the cell proliferation was measured using the MTT assay. Arbutin significantly decreased TCCSUP cell proliferation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, cell cycle analysis revealed that arbutin strongly disrupted the cell cycle in a time-dependent manner. Western blot analysis demonstrated that arbutin led to the inactivation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), which is known to critically regulate cell proliferation. In addition, arbutin markedly increased the expression of p21WAF1/CIP1 (p21), which is known to be highly involved in cell cycle regulation. Therefore, this study suggests that arbutin inhibits TCCSUP cell proliferation via ERK inactivation and p21 up-regulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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